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Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq
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Tell Me How This Ends: General David Petraeus and the Search for a Way Out of Iraq

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  163 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
On the ground in Iraq, with General Petraeus and his commanders, the author of the "New York Times" bestseller "Masters of Chaos" reports on the endgame of a controversial war.
ebook, 403 pages
Published May 14th 2014 by PublicAffairs (first published January 1st 2008)
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Oct 23, 2008 Robert rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
The importance of this book for me lay in its descriptions of the horrors of the surge in Baghdad. We need to confront this kind of reporting, and reality. The author's hard and dangerous labor excavating this material is undermined, however, by two factors: first, she often recounts horrific injuries and deaths without pausing to appraise the meaning of those sacrifices for the individual in question, the family, etc. In one case two soldiers were incinerated in a Bradley fighting vehicle; thei ...more
Jan 03, 2010 liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good fuel to the fire of my deep and abiding love for David Petraeus (not that it really needed the help). Also, as kind of a leftist/pacifist, this was useful for an alternate view of the military, which I tend to assume is made up mainly of kids with few-to-no ways out of the less-than-ideal circumstances in which they grew up. Nope, in this world of David Petraeus everyone (including the general himself) has advanced degrees. It was good for me to read this depiction of the military, but also ...more
May 31, 2009 Eamonnpryan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is rather biographical regarding Petraeus, which is helpful because he was in charge of the iraq war and is now even higher in the army's ranking hiearchy. The other was a little bit of a fangirl about him, making assumptions one way about his character when others wouldn't have, but otherwise this novel is an incredible look at the Iraq war. It genuinely scared me at times, and made me understand from a broader point of view why officers and the general in charge have made the decisio ...more
Dec 09, 2008 Humdum rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
For me this was a much better representation of what has happened in Iraq recently than what I get in magazines and newspapers. The stories of what individual troop commanders are doing as well as Petraeus's dealings with the Iraqi government were most helpful. I read this book immediately following Woodward's "The War Within". Combined they made me feel better about what the US is now doing in Iraq now.
Being willing to admit not knowing how it will end seems to me to be a first step in working
Nov 21, 2012 Graham rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was tough timing for this book. In part because it was written too prematurely. In hindsight a this work as a history is not very useful. It really doesn't enlighten anything that one wouldn't already know by being moderately aware of the news. For future generations I don't think this is the definitive account of Americas involvement in Iraq. Even now, so few years after Patraeus' departure we know how the story really ends. It does occasionally bring up valid points. I am especially surpr ...more
Ben Rand
Oct 06, 2015 Ben Rand rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
Kind of sad the way the story behind the story ended...
Amanda Standerfer
Mar 23, 2010 Amanda Standerfer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was not as good as the many other books I've read about Iraq and the war...but is one of the better studies of leadership in the military and specifically what Petraeus has done to get things moving in a positive direction. This book does give a great overview of all the working parts in Iraq and how the do and don't work together. The last chapter with the author's recommendations for how it ends in Iraq is very good...and much of what she wrote has been followed.
Aubrey Dustin
Apr 07, 2013 Aubrey Dustin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This is an insightful study of the general's long sustained effort grappling with the complexities of counterinsurgency in Iraq. Beginning as a successful forger of alliances between local leadership with US forces in Mosul during the first year of the struggle to heading the effort to train the new Iraqi military to directing the turning point from the headquarters in Baghdad, he empowered subordinate leadership and recruited and developed experts.
Tom Bevan
Oct 28, 2014 Tom Bevan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: histories
Reading it in 2014 is a lot like watching the doomed love interest investigate the creepy sounds in the creepy cellar in a slasher horror movie.
Lots of lessons to be found in here.
Tin Wee
Good account of how Petraeus, and the officers and soldiers of the US -led forces had sought to turn the war around in Iraq. Provides good insight into understanding the American intent behind their actions in the Iraq war, esp leading up to the surge, and the personalities that led the actions on the ground. History will be the judge of how this effort will turn out.
Jan 12, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
...the Petraeus turn-around of Iraq, from the surge, to the adoption of a holistic counter-insurgency strategy that led to the Awakening and the Sons of Iraq. The book covers the high level political battles to the soldiers on the ground. Although Petraeus may have provided a critical chapter in Iraq, it is still uncertain how it will ultimately end.
Jan 12, 2009 Troy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good review of the situation up through fall 2008. Seemed organized so that the chapters were stand-alone, but it caused a lot of the themes and events (and especially acronyms) to be repeated ad nauseum. However, for the most part, an easy read that clearly demonstrates a lot of the issues and challenges surrounding the war in Iraq.
Shaun White
This book was very informative but the language was not clear to me and i would be suprised if any one without a military backround could understand it. The only thing that i liked about this book is that it exposed how deeply corrupt the U.S. government was during the Bush era.
Mar 21, 2010 Diane rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In-depth history of the "surge" in Iraq, and General David Petraeus' role in it, by a former newspaper reporter. The book is well-researched and very readable. I would recommend a different subtitle, one which gives proper credit to Ambassador Ryan Crocker and his interlocutors.
I was terribly curious about Gen. Petraeus and how he brought a change to the Iraqi war. This has a bit more detail than I can wade through - you'd have to be military to understand all of it but I'm still reading it and still finding things out.
Jul 26, 2010 Amarantha rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Recommended to Amarantha by: Robert Freddy Worang
Awesome book. General Petraeus is really smart (well-educated) and admirable. Probably the best general today. It's a great book. Personally, Indonesian generals should learn from him rather than doing corruption.
Feb 21, 2010 Grey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not only a detailed look into the conduct of the last couple of years of the war in Iraq, but good insight into the personalities finishing up in Iraq and turning the tide in Afghanistan.
Pete Nickeas
Mar 27, 2011 Pete Nickeas rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book. I don't think there's a be-all-end-all book about the Iraq war but I do think this fits in well with Fiasco / The Gamble and maybe a couple others as essential reading.
Dave Beeman
Read the last chapter for the answer. Rest of book covers subordinates carrying out plans and polices distributed from higher headquarters.
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Aug 16, 2016
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