“Essential . . . one for the ages . . . a must read for all who care about presidential power.” —The Washington Post “Authoritative . . . The most comprehensive account yet of that smoldering wreck of foreign policy, one that haunts us today.” —LA Times One of BookPage's Best Books of 2020 To Start a War paints a vivid and indelible picture of a decision-making process that was fatally compromised by a combination of post-9/11 fear and paranoia, rank naïveté, craven groupthink, and a set of actors with idées fixes who gamed the process relentlessly. Everything was believed; nothing was true. Robert Draper’s fair-mindedness and deep understanding of the principal actors suffuse his account, as does a storytelling genius that is close to sorcery. There are no cheap shots here, which makes the ultimate conclusion all the more damning. In the spirit of Barbara W. Tuchman’s The Guns of August and Marc Bloch’s Strange Defeat, To Start A War will stand as the definitive account of a collective scurrying for evidence that would prove to be not just dubious but entirely false—evidence that was then used to justify a verdict that led to hundreds of thousands of deaths and a flood tide of chaos in the Middle East that shows no signs of ebbing.