War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals

War in a Time of Peace Bush Clinton and the Generals In this successor to his nat l bestseller The Best the Brightest Halberstam describes in fascinating human detail how the shadow of the Cold War still hangs over American foreign policy how domesti

  • Title: War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals
  • Author: David Halberstam
  • ISBN: 9780641540134
  • Page: 417
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In this successor to his 1 nat l bestseller The Best the Brightest, Halberstam describes in fascinating human detail how the shadow of the Cold War still hangs over American foreign policy how domestic politics have determined our role as a world power More than 25 years ago he told the story of the men who conceived executed the Vietnam War Now theIn this successor to his 1 nat l bestseller The Best the Brightest, Halberstam describes in fascinating human detail how the shadow of the Cold War still hangs over American foreign policy how domestic politics have determined our role as a world power More than 25 years ago he told the story of the men who conceived executed the Vietnam War Now the Pulitzer Prize winning author has written another chronicle of Washington politics, this time exploring the complex dynamics of foreign policy in post Cold War America Halberstam evokes the internecine conflicts, the untrammeled egos the struggles for dominance among the key figures in the White House, the State Department the military He shows how the decisions of men who served in the Vietnam War such as Gen Colin Powell presidential advisers Richard Holbrooke Anthony Lake those who didn t have shaped American politics policy makers perhaps most notably, President Clinton s placing, for the 1st time in 50 years, domestic issues over foreign policy With his ability to find the real story behind the headlines, he shows how current events in the Balkans, Somalia Haiti reflect American politics foreign policy He discusses the repercussions in Washington on policy makers from two different administrations the wariness of the American military to become caught again in an inconclusive ground war the frustrations of civilian advisers, most of whom have never served in the military the effects these conflicting forces have on the American commander in Kosovo, Gen Wes Clark Sweeping deep, War in a Time of Peace provides portraits of Clinton, Bush, Reagan, Kissinger, James Baker, Dick Cheney, Madeleine Albright others, to reveal modern political America.

    One thought on “War in a Time of Peace: Bush, Clinton and the Generals”

    1. David Halberstam produces here a useful historical document, as an experienced journalist who undertook many primary source interviews to get some sense of the conflicts between the military and the political leadership over policy and power that took place under Bush I and Clinton (I).The narrative is dominated by the crisis in Yugoslavia. This helped to define the new liberal internationalism that emerged in subsequent years (although Halberstam was not to know this). The book might be seen an [...]

    2. In some ways very useful and interesting, in others frustrating and unoriginal. Halberstam is obviously a tremendous writer, and his flair and imagination come across strongly in this book. He covers the history of US foreign intervention, especially the debate over humanitarian intervention in Bosnia, Kosovo, Somalia, and Haiti. Halberstam does a great job explaining conflicts between and within civilian authorities and the military. In general, it was the military that was most hesitant to get [...]

    3. Halberstam's books are sweeping historical tomes that are written in a conversational style, backed up by his perspicacious probing of the personalities that are involved in (usually) tumultuous events. In War in a Time of Peace his scope is the various theatres of US military involvement in the otherwise market economy obsessed nineties—beginning with the Grand Coalition of the First Gulf War and proceeding to an in-depth look at the sometimes scattershot foreign policy towards the Balkan con [...]

    4. In this detailed look at American foreign policy during the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations, David Halberstam focuses his attention on three primary areas of foreign policy crises for the United States--ethnic warfare in the Balkans, the continuing tensions in the Middle East, and bloody confrontations in Africa. And in developing his narrative, Halberstam creates detailed word portraits of the primary players in both the political and military spheres including Presidents Reag [...]

    5. This is an excellent book about foreign policy issues that faced the United States after the fall of the soviet empire. No longer were issues black and white but now were often humanitarian issues or peace keeping. In these situations the countries involved often were not sympathetic situations. Bosnia, Kosovo , Somalia and Haiti were all situations where neither side were very likable The book details the characters involved in the issues from both sides. Also halberstam follows the internal st [...]

    6. Thorough explanation of the U.S. involvement in Yugoslavia, Haiti, Somalia, and Rwanda during the Bush and Clinton presidencies

    7. I think I have tried reading this book on 5 separate occasions, and, for whatever reason, it loses my interest pretty quickly.

