Good detailed summary of the Bush administration with focus on Iraq (of course). The book doesn’t hide its criticism of Bush and his decisions. One good thing that the book illustrates is Bush’s world view, how he sees the world, his role in it, and how he approaches making decisions.
Going through all the Bush years in one book like this can be very depressing given the number of huge mistakes he did. I’ve read many books before about each one, but to have them all in one story is a little shocking even though I’ve lived through these years.
You also get to understand Bush’s point of view. Once you understand how he sees the world, it’s easy to understand how he approaches his decisions. The book focuses on the small number of Bush’s accomplishments especially the AIDS initiative. It’s certainly an important accomplishment, but it’s essentially charity work. It shows that Bush has a good side, but as an ill-informed rich person, his idea of helping amounts to giving money. That’s not a bad thing, but it’s a normal thing.
The book is almost entirely secondarily-sourced with very little original reporting. It’s understandable that very small number of people from the Bush administration would be willing to talk about the Bush years. But it’s important to understand the book for what it is. It’s not breaking any news and discovering long hidden secrets. It goes into details about certain parts of the Bush years, but given the amount of details about each of those years, the book doesn’t go into so much details.
If you’re not familiar with the Bush years, or have any illusions about how bad they were, or forgot how bad they were, read this book.