But since our book on Afghanistan (and Libya) is coming out at the same time as Gates's book on Afghanistan (and Iraq and other stuff), let me highlight a few differences that make the Dave and Steve book a better use of your book-buying dollar.
- Gates's memoir has all that nasty finger-pointing gossip that is fun to read but makes you feel dirty for enjoying it. Our book has almost none of that, so it has none of the bitter after-taste.
- Gates's book is just going to provide a heap of confirmation bias as people will read into his book whatever they want to see--criticisms of Bush, criticisms of Obama, that Gates was flawed, etc. Our book has none of that--just cool social science that will create new biases.
- Gates focuses on one country, whereas we focus on ten and cover more in shorter cuts. So, if you like American exceptionalism, buy his book. If you like keen comparative analyses, then buy ours.
- Gates's book is more than twice as long and has pictures; our book is punchy, concise and has cool tables and figures.
Anyhow, Gates's does look to be quite interesting although you already have my recommendation on what to read....