    8. When I discovered this book, I decided I had to read it - a book on American foreign policy in the 1990s - the period that I lived through but in terms of news primarily remember elections and the impeachment debacle. The history classes in high school and college never got this far, fizzling to a close around Reagan and the collapse of the Soviet Union and German reunification if they got that far. A whole lot has happened since.Halberstam's account does a good job filling in the blanks, and ga [...]

    9. One of my favorite authors of all time is David Halberstam, so it may be a little bias for me to give this a four star review. It's probably a little closer to a 3.5 or 3. When I found this book used in San Francisco, I picked it up immediately. I talked with a lady and her husband and she asked if I had read it. She said the book was great and she mentioned a few other books of Halberstam's that were also good such as The Best and the Brightest and The Powers that Be. I told her that the only p [...]

    10. I have some reservations giving this book four stars due to frustration with what I was expecting. I feel that the book really doesn't provide the history of "Bush, Clinton and the Generals" as presented in the title. It really is more about Bush, Clinton, the Generals, the Mindnumbing Reticence to Get Involved in the Balkans, and Some Other Things That Happened in the 90s.As someone who is interested in Africa, the short attention given to Rwanda is frustrating. Perhaps Halberstam just didn't h [...]

    11. War in a Time of Peace is a reference to the idea that post-Cold War, America has been increasingly fighting or engaging in small, proxy wars that do not seem to present any real national security threats to the country. The soldiers who fight and sacrifice represent a small part of the country and the wars are fought with increased sophistication to prevent American casualties and make it seem like it is not really a war, but rather akin to a video game. Policy makers are hesitant to fight thes [...]

    12. Another solid effort by Halberstam. He does a good job of fleshing out the various competing factions within the Bush and Clinton administrations, primarily concerning whether (and how) to utilize the military to put an end to Slobodan Milosevic's ethnic cleansing campaings in Bosnia and Kosovo. Both administrations featured doves and hawks. Added to that, the Joint Chiefs of Staff usually seemed to be at odds with the White House, and even at odds with some of its own field commanders. Halberst [...]

    13. David Halberstam may have mistimed his return to US foreign policy, but we benefit. Halberstam, the author of the Best and the Brightest, one of the most famous appraisals of the Vietnam disaster, chose to write this in-depth analysis of the politics of the period following the cold war up to September 11. The politics of the Clinton era, the first Gulf War, Somalia, and above all, the disintegration of Yugoslavia certainly make for interesting reading. His reasoned analysis of the period follow [...]

    14. I really liked this. This was the first book I'd read by Halberstam (unlike seemingly everyone else who read Best and the Brightest first) and I really enjoyed his writing style. He does a great job covering an oft-forgotten foreign policy crisis, the Yugoslavian conflict. Halberstam conducted interviews of something like 100 people (it might even be more) involved in the Balkan crisis to compile this book, so he is able to write about a variety of perspectives from the Pentagon to the State Dep [...]

    15. I read this book while in Poland where people seem to think about foreign policy much more than the average U.S. citizen. Halberstam describes this lack of interest as Clinton campaigns for the Presidency. "It's the economy" that matters, and it is what Clinton focuses on even as Yugoslavia breaks apart and tragedies occur in Rwanda and Somalia. In the afterward, Halberstam suggests that Bush 2 was even less interested in foreign policy than Clinton, with even more tragic consequences. This book [...]

    16. War in a time of peace is a well written book that explores the key people in foreign policy in Clinton's administration (and to a lesser degree, Bush Senior's administration as well), details the foreign policy decision making policy (which was not as clear cut as I originally imagined), and how the key political and military personalities around Clinton dealt with foreign policy issues, mainly the crisis in the Balkans (Somalia, and Haiti are both covered with less detail. This sort of the boo [...]

    17. [2/25/2015]Update: A rereading of this book for reference to later works on similar topics.Could be four stars if it were not that Halberstam gets a bit off course a place or two in this tale. There are some accepted truths about everyone's behavior and motivation that I'm finding more and more are perhaps not as absolute as I once believed ranging from Clinton's relationship with the military to the ineptitude of Bush. The author does use he great skill to weave a path through the troubling era [...]

    18. Halberstam is a master at using two hundred words when twenty will do, but his book is still an important look into the development of post-Cold War foreign policy, and the political, personal, and institutional factors that shaped foreign policy under Bush I and Clinton I. The fiascos in Bosnia, Somalia, and Rwanda cry out for explanation, and many worthy books have been written about it, but this one adds a compelling look at the forces that made America, the most powerful military force of th [...]

