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Extended Audio Sample Plan of Attack Audiobook, by Bob Woodward Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,773 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Bob Woodward Narrator: Boyd Gaines Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2004 ISBN: 9780743539630
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Plan of Attack is the definitive account of how and why President George W. Bush, his war council, and allies launched a preemptive attack to topple Saddam Hussein and occupy Iraq. Bob Woodward’s latest landmark account of Washington decision making provides an original, authoritative narrative of behind-the-scenes maneuvering, examining the causes and consequences of the most controversial war since Vietnam.

Based on interviews with seventy-five key participants and more than three-and-a half hours of exclusive interviews with President Bush, Plan of Attack is part presidential history charting the decisions made during sixteen critical months; part military history; and part a harrowing spy story as the CIA dispatches a covert paramilitary team into northern Iraq six months before the start of the war.

What emerges are astonishingly intimate portraits: President Bush in war cabinet meetings and in private conversation; Dick Cheney, the focused and driven vice president; Colin Powell, the conflicted and cautious secretary of state; Donald Rumsfeld, the controlling war technocrat; George Tenet, the activist CIA director; Tommy Franks, the profane and demanding general; Condoleezza Rice, the ever-present referee and national security adviser; Karl Rove, the hands-on political strategist; other key members of the White House staff and congressional leadership; and foreign leaders ranging from British Prime Minister Blair to Russian President Putin.

Plan of Attack provides new details on the intelligence assessments of Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction and the planning for the war’s aftermath.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Instantly essential...By far the most intimate glimpse we have been granted of the Bush White House, and the administration’s defining moment.”

    New York Times

  • “Bob Woodward is the most accomplished political reporter of his generation, and Plan of Attack gives us the best glimpse of life in our republican court that we are likely to have until the principals retire to their private estates and avenge themselves on their rivals by writing memoirs.”

    Washington Post

  • “A remarkable book, one that fulfills the too often ephemeral promise of what has come to be called investigative journalism....The American people seldom have been given this clear a window on their government’s most sensitive deliberations.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Richly detailed, awesomely sourced...a granular record of the nation’s march to war with Iraq, gleaned from interviews, memos, phone records, and PowerPoint presentations.”

    Christian Science Monitor

  • A #1 New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Taruia | 2/20/2014

    " The second in Bob Woodward's treatise on the various US wars (well Iraq and Afghanistan so far, but fingers crossed ... ) during the Bush II and Obama Administrations. This detailed the run up to the Iraq invasion by Bush II and was probably, twice as long as it needed to be. It nicely noted the CIA build-up to the invasion, but did seem to skate around the 'Colin Powell v everyone else' issue which was disappointing because that would have relieved the tedium somewhat. However what dropped the star rating from 3 to 2, was the self-indulgent prologue which did go on for too long and didn't appear to relate to anything. However, regardless, onward to Book Three, I go. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dean | 2/17/2014

    " If you paid attention after 9/11, or more importantly if you didn't pay attention, put this on your list. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jorge | 2/11/2014

    " Fascinating, but depressing. First the administration decides it wants a war. Then, it goes about rationalizing the decision and laying the groundwork for the invasion. Post-invasion, who cares if the publicly issued rationale no longer makes sense? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Timothy R. | 2/3/2014

    " My favorite memory of this book has nothing to do with what's written. When I was going through security at the Frankfurt airport a guard took my book off the X-ray conveyor belt and said in English, with a thick German accent, "Plan of Attack. It's not a real plan, is it?" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen Reintjes | 1/29/2014

    " I liked this best of all the Woodward series on the GWB administration - fascinating look at war planning, actually showed Rumsfield in a positive light IMHO I hate to admit I was impressed with his as portrayed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg | 1/27/2014

    " Unfortunately, it didn't take long for me to realize this was abridged and it definitely impacted my enjoyment. It was quick and choppy and I'm confident when expanded from 6 to 14 CDs, a more complete picture is painted. Brief as it was, I enjoyed learning a bit more about these events though most was not new to me. I like Woodward's style and, for the most part, objectivity, in presenting accounts of recent history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 1/26/2014

    " Again, Woodward does an excellent job writing what happened without dealing too much in conjecture. Excellent book if you want to know how we got into the mess we're into in Iraq. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jerry Landry | 1/20/2014

