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Author James Mann on Bush's 'Vulcans'

Cover of 'Rise of the Vulcans' by James Mann.
Cover of 'Rise of the Vulcans' by James Mann.

Author James Mann's latest book, Rise of the Vulcans: The History of Bush's War Cabinet, details 30 years of professional relationships among the president's foreign policy advisors.

When he was running for office, President Bush faced repeated challenges over his lack of experience in international affairs. For his campaign, he assembled a core group of foreign policy aides: Richard Armitage, Condoleezza Rice, and Paul Wolfowitz. The three dubbed themselves "the Vulcans," after the Roman god of fire, conveying an image of "power, toughness, resilience and durability."

After the election, each became an integral member of Mr. Bush's foreign policy team, along with Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of State Colin Powell and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In his book, Mann describes the shared vision that unites the Vulcans, despite occasional policy differences between members of the group.

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Liane Hansen
Liane Hansen has been the host of NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday for 20 years. She brings to her position an extensive background in broadcast journalism, including work as a radio producer, reporter, and on-air host at both the local and national level. The program has covered such breaking news stories as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the capture of Saddam Hussein, the deaths of Princess Diana and John F. Kennedy, Jr., and the Columbia shuttle tragedy. In 2004, Liane was granted an exclusive interview with former weapons inspector David Kay prior to his report on the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. The show also won the James Beard award for best radio program on food for a report on SPAM.