Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet

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Penguin, 2004 - Political Science - 426 pages
29 Reviews

When George W. Bush campaigned for the White House, he was such a novice in foreign policy that he couldn't name the president of Pakistan and momentarily suggested he thought the Taliban was a rock-and-roll band. But he relied upon a group called the Vulcans—an inner circle of advisers with a long, shared experience in government, dating back to the Nixon, Ford, Reagan and first Bush administrations. After returning to power in 2001, the Vulcans were widely expected to restore U.S. foreign policy to what it had been under George H. W. Bush and previous Republican administrations. Instead, the Vulcans put America on an entirely new and different course, adopting a far-reaching set of ideas that changed the world and America's role in it. Rise of the Vulcans is nothing less than a detailed, incisive thirty-five-year history of the top six members of the Vulcans—Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, Colin Powell, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard Armitage, and Condoleezza Rice—and the era of American dominance they represent. It is the story of the lives, ideas and careers of Bush's war cabinet—the group of Washington insiders who took charge of America's response to September 11 and led the nation into its wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Separately, each of these stories sheds astonishing light not only on the formative influences that brought these nascent leaders from obscurity to the pinnacle of power, but also on the experiences, conflicts and competitions that prefigured their actions on the present world stage. Taken together, the individuals in this book represent a unique generation in American history—a generation that might be compared to the "wise men" who shaped American policy after World War II or the "best and brightest" who prosecuted the war in Vietnam. Over the past three decades, since the time of Vietnam, these individuals have gradually led the way in shaping a new vision of an unchallengeable America seeking to dominate the globe through its military power.

  

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Review: Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet

User Review  - Jennifer Aupke - Goodreads

James Mann completes a thorough review of the rise to power of all of the most influential and prominent members of President GW Bush's war cabinet. Ending the book with an analysis of the decision to ... Read full review

Review: Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet

User Review  - The American Conservative - Goodreads

'And of all the books so far, James Mann's work on “the Vulcans”—while not as charmingly salacious, politically angry, and gut-personal as the Bob Woodward, Paul O'Neill, and Richard Clarke books—is ... Read full review

Contents

A Rising Politician Amid War and Dirty Tricks
1
The Intellectual as Protégé
21
A Soldier and a Sailor
37
Combating the Soviets Détente and Henry Kissinger
56
Enter the Persian Gulf
79
Transitions
95
Camelot of the Conservatives
112
Of Dictatorships and Democracy
127
Vulcans in Exile
216
A Vulcan Agenda
234
The Campaign
248
Who Runs the Pentagon?
261
Warnings and Signals
277
History Starts Today
294
A New Strategy
311
Toward War with Iraq
332

In the Midst of Armageddon
138
A Scandal and Its Aftermath
150
A New Republican President a New Foreign Policy Team
165
Use of Force
179
Death of an Empire Birth of a Vision
198
Conclusion
359
Acknowledgments
373
Notes
377
Index
411
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

James Mann is the senior writer in residence at the CSIS International Security Program and the author of two critically acclaimed books: About Face: A History of America's Curious Relationship with China from Nixon to Clinton and Beijing Jeep. Previously, he was a long-time correspondent with the Los Angeles Times, and his writing has also appeared in The New Republic and The Atlantic Monthly.

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