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3.9 out of 5 stars7
3.9 out of 5 stars
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on 22 February 2015
Essential (and sympathetic) reading on the rise to power of the neocon activists and the ideology behind them. Regardless of the sympathy, this text gives you details and references hard to find elsewhere. Hard to out down, it is also a work of reference. Read with Unger's book on the fall of the house of Bush for the broader picture.
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on 30 March 2013
This is an interesting, readable and informative book. However, it only tells half the story and in a deceptive way. It also comes across as sycophantic using the Vulcans' (the Gods of Fire) epithet for themselves rather than something more appropriate such as the Vultures. It depicts Dublya's (G W Bush's)team as evolving it's policy of pre-emptive warfare against Iraq from 9/11 onwards. It also mentions The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) which released its Statement of Principles in 1997 and was signed by 3 of the Vultures, Cheney, Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz (which Mann does also not mention). "The (PNAC's) goal of regime change in Iraq remained the consistent position of PNAC throughout the 1997-2000 Iraq disarmament crisis" (quoted from the Wikipedia article) is also not mentioned by Mann. It is inconceivable that Mann as Senior Writer in Residence to the Centre for Strategic and International Studies would not know who signed or what was contained in the PNAC Statement of Principles. Mann therefore deliberately conceals the under the radar manipulation of the US to war with Iraq by PNAC not to mention it's call for a Pear Harbour event to get the population (9/11) behind a series of other invasions including Lybia, Syria and Iran. The book is therefore an apologist/lighting conductor type operation to deceive the world in general about the hegemonistic ambitions of a hidden cabal in the US.
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on 6 July 2004
A really good book, that gives a detailed description of how the hawks in the white house made their carrier. Knowing their background, I understand more of why they have made the decisions that they have done.
It was quite interesting to read about D. Rumpsfelts carrier, and how he was an unpopular fellow in the Nixon staff that managed to slide away from the watergate-scandale. I would strongly recommend this book for anyone who is interested in american and international politics.
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on 30 April 2016
It's an excellent book. I recommend it to any students of foreign policy, politicians, and diplomats to read. I really enjoyed reading it, picked up a lot of tips, and will add the book to my library.
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on 30 July 2014
An interesting read covering the 'Vulcans' rise over 30 years in some cases. I found it a 'light' read and expected a more in depth and insider analysis of this group of politicians.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 4 February 2005
I enjoyed this very much because of the history it gives on Rumsfeld, Cheney, Powell and Rice etc. It has nothing much to say about Bush, he had no experience of national politics except what he learned from Dad it seems. In 2000 he didn't know the names of the prime ministers of India or Pakistan, and thought the Taliban was a pop group.
Rumsfeld and Cheney have been big in the Republican party since Nixon's day and noone could get on with Rumsfeld then either. The thing about Cheney seems to be that he doesn't say much but however right wing you think he is you're probably underestimating it. Armitage turns out to be a thug with a heart of gold, couldn't quite figure him out. Rice doesn't seem to have any opinions of her own. Powell comes across as thorough, a great manager, in favour of the military but cautious, and without him all the others (except Armitage)wouldn't be able to organise their way out of a military paper bag. Wolfowitz I wasn't expecting to like but he is the intellectual of the group and one wonders just how much of the world view these guys have developed is down to him. He is not portrayed as as hawkish as one generally assumes, and in some ways cautious and even timid. However he is the guy who has been going on about getting control of Iraq even since before Saddam came to power.
There is also some fascinating stuff about how Rumsfeld, Cheney and then Reagan all came to dominate the party and push theKissinger and Nixon influence aside as too liberal (???). Reagan of course was his own man and wound up doing some very unRepublican stuff with Gorbachev. Basically this is a fascinating history of the Republican party in modern times and great if you want to understand where they're coming from. But it doesn't answer many questions about Bush's own philosophy, and exactly how much he is influenced by whom.
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on 3 August 2004
This book provides a great insight into the inner circle of President G W Bush's war cabinet, or the Vulcan's as they came to be known. It traces each member of the Vulcan's careers, highlighting people and events which shaped their ways of thinking and of their subsequent views and outlook on foreign policy in it's direction and implementation. After reading this book it was no longer possible to view key players such as Rumsfeld or Wolfowitz as the caricatures that they have been portrayed as by tv and print media. Rather things become to be seen in different shades of grey and not just black and white.

One important thing to point out to readers is that this books focus is specifically upon the 'principles' within Bush's foreign policy circle and NOT upon President Bush himself. If you are after something specific about President Bush then look elsewhere such as 'Bush at War' by Bob Woodward to name but one.

Rise of the Vulcan's is a great place to start for those interested in the cast of characters within the Bush Administration. It's most important asset is that it shows in detail the relationships between those who are known as the Vulcan's. An excellent work whatever your view on the current US administration may be. Five stars all the way!
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