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Shadow Warriors: Inside The Special Forces (Commander Series) Paperback – February 4, 2003

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The present war against terrorism has been quite a showcase for the United States's Special Operations Forces (SOF), which consists of the well-known Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and Green Berets, the supersecret Delta Force, and other similar units. Clancy presents some of their history, as well as incidents from the not-too-distant past, which demonstrates that what has happened in the past year is not entirely unknown to our armed forces. Narrator George DiCenzo offers a strong, confident, and deliberate performance. Recommended for purchase by public libraries.
Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


“Some action vignettes from [Special Forces] roots in WWII and Vietnam rival Clancy fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews


“The plethora of insider history and firsthand operation specifics…will please the historically minded.”—Publishers Weekly



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Product Details

  • Series: Commander Series (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425188310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425188316
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #240,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful By T Newman on March 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book fails to live up to its title - Inside the Special Forces. First, it isn't about SF, its about Special Operations. Second, it isn't Inside anything - its a poorly researched and poorly resourced piece that fails to offer any new material on Special Operations other than some barely believable anecdotes of several retired general officers (come on, Mr. Clancy, we all know Sergeant Majors tell the best stories...).
Before and during my 16 year career with the Army and the Special Forces, I have enjoyed Tom Clancy's novels and respected his deep understanding of modern warfare. Unfortunately, this hardly extends to the supposed subject of this book, Special Forces. It is quite obvious that Mr. Clancy made the most minimal contribution to this book, both in concept and writing. In my opinion, Clancy's name is on the cover to sell copies.
Clancy's co-author, General Carl Stiner, appears to have done a little more work. Unfortunately, while Stiner's record is full of high-profile jobs, including the Commander in Chief of Special Operations Command, he fails to provide more than a few superficial anecdotes to a number of special operations missions that have been told and re-told in far greater detail by other authors.
As an example of Stiner's failure to provide substantive information on Special Forces, the book takes two chapters, nearly 100 pages, to give a totally misleading account of one of the military's most-poorly led and executed invasions, that of Panama in 1989. While there are plenty of details on Stiner's relation to the XVIII Airborne Corps, there is very little information on Special Forces training, planning, or execution. Even the details on conventional units (why they are even mentioned in this book is incomprehensible) are misleading.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I don't pretend to know much about U.S. Special Forces...precisely the reason I purchased this book. Having now read it, I continue to feel I know very little about this subject. While I've never been a Clancy fan and have the utmost respect for General Stiner and his work and sacrifices for our country and its foreign "relations," I walked away from this book feeling like the title was very much a misnomer. While the stories in the book are interesting in and of themselves, they failed to paint any cognizable picture of Special Forces operations I might have hoped to gain.
For any novice, like myself, interested in learning about the Special Forces (i.e. all the U.S.'s Special Forces) I would recommend looking elsewhere.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Andrew S. Rogers VINE VOICE on March 18, 2003
Format: Paperback
Far be it from me to say that Tom Clancy's writing (his "Guided Tour" series, his "Commanders" series, etc.) has become formulaic. But while his earlier book with Chuck Horner, "Every Man a Tiger," was described to me as one of the best looks yet at air combat in the (first) Gulf War, this title struck me as much longer than it needed to be and at times more than a little dull.
Like Clancy's other "Commanders" co-authors, General Carl Stiner is a fascinating guy with a lot of interesting stories to tell (or, at least, stories that would probably be interesting to typical Tom Clancy readers). In this book, however, his autobiography is combined with a history of the US Army special operations units (the subtitle of this book is "Inside the Special Forces," but this book is mostly an Army affair), a look at modern Special Forces tools and training, and more. The level of detail is frequently numbing, and I often found myself skimming, or skipping entire pages to get to the end of the story being told.
Readers looking to get a better understanding of how special forces units operate, while still getting a good dose of Clancy's military-techno prose would probably do better to star with his "Guided Tour" book "Special Forces." Then, if you're really into true-life stories and even greater detail, come to this title. But if you're not interested in, or ready for, nearly six hundred pages of reminiscences, you can probably do without it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Energizer on December 8, 2003
Format: Paperback
When I first opened this book I really didn't know what to expect. I've read many other Tom Clancy fiction and non-fiction books and have enjoyed them.
This book felt like a clutter reading it. It didn't seem organized and just seemed a bit half-done. I was fairly disappointed on how it was written but still all the information was useful and left me a bit satisfied.
This book isn't for someone who wants to be introduced to America's Special Forces unit and what they do and their nature, but this book is for people who already have and enjoy a knowing knowledge of America's military.
The contents are very accurate historically of course as most non-fiction books, but this definitely shows a raw side of SF in which msot books don't show; that not all missions have the greatest outcome.
This book can be read with some satisfaction to some, but it is not one that I would come and recommend much about.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David Traill VINE VOICE on April 1, 2003
Format: Audio CD
To most Americans, the Special Forces are an enigmatic group that never gets any significant press, and thus, their attention. That's part of the reason that they have been so successful, and why this book does a lot to reveal what the world of the Special Forces is like.
Tom Clancy crafted a very readbale book on the inception and inevitable growing pains of the U.S. Special Forces. He does this mostly by relating the career of Army Special Forces General Carl Steiner, and illustrating the text with well-written accounts of highlights in the evolution of today's special combat forces. From missions involving terrorism, in combat during the Cold War and its present employments worldwide, the special forces have faced enemies abroad and at home, as the book notes opposition from "traditional" commanders opposed to sharing resources and losing some of the best soldiers.
Overall, the book jumps from example to background, to example, and it does not detract from the story whatsoever. Since Clancy has started his examination of military leadership, he has written surprisingly well, given his fictional focus before. Readers will easily come out of this book impressed with the operators he describes, and better understanding of the special challenges faced by the men and women of the Special Forces.
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