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The Achilles trap : Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and the origins of America's invasion of Iraq  Cover Image Book Book

The Achilles trap : Saddam Hussein, the C.I.A., and the origins of America's invasion of Iraq / Steve Coll.

Coll, Steve, (author.).


"From bestselling and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Steve Coll, the definitive story of the decades-long relationship between the United States and Saddam Hussein, and a deeply researched and news breaking investigation into how human error, cultural miscommunication, and hubris led to one of the greatest geopolitical conflicts of our time When the United States invaded Iraq in 2003, its message was clear: Iraq, under the control of strongman Saddam Hussein, possessed weapons of mass destruction which, if left unchecked, posed grave danger to the world. But when no WMDs were found, the US and its allies were forced to consider that their political and intelligence failures had led to one of the most disastrous conflicts of our time. And a more integral question remained unsolved: Why had Saddam seemingly sacrificed his long reign in power by giving the impression that he possessed hidden stocks of dangerous weapons? The Achilles Trap masterfully untangles the people, ploys of power, and geopolitics that led to America's disastrous war with Iraq, and, for the first time, dramatizes America's fundamental miscalculations during its decades-long relationship with Saddam Hussein. Beginning with Saddam's rise to power in 1979 and the birth of Iraq's secret nuclear weapons program, Steve Coll traces Saddam's motives by way of his inner circle. He brings to life the diplomats, scientists, family members, and generals who had no choice but to defer to their leader-a leader directly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqis, as well as the torture or imprisonment of hundreds of thousands more. This was a man whose reasoning was impossible to reduce to a simple explanation, and the CIA and successive presidential administrations failed to grasp integral nuances of his paranoia, resentments, and inconsistencies - even when the stakes were incredibly high. Calling on unpublished and under-reported sources, interviews with surviving participants, and Saddam's own transcripts and audio files, many of which have never been made public, Coll pulls together an incredibly comprehensive portrait of a man who was convinced the world was out to get him, and acted accordingly. A work of great historical significance, The Achilles Trap is the definitive account of how corruptions of power, lies of diplomacy, and vanity - on both sides - led to avoidable errors of statecraft, ones that would enact immeasurable human suffering and forever change the political landscape as we know it"-- Provided by publisher.

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780525562269
  • ISBN: 0525562265
  • Physical Description: xviii, 556 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2024.

Content descriptions

Bibliography, etc. Note:
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note:
Introduction -- Part one: The enemy of my enemy, December 1979 to August 1990. The physicist and the dictator -- A spy bearing gifts -- A man and the city -- Ambassadors of cynicism -- Department 3000 -- A conspiracy foretold -- Druid leader -- "Who is going to say anything?" -- The prodigal son -- Project 17 -- Part two: The liar's truths, August 1990 to September 2001. Crash programs -- "The situation is under excellent control" -- Iraqi spring -- The liar's truths -- Mr. Max and the Mayfair swindler -- "We need to turn this thing off, now!" -- "There would be a bloodbath" -- Honor among tyrants -- Spy v. spy -- Crime and punishment -- The logic of illusion -- The secret garden -- Part three: Blind man's bluff, September 2001 to March 2003. The pundit -- Cold pitch -- Cracked mirrors -- "Do we have WMD?" -- The edge of the abyss -- Epilogue.
Subject: Iraq War, 2003-2011.
Hussein, Saddam, 1937-2006.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
United States > Politics and government > 2001-2009.
Iraq > Politics and government > 2003-
United States > Foreign relations > Iraq.
Iraq > Foreign relations > United States.
Guerre en Irak, 2003-2011.
États-Unis > Politique et gouvernement > 2001-2009.
Irak > Politique et gouvernement > 2003-
États-Unis > Relations extérieures > Irak.
Irak > Relations extérieures > États-Unis.
HISTORY / Asia / General.
Hussein, Saddam, 1937-2006.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
Diplomatic relations.
Politics and government.
United States.
United States > Politics and government.
Iraq > Politics and government.
United States > Foreign relations.
Iraq > Foreign relations.

Available copies

  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Library. (Show)
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  • 1 of 1 copy available at Homer Public Library.


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Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Homer Public Library 956.7044 COL (Text) 000174065 New Books Available -

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