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The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi
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The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  29 ratings  ·  9 reviews
This is the true story of Ahmad Chalabi, fraudster, statesman, banker, math whiz and aesthete, whose legendary charisma and charm - and almost hypnotic powers of persuasion - helped propel the United States to war in Iraq. This extraordinary investigative biography - written by an Emmy Award-winning journalist who works for NBC's Investigative Unit - exposes massive white- ...more
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published March 4th 2008 by Nation Books (first published March 3rd 2008)
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Valerie Baber
Aug 18, 2008 Valerie Baber rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommended to Valerie by: John Daily and Aram Roston
I’ll be honest. I’ve never really been interested in world affairs or politics. The only time I would be interested in either one of those, is if I happened to be having an affair with a politician. But that wasn’t the case. A friend of mine told me that I needed to buy the book and spread the word. I promised that I would. And because it seemed to mean something to him, I told myself that I would read it front to back, regardless of how painful it might be.

The fact that after having completed
Jessica Leight
Ahmed Chalabi is a fascinating figure and one of immense importance to U.S. politics. However, the importance of the subject of this book is (sadly) by no means matched by its quality. Roston doesn't seem to have a very deep knowledge of his subject or of Iraqi politics. The narrative is choppy, exacerbated by extremely short chapters, and often seems to wander. There is no sense of perspective about important details; for example, we learn twice that Chalabi likes to eat dinner with his napkin ...more
This book was REALLY interesting. The title is purposely sensational, but mostly it's a biography about a really fascinating person. I think the author makes some pretty big assumptions occasionally, and even he admits that there were other individuals "pushing" America to war. But really, it was very interesting to read.
This is a great book for anyone interested in how the decision to go into war in Iraq was made or shall we say influenced ...
Poor narrative, does not paint a complete picture of the person.

Does relate some fascinating antidotes regarding the willful way the CIA will toss money away. In the end we paid this man millions to tell us what we wanted to hear.

PBS had a great interview with Richard Armitage which sums Chalabi up:

Armitage:[This] was the same Ahmad Chalabi who came to town early on after the invasion with his INC and was involved in looting, robbing cars, things of that nature, and the same Ahmad Chalabi who c
Sep 07, 2008 Aram rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)
Official: 6 killed in Iraq bomb; Chalabi uninjured
By BUSHRA JUHI – 1 day ago
BAGHDAD (AP) — Ex-Iraqi deputy prime minister and former Pentagon favorite, Ahmad Chalabi, escaped a suicide car bomb attack on his convoy in Baghdad, an official in his office said Saturday.
Chalabi was not wounded, but the explosion Friday night in the western Baghdad neighborhood of Mansour killed six of his bodyguards, said Ayad Kadhim Sabti.
Police said more than a dozen other people were wounded in the blast.
Roston does a great job of explaining Chalabi, who has a life of many facets, none of which is simple. The formative event is this 13 year old's response to the family's loss in the 1958 revolution in Iraq.

I was surprised that the "Dr." is a PhD in math from the University of Chicago. This is the only straightforward achievement on his resume. Once he left the field of mathematics to become a banker the convoluted tale of intrigue begins.

Roston explains problems with the Chalabi family's Petra B
So if these kind of books are exempted from the "needs to be good writing" category and I'm just judging on content alone, it was interesting. Long. Rather involved. A lot of detail, and winding trails of information, and acronyms. However, it was intriguing to reflect upon the many layers of international politics and thought that went into somethings so not-well-thought-out.
Untold back story about Ahmad Chalabi. Roston is an intrepid reporter and entertaining writer.
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Chalabi- the long con 1 3 Oct 04, 2008 06:20PM  
Aram Roston is an Emmy winning broadcast and print journalist who has worked as an investigative producer at NBC News, a correspondent at CNN, and a New York City Police reporter. He has been published in the London Observer, the Washington Monthly, GQ, Mother Jones, Maclean's, The New Statesman and elsewhere.
More about Aram Roston...
The Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures, and Obessions of Ahmad Chalabi Man Who Pushed America to War: The Extraordinary Life, Adventures and Obsessions of Ahmad Chalabi

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