- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 21 hours and 59 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 11, 2012
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0098TUVDU
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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500 Days: Secrets and Lies in the Terror Wars Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
We have a cast of thousands here, but of course GWB and Tony Blair get top billing. However, their errors and missteps are spotlighted here as well as their other policy decisions. Odd terms like "Enemy Combatant" are penned so that "extraordinary rendition" can be carried out.
This book has it all- secrets, spies, military tribunals, torture, waterboarding, anthrax, bombings, and of course Gitmo.
Many secrets are revealed, the backstory is fascinating. Did you know that while Blair was telling Bush that the UK would support the invasion of Iran, the UK top legal advisor was telling Blair that the attack was illegal?
Sometimes a bit dark and disturbing, but it's all the truth.
What it does very well is to create a strong gut feeling for the many failings of the US response, due to incompetence, arrogance, carelessness, ideology that rejected evidence,... The book is written in the style of a thriller, popping back and forth between story lines. I found it a very fast-paced read that constantly drew me forward. Even if you are familiar with the events, you are still likely to find the book very readable because of its organization and approach. However, the problem with this approach is seen in the description of the response to the anthrax attack: It is abbreviated far past the point of losing its essential character. Plus, it was so peripheral that I can't see how it belongs in this book.
A big limitation of the fast-paced style is that it precludes analysis and insights into why something happened. For example, an extended analysis of the misconceptions about the "Manchester Manual" is consigned to the "Notes and Sources" appendix (pp 545-552). Advice: Read it -- it is a critical part of the story. One of my biggest frustrations with the accounts -- this and others -- is that I haven't seen a remotely satisfying explanation of why the CIA didn't have qualified, experienced interrogators as part of its normal course-of-business. Or why the military did not use experienced interrogators from the Reserves -- predominantly from civilian law enforcement -- despite the Reserves being explicitly structured to preserve and provide that capability.Read more ›
As the title of my review indicates, I have mixed feelings. I still think Eichenwald is among the best non-fiction writers we have, and he brings to this "story" his incredible ability to move a narrative forward - even when we know how it ends. However, I think he tried to cover too much in this story - the reactions to and after 9/11, the plans to invade Iraq, the early stages of the war on terror and, of course, the use of "aggressive" interrogation techniques (AKA torture) by the US. As a result, the book keeps jumping from one topic to another, and while it's a relentlessly good read, I found myself having a form of culture shock every time we moved topics. It's not a huge criticism, but it's "there."
There were times when I found the book frustrating due to Eichenwald's depiction of some people; he certainly paints Dick Cheney, John Yoo and David Addington, among others, as princes of darkness for pursuing the US's disregard of international law and the right of the Bush administration to do whatever it wanted to do in the cause of the war on terror, and yet in his Epilogue, Eichenwald goes soft on Yoo and Addington and tries to put their views in a more sympathetic context. And while his depiction of Cheney is consistently bleak, he seems somewhat sympathetic to President Bush - something I can't bring myself to do.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
While many have been skeptical of 9/11 and what followed, this book confirms that doubt. The author doesn't take sides, he just lays out the facts .Published 21 days ago by Robert
To late to little. The top 2men in the USA destroyed our world. Every person in America should read this book for history sake.Published 4 months ago by Pepper
Got this book after reading author's "The Informant." Both books are riveting non-fiction works.Published 6 months ago by 1Train
About as good insight of the inner workings of the Bush administration after 9-11 as you will ever get. Not one of those boring exercises in history this keeps you engaged.Published 7 months ago by David M. Sasso
Odd writing style. Not a good narrative..more like notes...I would not buy again.Published 7 months ago by Jim Powers
Kurt Eichenwald is the best non-fiction topical writer of this generation.Published 9 months ago by Leo B. Casey
Certanly this is an instrospective look at the reaction of the US government to 9/11 and its affects on the other governments in Europe and the middle east; however, it is written... Read morePublished 11 months ago by MMS
I enjoyed the read - I agree with another person, it read kind of like a fiction book, but that's the beauty of it. It made the read and the subject more palatable. Read morePublished 11 months ago by jsc
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