    " Much more critical of the administration than Bush at War. It's amazing -- while I was reading this book, I was thinking back to where I was when all of these events were going on. Woodward draws readers back to that time and the behind the scene decision making quite well. His style is for the most part smooth flowing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellis | 1/18/2014

    " In this book, Woodward delivers a very uncritical report of the events during and after 9/11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lincoln | 1/12/2014

    " Maybe I think too highly of Bob Woodward. Maybe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa Andrews | 1/9/2014

    " The Bush Administration is arrogant, evil, and will burn in hell--all of them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Douglas Graney | 1/6/2014

    " I've read almost all of Woodward's political books. If you want to be "inside the room" get these. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris Andonian | 12/16/2013

    " Good stuff that confirmed my suspicions and verified my disappointment/anger towards the current administration. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emiliano Orencia | 11/22/2013

    " Mirrors and probably authenticates the numerous books regarding the War in Iraq and the missteps of this administration to take America there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Corey | 11/2/2013

    " Interesting read on various actors in the lead up to Iraq War. Particulary interesting is the Cheney-Powell rivalry. A must read now that we have some perspective 9-10 years later. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michelle | 10/1/2013

    " May 2004 Book Club Selection - I wish I had had more time to focus on this b ook because I did not complete it and if I had more energy I would have completed it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas | 8/25/2013

    " I switched from being a Republican to Democrat (for reasons of pragmatism, but I am really socialist). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sab | 1/17/2013

    " Tell it how it is. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hedy | 10/2/2012

    " Woodward does a decent job of presenting the facts, which are a bit scary. Here are three names that you will remember after reading this book: Cheney, Rumsfeld, and Franks. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrice Maltais | 2/9/2012

    " Not critical enough. You get the feeling Woodward doesn't want to be too hard on the White House so he won't lose his access. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russ Page | 1/29/2012

    " Woodward does an amazing job of not making you feel like he's a covert publicist for one of the political parties. Very objective and insightful information that will make you think differently about all the garbage you read in the main stream media. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vickie T | 10/24/2011

    " A good accounty of how we ended up in Iraq. Very scary. How many more days until Bush is gone? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackson | 6/28/2011

    " More of the same from Bush at War. It continues the story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Krystina | 5/30/2011

    " Somewhat interesting, although there is more than enough strong and distasteful language. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cario | 11/28/2010

    " Woodward provides a very detailed account of the planning leading up to the Iraq War during the first term of George W. Bush. He pulls no punches in the portrayal of the major players involved. He is definitely an endangered species these days. A real journalist. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 haetmonger | 11/12/2010

    " "Could we [get rid of Hussein] by covert means?" the president asked.
    The answer was no.
    "Darn!" the president recalled thinking. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 9/25/2010

    " Neutral and informative. I'm amazed at how the author describes the inner workings of the decision of going to Iraq without coming across too biased. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackson | 4/18/2010

    " More of the same from Bush at War. It continues the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Russ | 7/8/2009

    " Woodward does an amazing job of not making you feel like he's a covert publicist for one of the political parties. Very objective and insightful information that will make you think differently about all the garbage you read in the main stream media. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eben | 5/27/2009

    " glad I did not have to make those choices or face those challenges!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Thomas | 2/6/2009

    " I switched from being a Republican to Democrat (for reasons of pragmatism, but I am really socialist). "

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About the Author
Author Bob Woodward

Bob Woodward is an associate editor at the Washington Post, where he has worked for almost forty years. He has shared in two Pulitzer Prizes, first for the Post’s coverage of the Watergate scandal and later for coverage of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. He has authored or coauthored a number of nationally bestselling nonfiction books, including Obama’s Wars, The War Within, Bush at War, and others. Before becoming a journalist, Woodward worked as a communications officer in the US Navy.

About the Narrator

Boyd Gaines’ many film credits include Second Best, I’m Not Rappaport, Heartbreak Ridge, Fame, and Porky’s. He’s won two Tony Awards for performances in the The Heidi Chronicles and the musical She Loves Me. On television he’s appeared in A Woman Called Jackie, A Son’s Promise, and in the popular series One Day at a Time.