    19. Another masterpiece by a master of investigative reporting. This is a must read for anyone interested in how America was dealing with the rest of the world from the fall of the Berlin wall to the 2000 election. The best compliments I can give to this book are that he gives fresh incite into a decade that I grew up in yet knew so little about. He gives a balanced perspective on the Clinton presidency, which has been nearly mythologized, for both good and ill, due to the poor decisions of the Bush [...]

    20. This book is full of interesting stuff, mostly about the wars in the Balkans in the 90's but also small sections on Haiti, Rwanda, and Somalia. But I believe David Halberstam wrote it stream-of-conscious style with no outline or redrafts, and that it went straight from his typewriter to the bookstore with never the hand of an editor to slow it down. He repeats himself constantly, chapters begin, ramble aimlessly, and are cut off, and the punctuation and grammar are outrageous. At one point there [...]

    21. Halberstam is a very good historical narrator, although he is repetitive and didactic and prone to go off on digressions that are clearly of interest to him but not so much to the reader interested in the titled subject. He also is clearly biased - his disdain for people, policies and ideas with which he disagrees crops up repeatedly, as does his editorializing and his enamored focus on journalists throughout. But if you can overlook that, the history is good, the events are interesting, and the [...]

    22. An interesting recounting the run-up to the wars in the Balkans and the interplay of Clinton, his Secretaries of State and Defense and the generals assigned to do battle. Once again it makes the reader wonder how the U.S. comes out on top given all the egos, ineptness and conflicts that are present in the players and arena. The debacle of the Viet Nam war played a roll in decisions made in the wars in the Balkans, just as events there should have greater importance in the wars that have followed [...]

    23. David Halberstam delivers another masterpiece in his book on how the Balkan crisis came about. This book is very fair condemning Bush Sr, Clinton and all of the generals including Colin Powell for their actions in this area. The United States dropped the ball in stabilizing this region leaving it to the European Union to debate about. Our unwillingness to commit troops has led to more than a decade of crisis and Halberstam delivers the story in great detail. Highly recommend if you are just star [...]

    24. I gave this a five out of five simply because it was all so new to me and I learned a lot. I should probably go and read some more about this period to get some perspective, but I shall in good timeWhat I got out of this was a lot of background on the politics and decision making of the Bush I and Clinton administrations. A much more in depth discussion and analysis than you get on the news.

    25. This is a must read for every American who thinks they know something about the 90s, especially Democrats who have this heroic image of Clinton in their head. Halberstam has to be one of the most honest journalist/authors I have ever read. He gives the unfettered truth of what really went on militarily during the 90s. I was fascinated at the things I learned about Clinton and only reinforced what I thought about him.

    26. I learned a lot about what happened behind the scenes in Washington as the Balkans fell apart. The book also offers great insight about Bush I and Clinton's campaigns, at least for those of us who were too young/apathetic at the time to pay close attention. Like any political book, this is proof that politicians' careers never die, as names like Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell, Wolfowitz and Hill (Christopher R chief negotiator w/North Korea) resurface in today's headlines.

    27. What is the nature of the wars that the US has been involved in since the Cold War ended? What roles did Bush Sr, Clinton, the generals and the policy makers play? This book discusses the Gulf War, Somalia, Bosnia/Kosovo, etc.l the public & behind the scenes manipulations & mistakes are here, as well as personalities of the players.

    28. I freaking loved The Best and the Brightest, and his follow-up on the 90's, published the week of 9/11 is fascinating for it shows how little anyone (especially GWB and Clinton) saw 9/11 coming. Both Clinton and Bush 43 were completely ignorant and ambivalent to foreign policy and it got both of them.

    29. This very important book illuminates the military immediately before George W. Bush takes over the presidency; as such, it illuminates successes and failures of the Clinton era, and those since the Best and brightest era. Read it!Halberstam, as in his Best and the Brightest, interprets current history. Look at how important this became!

    30. What a tragedy that readers of history can no longer learn and enjoy from the writings of this thorough, definitive author. This book explores American policy from Bush 41, Clinton and briefly to Bush 43, the effect of VietNam on older generation of policy makers to post cold war emphasis on domestic rather than foreign policy. Excellent portraits of the people in power during this period.

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