An American Disaster
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224 pages / May 2007 / 9781844671281

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/ 9781789603071

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An investigative journalist's exposé of how Donald Rumsfeld brought America to the brink of disaster.

US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld—the mesmerizing figure who oversaw the US Army, Navy, Airforce, and Marines—has been widely blamed for the catastrophic state of Iraq. In October 2006 Rumsfeld was sacked, his disastrous running of the war in Iraq being held responsible for the American public's loss of faith in the Bush administration. In this groundbreaking book, Washington insider Andrew Cockburn reveals that Rumsfeld's political legacy stretches back decades and speculates as to where his career might take him now.

Drawing on sources that include Rumsfeld's inner circle as well as high-ranking officials in the Pentagon and White House, Rumsfeld, going far beyond previous accounts, reveals its subject in his true colours—as a man consumed with the urge to dominate each and every human encounter, and whose ambition has long been matched by his inability to display genuine leadership or accept responsibility. The book demolishes the notion that he has been a forceful and effective manager driven to transform the military, and intimately details Rumsfeld's all-important relationships to Bush and Cheney, and how it has affected the wars that the USA and the UK are fighting today in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Cockburn also exposes and scrutinizes Rumsfeld's earlier career, revealing his long-standing record of processing faulty intelligence, blurring personal and professional interests, and manipulating bureaucratic systems. Brimming with powerful revelations, Rumsfeld is a must-have piece of investigative journalism.


“A compelling case for regarding Rumsfeld as the single greatest villain of the Bush presidency”

“A brisk and at times tragi-comic polemic that could serve as a case study for what is wrong with American government ... Cockburn's trenchant analysis of Rumfeld's career is a cogent reminder why few in Washington are mourning his long overdue departure.”

“A superb portrait of a shameful man.”

“Perceptive and engrossing.”

“Perceptive, engrossing.”

“A timely and important book.”

“Cockburn's devastating dissection ... delivers his findings with wit and flair.”

“Cockburn's devastating dissection ... delivers his findings with wit and flair.”

“Cockburn is ... an assiduous investigator and skillful narrator.”

“A fascinating glimpse into the workings of US government.”

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