The Book

The Endgame is Michael R. Gordon and General Bernard E. Trainor’s most ambitious, comprehensive, and prodigiously researched book to date.  It is the first comprehensive account of the Iraq War—from the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003 to the withdrawal of American troops in December 2011 and even beyond.

Over three years in the making, The Endgame incorporates a wealth of previously undisclosed material that sheds new light on the war.  Drawing on a  trove of highly classified, still-secret government documents, Gordon and Trainor provide a vivid blow-by-blow account of closed door deliberations as well as the fighting, taking the reader inside crucial deliberations in Baghdad, Washington, and even Tehran.

Like their previous book on Iraq, the New York Times bestseller Cobra II, The Endgame is informed by interviews with key figures in the White House, the military, the State and Defense Departments, and the intelligence community.  Strikingly, it also includes the perspectives of senior Iraqi leaders: Sunni and Shiite politicians, Kurdish leaders, tribal sheikhs, former insurgents, Sadrists, and Iraqi military officers, whose stories have heretofore remained untold despite their critical roles in the struggle to end Iraq’s violent political turmoil. By utilizing classified intelligence assessments, captured documents, and interrogation reports, Gordon and Trainor also paint a picture of the elusive militias, Al-Qaeda cells, and foreign fighters who fought against U.S. and Iraqi troops.

The Endgame is as riveting as it is revealing.  It deftly pieces together the puzzle of American, Iraqi, and Iranian activities in Iraq, forming a picture that helps explain each side’s larger objectives.  The result is a compelling account that is equal parts war, diplomatic intrigue, and political struggle–the story of more than eight years of war that will have a profound influence on American policy and the Middle East for decades to come.