THE FOURTH STAR
Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the
Future of the United States Army
by DAVID CLOUD and GREG JAFFE
They were four exceptional soldiers, a new generation asked to save an army that had been hollowed out after Vietnam. They survived the military’s brutal winnowing to reach its top echelon. They became the Army’s most influential generals in the crucible of Iraq.
“This is the best book I have read on the military in a long time. It is a sparkling account of today’s U.S. Army-a work of art that offers novelistic details but also carries the impact of well-reported fact. I learned something on nearly every page, and much of it astonished me.” —Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times bestselling author of Fiasco and The Gamble
“Must reading…A remarkably candid portrait of four colorful personalities that shows how the world’s largest corporation, the U.S. Army, molds its top leaders.” —Bing West, author of The Village, No True Glory and The Strongest Tribe
“Impressively profiles four generals who have earned the fourth star…also deals a blow to any monolithic conception of the “military mind,” a balloon that cannot be deflated too often.” —Booklist
“Insightful…a perceptive look at intelligent, capable generals trying their best.” —Kirkus Reviews
In THE FOURTH STAR: Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army (Crown; October 13, 2009), David Cloud and Greg Jaffe show how the American military elevates the best and brightest to power. Cloud, who was most recently the chief national security writer at Politico.com and formerly the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times, and Jaffe, the Pentagon correspondent at the Washington Post (who previously held the same position at the Wall Street Journal), obtained full access to Iraq’s most influential generals as well as to their family members and subordinates. The result is a detailed portrait of these remarkable men and the U.S. Army that no newspaper or magazine article could capture and no book, until now, has attempted.
THE FOURTH STAR follows:
• General David Petraeus, a driven soldier-scholar. Determined to reach the Army’s summit almost since the day he entered West Point, he sometimes alienated peers with his ambition and competitiveness. When he finally got his chance in Iraq, he-more than anyone-changed the Army’s perception of what was possible.
• General John Abizaid, one of the Army’s most brilliant minds. Fluent in Arabic, he forged an unconventional path in the military to make himself an expert on the Middle East, but this unique background made him skeptical of the war he found himself leading.
• General George Casey Jr., the son of the highest-ranking general to be killed in the Vietnam War. Casey had grown up in the Army and won praise for his common touch and skill as a soldier. He was determined not to repeat the mistakes of Vietnam, but would take much of the blame as Iraq collapsed around him.
• General Peter Chiarelli, an emotional, take-charge leader who, more than any other senior officer, felt the sting of the Army’s failures in Iraq. He drove his soldiers, the chain of command, and the U.S. government to rethink its occupation plans-yet rarely achieved the results he sought.
Collectively, their lives tell the story of the Army over the last four decades and illuminate the path it must travel to protect the nation over the next century. The careers of this elite quartet show how the most powerful military force in the world entered a major war unprepared and how the Army, drawing on a reservoir of talent that few thought it possessed, saved itself from crushing defeat against a ruthless, low-tech foe.
Masterfully written and richly reported, THE FOURTH STAR ranges far beyond today’s battlefields, evoking the Army’s tumultuous history since Vietnam through these four captivating lives and ultimately revealing a fascinating irony: In an institution that prizes obedience, the most effective warriors are often those who dare to question the prevailing orthodoxy and in doing so redefine the American way of war.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
David Cloud was most recently he was chief national security writer at Politico.com and prior to that was the Pentagon correspondent for the New York Times. He joined the Times after seven years at the Wall Street Journal, where he covered national security and intelligence issues. He has also worked at the Chicago Tribune, where he covered foreign affairs, and at Congressional Quarterly. In 2002 he was a co-recipient of the Jesse Laventhol Prize awarded by the American Society of Newspaper Editors for coverage of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks. He is a graduate of the College of William and Mary.
Greg Jaffe is the Pentagon correspondent at the Washington Post and held the same position at the Wall Street Journal. In 1994 he was a Pulitzer finalist for a series of stories he authored on the Southern Poverty Law Center, and in 1999 he was part of a team of reporters that won the Pulitzer for national reporting. He is a two-time winner of the National Journalism Award, presented by the Scripps Howard Foundation. He also won the Gerald R. Ford Award for coverage of national defense, the National Headliner Award for beat reporting, and the top prize awarded by the Military Reporters and Editors group. He is a graduate of Williams College and has a master’s degree in journalism from Columbia University.
ABOUT THE BOOK
THE FOURTH STAR
Four Generals and the Epic Struggle for the Future of the United States Army
By David Cloud and Greg Jaffe
On-sale date: October 13, 2009
For more information, or to schedule interviews with David Cloud and Greg Jaffe, please contact:
Courtney Greenhalgh, Publicity Manager // 212.782.8971 // firstname.lastname@example.org
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