The Final Days

From The New York Times:

The War Within: A Secret Whitehouse History 2006-2008 by Bob Woodword.

Book In contrast to his other Bush volumes, “The War Within” does provide interstitial analysis and judgments throughout. It also renders an extremely harsh final appraisal of President Bush. In a stinging epilogue, Woodward concludes: “For years, time and again, President Bush has displayed impatience, bravado and unsettling personal certainty about his decisions. The result has too often been impulsiveness and carelessness and, perhaps most troubling, a delayed reaction to realities and advice that run counter to his gut.”

SOME will deem this judgment obvious and long overdue. They will also come away hungry if they expect Woodward to grapple with the central question surrounding the Iraq war: whether it was launched and fought with just cause. Still, Woodward has traveled far since the publication of his first two volumes; in both he viewed events through an overly heroic prism in the aftermath of 9/11. In his third volume, “State of Denial,” the author took a mulligan. Writing as the insurgency in Iraq was spinning out of control, he rewound the story back to the beginning and offered a much tougher account of Bush’s war policies and their executors.

In “The War Within,” more judgmental still, President Bush shrinks in stature as the narrator’s presence grows. Cynics will say that Woodward waited until the last book to fully criticize the president and his closest advisers because he no longer needs access to them.

More here.