Legacy of Ashes
By Tim Weiner
This history points to the flaws in intelligence leading up to the Iraq war as merely the latest major misstep by the Central Intelligence Agency, a bureaucracy that has rarely accomplished its central mission since its birth, the author argues. The work, which won a National Book Award, is scathingly critical, carefully researched and smartly written, painting a frightening portrait of a hapless bureaucracy whose drastic miscalculations — from Korea through the Cold War to Vietnam and now Iraq — have cost the United States dearly in blood, treasure, and prestige.
—Michael Kenney / Globe Correspondent