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Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs Hardcover – Deckle Edge, February 11, 2014


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; First Edition edition (February 11, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062267558
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062267559
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #186,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

If Walker, a pseudonym, told us his real name, he’d be endangering his family in Iraq. He lives now in the U.S. but was given the code name “Johnny Walker” by the SEALs when he was working in Iraq with the Americans as an interpreter. How did an Iraqi family man wind up accompanying the American SEALs on multiple missions, many of which resulted in the deaths of Iraqi citizens? It’s not a complicated question: the author is a man who loves his country but hated what was being done to it by Saddam Hussein. When the American soldiers came, he saw a chance to help bring justice and peace back to his country. This is an excellent memoir, a story about the post-9/11 war in Iraq as told by someone who is simultaneously an insider and an outsider (he’s not a military man). Coauthor DeFelice is a veteran military-fiction and -nonfiction writer, and it’s easy to suspect that he provided much of the book’s structure and narrative description. But the voice—earnest, disillusioned, passionate, patriotic—seems undeniably to be that of the pseudonymous “Johnny Walker.” --David Pitt

Review

“A hero. .... Countless Navy SEALs relied on the Iraqi translator’s wile, and sometimes his way with a weapon, to bring them out alive.” (New York Daily News)

“A gripping memoir. ... Code Name: Johnny Walker is an unforgettable story--an essential account of the Iraq War.” (ERIC BLEHM, bestselling author of Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of U.S. Navy SEAL Team Six Operator Adam Brown)

“Extraordinary... Definitely a must-read for anyone interested in the perspective of an Iraqi who was willing to sacrifice everything in an effort to improve his country, and who was instrumental in bringing many of the bad guys to justice.” (MARCUS LUTTRELL, former U.S. Navy SEAL, recipient of the Navy Cross, and #1 bestselling author of Lone Survivor)

“’Johnny Walker’ defines the word ‘brother’ and how it transcends blood. He is a true American at heart, one I trusted with my life as much as every other SEAL I had the honor of working with.” (MIKAL VEGA, retired U.S. Navy SEAL and founder of Vital Warrior)

“Johnny is responsible for saving many American lives, especially SEALs. He has an amazing story that I feel needs to be told, and would touch the hearts of all Americans. I cannot express how many lives have been touched by Johnny, and how many of us owe him our lives.” (CHRIS KYLE, former U.S. Navy SEAL and #1 bestselling author of American Sniper)

“Johnny’s ingenuity, indomitable spirit, and utter fearlessness not only protected the lives of many SEALs, but also saved countless innocent Iraqis. He is a true hero to all of us. Seeing Johnny and his family living safely in the United States is something I will cherish forever.” ("CAPT. X," active-duty U.S. Navy SEAL Team commanding officer)

“Fiery, insightful memoir from the former Iraqi translator who fought alongside U.S. Special Forces during the recent war in Iraq. ... [An] invaluable insider’s perspective of Iraq. ... Vivid. ... A harrowing personal journey of courageous self-empowerment during wartime.” (Kirkus Reviews)

“This gripping memoir by ‘Johnny Walker,’ an Iraqi translator who risked his life for eight years to work alongside U.S. Navy SEALs (a job so dangerous that even now he can’t use his real name) is a story of loyalty and courage under fire--literally.” (Parade (Parade's Picks))

“Riveting and illuminating. ... Reads more like a fictional thriller than a memoir. Walker’s story is amazing and gives a unique perspective on the Iraqi War.” (BlackFive.net)

“A remarkable story. ... Offering a unique perspective on the Iraq War, ‘Code Name: Johnny Walker’ tells the story of one Iraqi who risked everything to fight with U.S. troops, in particular the Navy SEALs, becoming perhaps the only ‘terp’ (interpreter) to be welcomed into their tight-knit fold.” (FoxNews.com)

“Riviting. ... For those who think they’ve heard the last word on the Iraq war, Code Name: Johnny Walker is an eye-opener. With DeFelice, Walker has written a mesmerizing memoir about his life, including the six years in which he helped American forces.” (Christian Science Monitor)

“A breathtaking memoir -- a stirring tale of courage and convictions. It adds a fascinating and insightful new dimension to the history of the Iraq War.” (Coronado Eagle-Journal)

“Extremely informative and gripping. ... Offers a unique perspective. ... Johnny became the SEALs’ most trusted interpreter, willing to sacrifice everything in an effort to improve his country and keep his SEAL brothers safe.” (American Thinker)

“Johnny Walker went well above and beyond his duties as an interpreter to help save countless American lives. ... Walker became a valuable asset not only because of his language skills but his valor in executing missions. ... Be sure to check out the book.” (The Blaze)

