Military John Keegan The Iraq War

ISBN 13: 9780091800185

The Iraq War

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9780091800185: The Iraq War

The Iraq War remains highly controversial, but in all the uncertainty about weapons of mass destruction, the use and misuse of intelligence, and the whereabouts of Saddam Hussein, it remains an awesome military and political event and a formidable exercise in American power aided by the British army. Throughout the war and beyond it, John Keegan's analysis proved more accurate than any other commentator's, and now he brings his unrivalled knowledge of military history to bear on the war, its conduct and consequences. Written with special access to new sources of information, this book will be the most authoritative and challenging account of a war which could both set the pattern for military conflicts in the 21st century and significantly affect the world political order.

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Review:

John Keegan is recognized as one of the top military writers of his day, having authored comprehensive analyses of both World Wars and other significant historical events. In The Iraq War, he takes on a situation that was still murky and volatile at the time of publication. The result is a book rich with detailed information on the region and its key figures but somewhat hasty in its effort to provide a succinct history lesson. In the opening chapter, Keegan writes "The war was not only successful but peremptorily short, lasting only twenty-one days from 20 March to 9 April," and he later gives little mention to the protracted and amorphous violence in the region since Baghdad fell, characterizing as "aftermath" that which many see as the actual war itself. Between these sections, however, Keegan provides valuable insight into the geopolitical history of the region and provides an extensive biography of a ruler of whom most Westerners became aware only in the early 1990s: Saddam Hussein. Keegan presents Saddam as a brutal thug who is also possessed of a powerful and vicious political savvy, and charts his growth from Ba'ath Party muscleman to ruler of Iraq. Sections on the military efforts of the U.S. and British forces are extensively detailed and offer insight into not only what the plans of the coalition forces were but the strategic philosophies behind them as well. Keegan characterizes the war as "mysterious," seeking to understand why opposition forces seemed to disappear from active combat and why the citizens of Iraq paid the conflict little regard. And while such mysteries have not yet been solved, it is clear given the ongoing instability in Iraq that the final chapters of the Iraq War have yet to be written. --John Moe

From the Inside Flap:

From David Mitchell, the Booker Prize nominee, award-winning writer and one of the featured authors in Granta's "Best of Young British Novelists 2003" issue, comes his highly anticipated third novel, a work of mind-bending imagination and scope.

A reluctant voyager crossing the Pacific in 1850; a disinherited composer blagging a precarious livelihood in between-the-wars Belgium; a high-minded journalist in Governor Reagan's California; a vanity publisher fleeing his gangland creditors; a genetically modified "dinery server" on death-row; and Zachry, a young Pacific Islander witnessing the nightfall of science and civilisation -- the narrators of Cloud Atlas hear each other's echoes down the corridor of history, and their destinies are changed in ways great and small.

In his captivating third novel, David Mitchell erases the boundaries of language, genre and time to offer a meditation on humanity's dangerous will to power, and where it may lead us.

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