The authoritative account of America's most controversial war since Vietnam, a conflict in which "shock and awe" were not confined to the battlefield
It was a war like no other the United States had ever fought. It began with the bombing of Saddam Hussein's bunker and ended with statues of the Iraqi dictator being toppled in downtown Baghdad, and it marked a turning point in America's relations with its enemies, its allies, and its sense of itself. Yet most Americans experienced the war as impressionistic and often confusing—the story of one battle here, one unit there, a report from one city, then another, without the larger context we so urgently needed. Each reporter had his "slice" of the war, it seemed, but no one had the whole story or the broad view.
A Time of Our Choosing fills that gap brilliantly, drawing on the unparalleled resources and reportage of The New York Times. Todd S. Purdum, one of the paper's most gifted storytellers, traces the war in Iraq from the first rumblings after 9/11, to the diplomatic recriminations at the United Nations, to the battles themselves and their aftermath. He deftly rolls out the whole canvas before our eyes, showing how the individual "slices" fit together into a single, gripping drama.
Purdum also explores the complex legacy of America's near-unilateral action. Since the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush has vowed that the United States would confront its enemies "at a time of our choosing," and Purdum shows in vivid terms what this choice has meant for our now transformed world.
|Publisher:||Holt, Henry & Company, Inc.|
|File size:||2 MB|
About the Author
Todd S. Purdum is the author of An Idea Whose Time Has Come and A Time of Our Choosing. He is a staff writer for The Atlantic, having previously worked for more than twenty years at The New York Times, where he covered beats from City Hall to the White House and served as Los Angeles bureau chief. He has also been a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a senior writer at Politico. A native of Macomb, Illinois, and a graduate of Princeton University, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Dee Dee Myers, and their two children.
Read an Excerpt
From A Time of Our Choosing:
It was 4 a.m. when the two men arrived in the empty darkness of downtown. They carried a letter from the president, bearing his signature and authorizing a large transaction. They gave no reason. They did not have to. No questions were asked. Soon enough, Qusay Saddam Hussein, the president’s second son, and Abid Hamid Mahmoud al-Tikriti, Saddam’s personal assistant, were overseeing the loading of 236 boxes into three tractor-trailers outside Iraq’s Central Bank. A team of workers took two hours to finish the job. Bank employees were meticulous, good bureaucrats to the end. They kept records of every batch of bills, then placed a packing slip enumerating the contents into each box before it was sealed.
Over the years, Saddam and his family would sometimes demand cash from Iraqi banks. “Small amounts, maybe $5 million,” one official said. This withdrawal was something else again. The total haul: almost $1 billion. There was $900 million in $100 bills and perhaps $100 million worth of euros, about a quarter of the country’s hard-currency reserves, enough to rank as one of the largest bank robberies in history. Then again, Saddam’s power was so absolute that this seizure might have broken no laws. What was the money for? Where was it going? No one may ever know. But on that early spring morning, Saddam Hussein, president for life of the Republic of Iraq, Chairman of the Revolutionary Command Council, Central Leader of the Ba’ath Party, and Great Uncle to the fearful populace he had ruled for almost a quarter century surely knew this: far away in Washington, the president of the United States had given him and his sons just forty-eight hours to surrender power and leave their country—or face war.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I think that this book was well written. It explains what was going on when President Bush was in office and what was going on after Sept. 11 and what had taken place. It shows a good insight of what happened in Iraq with our troops and how we handled certain things. Great book to read if you want insight of what it is like in today's military.
While a bit dry at first, the speed soon picks up as this book takes you through the decision making process starting when Bush came into office right up to where events stand today. This book provides invaluable insights into the intricate workings of the UN and the Presidential Cabinet. Although not particularly good as a resource, it does provide a good solid information base for general knowledge about reasons and basises for the President's decisions as well as information about how operations were conducted in Iraq. Included is a section on Saddam's regime for shock value to keep things interesting.