“The story of an Iraqi interpreter who spent six dangerous years working with American special forces before being brought to safety in America.” (New York Times Book Review)

“An inspiring story of courage and commitment.” (Bowling Green Daily News (KY))

“This is an excellent memoir, a story about the post-9/11 war in Iraq as told by someone who is simultaneously an insider and an outsider. ... “The voice--earnest, disillusioned, passionate, patriotic--seems undeniably to be that of the pseudonymous ‘Johnny Walker.’” (Booklist)

Customer Reviews

Thank you for your service, Johnny!
Hawaii Livin'
A very interesting read from a different perspective on the War on Terror on the Iraqi front.
Carolyn Goldsberry
Fantastic - Read This is one of those books that I couldn't put down.
aaron ashe

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 69 people found the following review helpful By Michigan native on February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover
As an American, and a Navy Seal, I know Johnny Walker and how important he is to our community. This story will let you know what he did for our brothers, the United States, and what he risked as an Iraqi interpreter. Unlike (Joe) in the comments above, I can say that Johnny is a great man, an honest man, and someone I trust with my kids. (Joe) You should keep your mouth shut. Over the past two years Johnny and I have worked together to energize the program that the Navy Seal training command assigned to the two of us. Once again an inspiring book, and a true story. I am so grateful to know this man.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Dan on February 11, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I met Johnny in 2003 and conducted over 100 missions with him from 2003 - 2005. He kept me safe during some very trying circumstances. Trust is built through adversity. I trust Johnny with my life and I am proud to call him brother.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Jman on March 30, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Having served in Mosul during the war, this is very accurate account of life during that time. It has even answered questions that had gone unanswered about the culture and life in Iraq
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By SGT Med on June 22, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I found this book to be very interesting and informative. During my "tour" of Iraq, I learned very little of the culture or the people. Johnny Walker gives great insight into Iraqi life under Saddam Hussein and details life before, during and after Operation Desert Storm as well as his role in Operation Iraqi Freedom and after.
This book illustrates the plight of an ordinary Iraqi who did an extraordinary job of helping U.S. forces free his country from extremists.
The reader will come away with a new perspective on the war in Iraq and the people stuck in the middle. Make no mistake, the enemy of the U.S. is also Johnny Walker's enemy!
Johnny is an intelligent yet humble man who has a greater understanding of the goings on in his home country than most. He is fiercely loyal to, and a priceless asset of the U.S. forces he worked with in Iraq.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Marjean R. Kidner on March 29, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I very much enjoyed the book. It wasn't a cliff hanger but it was impressive as a personal story of an ordinary or rather extraordinary Iraqi citizen that believed his government and his religion was wrong in killing American citizens in the name of his religion. Johnny Walker had the courage and integrity to follow his convictions and aid the Americans at great personal risk to himself and his wife and children. It is the fortitude we all hope we have to protect our way of life and the people we love!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Uncle Craig on June 20, 2014
Format: Hardcover
Having fought at various times during 24 years of military service, some of it in Southwest Asia, this great book reflects the kind of first-country national we Americans try to protect overseas. Johnny is a natural leader, courageously humble, and worth putting yourself in danger to ensure he has a better life as a refugee in the United States. Thank Heaven for soldiers, like Tat and Chris Kyle, who broke with tradition to bring this brave man and his family out of Hell on Earth. This book serves as the best demonstration of why we put our lives on the line in foreign countries. I only wish I knew him personally. Read between the lines as you search for the truth.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Benjamin Rast on June 19, 2014
Format: Hardcover
I had a hard time putting this book down long enough to work my day job. I was glued to it during every break though, and finished the book after a couple of days. This is a compelling account of the war in Iraq from a native Iraqi and Sunni Muslim. This is a man who has always believed that God has created us to create and not destroy, and that conviction helped fuel his motivation as he served as an interpreter for the SEALs and other military units. It's this conviction that elevated him above "just" an interepreter into sort of a "Super-Terp", viewing the SEALS as his brothers, and fighting with them to try to restore hope and peace to his country. Looking through his eyes at the violence then and now is illuminating, and I am so happy that he and his family get to live their dream of living in a peaceful and free nation now. I can't recommend this book strongly enough.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By le from Ohio on June 3, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, while a fascinating and courageous story, also gave me a better understanding of the Iraqi mindset and what life has been like since Saddam Hussein. It depicts how the average person and family in Iraq lives, or tries to. The insight is worth the read to understand this confusing area - and it is very readable.
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Code Name: Johnny Walker: The Extraordinary Story of the Iraqi Who Risked Everything to Fight with the U.S. Navy SEALs
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