Now that Chuck Hagel has been nominated by President Obama as defense secretary, his record is sure to be intensely scrutinized -- even more than it was when he was a senator. His past remarks on Israel and a gay man have already triggered some criticism. A couple of books provide a more detailed look at his political rise and his views.
-- In "America: Our Next Chapter" (2008) by Hagel (with Peter Kaminsky), the then-senator offered a critique of the state of the nation, as well as proposals to put it "back onto the right path," according to the publisher's description. Among the issues he tackled were "foreign policy problems that the current administration has bungled or ignored, including China's growing economy; control of U.S. debt; India's and Pakistan's nuclear capabilities; and Iran's aggressive political, ideological, and nuclear stances. He decries the pervasive disease of third world poverty, arguing convincingly that this is where the real fight against terrorism must begin. ... And, of course, he gives a candid examination of the debacle that is the Iraq War."