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Blind Into Baghdad: America's War in Iraq

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  79 ratings  ·  15 reviews
In the autumn of 2002, Atlantic Monthly national correspondent James Fallows wrote an article predicting many of the problems America would face if it invaded Iraq. After events confirmed many of his predictions, Fallows went on to write some of the most acclaimed, award-winning journalism on the planning and execution of the war, much of which has been assigned as require ...more
ebook, 256 pages
Published February 25th 2009 by Vintage (first published August 15th 2006)
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This is a collection of essays written by James Fallows for the Atlantic Monthly. They begin in 2000 or 2001 and end in 2006. Though he's added footnotes with updates, the essays are published in their original form. And that's what is infuriating about the book. Whatever your politics, once you see what information a reporter without access to classified information was able to put together--and the extent to which he was able to accurately predict the specific brand and duration of problems we ...more
Joseph Stieb
Fallows' book presents a series of essays from 2002-2005 that are generally well-written, interesting, and a bit enraging. The focus of the book is on inadequate prewar planning and its consequences on the ground. The prewar planners like Franks, Rumsfeld, Feith, and Wolfowitz generally argued after March 2003 that many of the problems the US faced were hard to predict, fitting somewhere into Rumsfeld's known and unknown framework. Fallows interviewed dozens of middle and high ranking policy off ...more
Scott Whitmore
An excellent “history in the moment” book about the early years of the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq which should rightly anger readers of any political stripe. Blind Into Baghdad by James Fallows (@JamesFallows) is comprised of five longform stories originally published from 2002-2005 in The Atlantic magazine, bookended by an introduction and exceptional afterword written in 2006.

I’ve been a subscriber of The Atlantic for many years and have always enjoyed the work of Mr. Fallows. I rec
Steven Peterson
This book was published several years ago; I wrote a review of it then. I find it interesting to reread this after some years have intervened. How well does his analysis hold up?

Fallows begins by describing the book's perspective (page x):

"The subject of the book is America's preparation for and conduct of its war in Iraq, whose combat phase began in March 2003. because that war played so large a part in the U. S. government response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, assessing the
In this collection of five previously published articles, Fallows effectively argues that the Bush Administration ignored the mountains of expert analysis that sought to predict problems that would be encountered in postwar Iraq.

What we can say is this: the thoughtlessness and lack of care with which the United States carried out its campaign for Iraq, like the thoughtlessness and lack of care with which it has approached the broader effort against Islamic terrorism, is a shame for the country a
American Book Award-winning author James Fallows is The Atlantic Monthly's national correspondent, and has worked for the magazine for more than twenty years. In Blind Into Baghdad, Fallows take us from the planning of the war through the struggles of reconstruction. With unparalleled access and incisive analysis, he shows us how many of the difficulties were anticipated by experts whom the Administration ignored. Fallows examines how the war in Iraq undercut the larger "war on terror" and why I ...more
An insightful and infuriating book. A must read for those on both sides of the aisle. As Rachel notes in her review, this is a collection of articles written for "The Atlantic" PRIOR to Iraq that demonstrate: 1) the administration had been informed by multiple parties what would happen if they did not prepare for "after" combat and 2) that the administration chose to ignore such information and, most often, punish those who made such public. The amazing part? The materials informing his article ...more
I finally just finished this book and may have to re-read this book once again. The book is a collection of articles that were published in the Atlantic Monthly in regards to the war in Iraq. I had a difficult time following it at times due to the references to historical wars and political leaders and positions I was not familar with. However, the book gave lots of anecdotes and personal accounts in regards to perspectives about the decision process to go to War. It was quite alarming to read t ...more
Packed with information. A great recap of all the reasons to not support the war, but in the most logical and reasonable way possible. James Fallows writes clearly, informatively, and you feel smarter as you go through another series of quotes, facts and figures as you leaf through the pages of history in the making. Excellent book for the people who are curious about the war and need more detail or who are skeptical and could use something to inform them further. Solid, lucid, consistently inte ...more
Bill York
A collection of Fallows' Atlantic articles on the bungling of the war effort in Iraq. Over and over again we see the the triumph of ideology over ability, as those in the State and Defense Departments who know what to do and how to do it are overruled by the Bush administration appointees in charge.
administration officials must have believed not only that the war was necessary but also that a successful occupation would not require any more forethought than they gave it.
It will be years before we fully understand how intelligent people convinced themselves of this.
p 104

Interesting book, didn't add anything new to the table though.
Jeff Verthein
Honest, impartial, and upsetting journalism.
Very good if a bit belaboring of the same point.
Jan 20, 2010 Jason marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
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