500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars

Kurt Eichenwald. Touchstone, $27.99 (640p) ISBN 978-1-4516-6938-1
Misbegotten policies—torture, military tribunals, the rush toward the Iraq War—took shape under pressure and ideological prejudice, according to this gripping chronicle of the months after 9/11. Former New York Times reporter Eichenwald (The Informant) follows a huge cast of characters, from George Bush and Tony Blair to the government officials who hammered out policy, the CIA and FBI agents who implemented it, the terrorists they hunted (Eichenwald’s accounts of the anthrax attacks and the Bali night club bombings are especially vivid), and the ordinary people caught in the cross fire. It’s a vast canvas, but its centerpiece is the formulation by Bush administration figures like John Yoo and David Addington of “enemy combatant” protocols featuring arbitrary detention, waterboarding, and “extraordinary rendition” (at its Kafkaesque heart is the story of three Canadian men turned over to Arab regimes and tortured into making false statements that ensnared other innocents in the same ordeal). Eichenwald’s novelistic approach takes us into the White House offices, courtrooms, and Guantánamo interrogation cells where tense people groped through the chaos of a new world of fear and brutality—and tried to harness it to their own agendas. The result is both a page-turning read and an insightful dissection of 9/11’s dark legacy. Agent: Andrew Wylie. (Sept. 4)
Reviewed on: 07/02/2012
Release date: 09/04/2012
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Paperback - 611 pages - 978-1-4516-6939-8
Ebook - 640 pages - 978-1-4767-2780-6
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-4423-5612-2
Ebook - 640 pages - 978-1-4516-7413-2
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