The Legend of David Petraeus

Why All In, a new biography of the general, is just blatant propaganda.
  1. The genius of David Petraeus has always been his masterful manipulation of the media. But after reading the new biography about him – All In: The Education of David Petraeus, by former Army officer Paula Broadwell – I’ve started to wonder if he’s losing his touch. The best spinsters never make their handiwork too obvious; they allow all parties to retain a semblance of dignity. Yet the Petraeus-approved All In is such blatant, unabashed propaganda, it’s as if the general has given up pretending there’s a difference between the press and his own public relations team. As Gen. John Galvin, an early mentor, explains to a young David in one of the book’s few revealing moments, "Through your mythology people create you…. You become part of the legend." All In is best understood as the latest – and least artful – contribution to the Petraeus legend.

    For P4, as Petraeus is known in military circles, this is about the fourth high-profile book he has collaborated on. He debuted on the litera...

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