“What a terrific movie this book is never, ever going to make.” That’s the ending of a starred review of American Hero in Kirkus Reviews. They’re probably right (even though Wag the Dog was very loosely based on the book) and that’s too bad, because all the elements are there for a great movie: On the ground, we have the gritty Vietnam vet private investigator and the impossibly beautiful movie star trying to stay one step ahead of the Hollywood mogul cum political operator (and the Blackwater-type agency at his disposal). Up in the clouds we have the Machiavellian politicians and a conspiracy so diabolical that Watergate and Iran/Contra will look like shoplifting plots. The author does a pretty good job with the thriller side of the story, but it’s the political satire that will stay with you after the book has ended. If you are of a particular mindset (like say, cynical or even paranoid), you might find yourself actually believing that this alternate history of the Gulf War is real. Did Saddam Hussein really make a deal with George Bush to invade Kuwait? Was the entire “war” choreographed from beginning to end merely to boost Bush’s popularity? Sound far-fetched? Read the book and see what you think.