The George W. Bush Years

Reports and commentary by James Fallows, Mark Bowden, Christopher Hitchens, Pat Buchanan, Robert D. Kaplan, and others.

What Rumsfeld Got Right (July/August 2008)
By Robert D. Kaplan
How Donald Rumsfeld remade the U.S. military for a more uncertain world.

Redeeming Dubya (June 2008)
By Ross Douthat
The national memory often confuses hubris with greatness. That's good news for George W. Bush.

The Return of the Paranoid Style (April 2008)
By Ross Douthat
How the Iraq War and George W. Bush sent the movie industry back to its favorite era—the 1970s

Commanding Heights (October 2007)
By Charlie Savage
Has presidential power reached its zenith under Bush? Don’t bet on it.

Classify This (September 2007)
By Graeme Wood
The Bush administration's pathological hiding of information

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Interviews: "The World According to Rove"
(August 14, 2007)
Atlantic senior editor Joshua Green discusses Karl Rove's political fantasies and fatal mistakes.

The Rove Presidency (September 2007)
By Joshua Green
Karl Rove had the plan, the power, and the historic chance to remake American politics. What went wrong?

Unwinding Bush (October 2006)
By Jonathan Rauch
How long will it take to fix his mistakes?

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Interviews: "Travels With Condi"
(May 1, 2007)
David Samuels discusses his travels accompanying Condoleezza Rice, and her ambitious efforts to secure peace in the Middle East.

Grand Illusions (June 2007)
By Joshua Green
With Rumsfeld and Powell gone, and Cheney's power diminished, this is Condoleezza Rice’s moment. Can she salvage America's standing in the Middle East—and defuse the threat of a nuclear Iran? Behind the curtain in Washington and Jerusalem with the secretary of state.

Eyes Wide Shut (November 2006)
By Ilana Ozernoy
For more than a year, Karen Hughes has been trying to sell George Bush's America to the Middle East. Here’s why it isn’t working.

Aural History (June 2006)
By Christopher Hitchens
"Woodward has presented an account that not only was out of date almost as soon as it was published but also conveys a story line that is misleading from first to last." A review of Bob Woodward's Bush at War.

The Man Who Would Be King (June 2006)
By Stuart Taylor Jr.
George W. Bush threatens creeping autocracy unless Congress and the courts act jointly—and forcefully—to stop him

Who Has Bush's Ear? (May 2006)
The Atlantic recently asked members of Congress about their perceptions of influence in the White House

Wolfowitz: The Exit Interviews (July/August 2005)
By Mark Bowden
As he prepared to leave office, the deputy secretary of defense engaged in a series of conversations with the author on Iraq, democracy, intelligence, 9/11, and how he believes America must make its way in the world

What "W" Owes to "WW" (March 2005)
By David M. Kennedy
President Bush may not even know it, but he can trace his view of the world to Woodrow Wilson, who defined a diplomatic destiny for America that we can't escape

Karl Rove in Corner (November 2004)
By Joshua Green
Karl Rove is at his most formidable when running close races, and his skills would be notable even if he used no extreme methods. But use them he does.

When George Meets John (July/August 2004)
By James Fallows
"Bush has been far more skillful in his debating career than is generally appreciated, and his successes in that realm put his widely noted lack of eloquence in a different light."

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Interviews: "The Softer Side of Ashcroft"
(March 12, 20034)
Jeffrey Rosen argues that it is not social conservatism but a quest for popular approval that drives John Ashcroft's public life.

John Ashcroft's Permanent Campaign (April 2004)
By Jeffrey Rosen
In the liberal imagination Attorney General John Ashcroft is an authoritarian and a religious zealot, bent on sacrificing liberty to achieve the illusion of safety from terror. But those who see Ashcroft as a zealot are missing Ashcroft the canny politician—a man beholden to both his polls and his God.

Blind Into Baghdad (January/February 2004)
By James Fallows
The U.S. occupation of Iraq is a debacle not because the government did no planning but because a vast amount of expert planning was willfully ignored by the people in charge. The inside story of a historic failure.

Four More Years? (September 2003)
By Patrick J. Buchanan
The man who challenged the first President Bush considers the second President Bush—and the invincibility question.

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Interviews: "What Makes W. Tick?"
(March 11, 2003)
The historian and journalist Richard Brookhiser weighs in on George W. Bush—his management style, his mean streak, his religiosity, and his recovery from alcoholism

Close Up: The Mind of George W. Bush (April 2003)
By Richard Brookhiser
What are Bush's gifts and limitations as a decision-maker? The author, a journalist and a historian, speaks to people who have known the President for many years.

The Unilateralist (March 2002)
By James Fallows
A conversation with Paul Wolfowitz.

George W., Knight of Eulogia (May 2000)
By Alexandra Robbins
A rare look inside Skull and Bones, the Yale secret society and sometime haunt of the presumptive Republican nominee for President.