In This Review

The Iraq War Reader: History, Documents, Opinions
The Iraq War Reader: History, Documents, Opinions
By Micah L. Sifry and Christopher Cerf
Simon and Schuster, 2003, 736 pp

The editors of the well-regarded 1991 anthology The Gulf War Reader have done it again. This new collection of statements by experts, opinion-molders ranging from neoconservatives to liberal internationalists, and the actual decision-makers flows in a smooth chronology, beginning with the run-up to the first U.S.-led war against Saddam Hussein's Iraq. The subsequent selections are organized under several rubrics: the 1991 war and its aftermath, including the issues of sanctions and inspections; the impact of September 11, 2001; the Bush doctrine; the U.S. public and Congress on preemptive war; Washington working with and then going beyond the un; and, finally, "The Future of Iraq" and "The Future of Pax Americana." Appendixes include key UN resolutions and an especially apt "Who's Who of the Iraqi Opposition." The many distinct pieces in this big book blend, like a mosaic, into a dramatic picture of how the U.S. government acted and justified its actions in its extended encounter with Saddam's Iraq -- and what the American public thought of it all.