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Publisher's Summary

In December 2003, after one of the largest, most aggressive manhunts in history, US military forces captured Iraqi president Saddam Hussein near his hometown of Tikrit. Beset by body-double rumors and false alarms during a nine-month search, the Bush administration needed positive identification of the prisoner before it could make the announcement that would rocket around the world.
At the time John Nixon was a senior CIA leadership analyst who had spent years studying the Iraqi dictator. Called upon to make the official ID, Nixon looked for telltale scars and tribal tattoos and asked Hussein a list of questions only he could answer. The man was indeed Saddam Hussein, but, as Nixon learned in the ensuing weeks, both he and America had greatly misunderstood just who Saddam Hussein really was.
Debriefing the President presents an astounding, candid portrait of one of our era's most notorious strongmen. Nixon, the first man to conduct a prolonged interrogation of Hussein after his capture, offers expert insight into the history and mind of America's most enigmatic enemy. After years of parsing Hussein's leadership from afar, Nixon faithfully recounts his debriefing sessions and subsequently strips away the mythology surrounding an equally brutal and complex man. His account is not an apology but a sobering examination of how preconceived ideas led Washington policymakers - and the Bush White House - astray. Unflinching and unprecedented, Debriefing the President exposes a fundamental misreading of one of the modern world's most central figures and presents a new narrative that boldly counters the received account.
©2016 John Nixon (P)2016 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Doug on 01-10-17

Not What You Think It Is

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yeah, I guess so - it's under 6 hours ,,,

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

I bought this book to hear the story of Saddam Hussein's interrogation, and those parts I found interesting, Unfortunately, Nixon devotes the last 40% of the book to a description of the intelligence community in Washington and his dislike of many of its members. That would have been better used in a separate book.

What does John Nixon bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Not much - he's obviously not a professional narrator

Could you see Debriefing the President being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

The parts containing Hussein would be interesting. The rest, not so much

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By kevin obrien on 01-10-17

Everything redacted

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Every other paragraph starts with "this was redacted" makes it impossible to get into a rhythm and leaves you more curious than before you bought yhe book

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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