As Americans wait six seemingly endless months for the US presidential election, they will consider the military legacy of President George Bush and look ahead for answers: how will the next leader protect America and its national interests? Will the new president create polices that safeguard the country against the threat of terrorism without alienating the Islamic world? How will the new president restore the strength of the military to meet future challenges?
“The next president will face the daunting challenges of resurrecting America’s reputation, mending relations with long-time allies and friends and working for a Middle East peace settlement in that vital region,” according to Dr. Robert Swansbrough, whose new book Test by Fire: The War Presidency of George W. Bush, was just published by Palgrave Macmillan. Swansbrough is Associate Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Political Science at The University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
Swansbrough takes a close look at how George W. Bush—a wisecracking cutup, mediocre student, failed oil patch entrepreneur and fighter pilot in the Texas Air National Guard’s “Champagne Unit”—became a War President. Did Bush go too far in wielding his powers as a War President, and what will be Bush’s place in history for his leadership against terrorism?
“This book tells a story that is a must-read for all Americans,” said David Gray Adler, Professor of Political Science, Idaho State University.
“George W. Bush’s fateful foreign policy decisions pose questions that historians and political scientists will be trying to answer for decades to come,” said Dr. Gary Jacobson, professor of political science, University of California, San Diego. “Using the conceptual tools of political science and the best information currently available, Robert Swansbrough gives this enterprise a strong start with this thorough, nuanced examination of both Bush and his administration’s decision-making processes. Test by Fire is an excellent choice for courses on the presidency as well as enlightening reading for anyone seeking to understand the Bush presidency.”
In a USA Today/Gallup poll report published in April, 63% of Americans said the United States made a mistake in sending troops to Iraq. Test by Fire examines the Bush administration’s assumptions leading to the invasion of Iraq, execution of war plans, occupation and insurgency, and efforts to create a friendly, stable and democratic government.
Test by Fire also offers readers insights into many of the trouble spots impacted by the Bush administration’s foreign policies: Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, North Korea, Lebanon, Palestine and Pakistan. Swansbrough assesses whether the manner President Bush has pursued the war on terror and promoted democracy in the Middle East has made America more secure or created new challenges for the next president. The Bush administration’s record offers both positive and negative lessons for his successor, according to Swansbrough.
Read more about Test by Fire in Tennessee Alumnus Magazine.