Lid off White House secrets

U.S. journalist Bob Woodward's fourth book on President George W. Bush is titled The War Within: A Secret White House History 2006-2008 and will be released on September 8.

Woodward is well known for his investigative work with fellow reporter Carl Bernstein that played a key role in forcing President Richard Nixon to resign in 1974 in the Watergate scandal.

Simon and Schuster said it is printing an initial 900,000 hardback copies of the new 496-page book and excerpts will appear in The Washington Post, where Woodward is an Associate Editor, on September 7.

"The War Within takes readers deep inside the White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, the intelligence agencies and the US military headquarters in Iraq," Simon and Schuster, part of CBS Corp., said in a statement. Woodward’s third book, State of Denial, was a bestseller and put the White House on the offensive after he wrote that Bush resisted demands to boost US troops in Iraq and was misleading Americans about the level of violence there.

It was tougher than the first two books he had written about the Bush White House since the September 11 attacks, which were criticised by some as painting Bush as a hero. "There has not been such an authoritative and intimate account of presidential decision making since the Nixon tapes and the Pentagon Papers," said Alice Mayhew, editorial director of Simon & Schuster and editor of The War Within.

"This is the declassification of what went on in secret, behind the scenes," she said. — Reuters