It is one thing to get inside the skin of The American Man, and it is impressive when you read it. But Saddam Hussein? It was probably some kind of bet with his buddies, and Bowden came out the champion.
Regardless of how he got this access, the writing of the piece is very good. When you get this much access to Saddam, you need to capitalize by relaying all the details you can. But Bowden does it strategically, keeping a semblance of flow and focus amid the deluge of factoids. I liked all the anecdotes, which broke up the straight facts quite nicely. Even the straight facts, however, while being told in machine-gun fashion, were still captivating. Is that due to the subject matter or was it something in the way that it was written. I think the former, as I cannot imagine being as intrigued with that style if The American Man was the subject.