Book News! – The Last Card: Inside George W. Bush’s Decision to Surge in Iraq


This is the real story of how George W. Bush came to double-down on Iraq in the highest stakes gamble of his entire presidency. Drawing on extensive interviews with nearly thirty senior officials, including President Bush himself, The Last Card offers an unprecedented look into the process by which President Bush overruled much of the military leadership and many of his trusted advisors, and authorized the deployment of roughly 30,000 additional troops to the warzone in a bid to save Iraq from collapse in 2007.

This book developed out of the Collective Memory Project at the SMU Center for Presidential History, an ongoing oral history project dedicated to enhancing the historical and archival record of the George W. Bush presidency. The CPH proudly partnered with colleagues at the Duke University Sanford School of Public Policy, the Clements Center for National Security at the University of Texas at Austin, and the Harvard Kennedy School.

Edited by Timothy Andrews Sayle, Jeffrey A. Engel, Hal Brands and William Inboden.

Click here to purchase and join us on October 22 for a full-day event as we explore the Surge through a daytime symposium featuring members of the Bush administration involved in the decision, scholars who have written assessments of the decision based on these new sources, and an evening keynote address by a special guest.