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The Executioner's Men: Los Zetas, Rogue Soldiers, Criminal Entrepreneurs, and the Shadow State They Created Hardcover – April 24, 2012

ISBN-13: 978-1412846172 ISBN-10: 141284617X

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The Executioner's Men: Los Zetas, Rogue Soldiers, Criminal Entrepreneurs, and the Shadow State They Created + El Sicario: The Autobiography of a Mexican Assassin + El Narco: Inside Mexico's Criminal Insurgency
Price for all three: $60.90

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 294 pages
  • Publisher: Transaction Publishers (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 141284617X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1412846172
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.3 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #446,310 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Embroiled in multiple turf wars around the country as well as a battle with the nation’s armed forces, Mexico’s dozen-odd drug cartels all seek to strike fear into the hearts of their enemies, but none have cultivated a name for being cruel, ruthless and cold-blooded warriors quite so assiduously as the Zetas…. [This book] provide[s] us with the first hardnosed dissection of one of the most spine-chilling criminal organizations that has ever existed…. [E]ssential reading.”

—Jo Tuckman, International Affairs

“[T]his is the first authoritative book ever written solely about Los Zetas… The authors cover how Los Zetas are organized, financed, armed, and trained, and these sections contain information that is a researcher’s dream… Bottom line, if you do any work or research related to Mexico’s drug war, this needs to be in your book collection.”

—Sylvia Longmire, http://borderviolenceanalysis.typepad.com

“George Grayson and Samuel Logan provide the most detailed analysis to date of the Zetas, Mexico’s most brutal criminal group. The Executioner’s Men captures the sophisticated nature of the Zetas’ organizational structures and operations as well as the depraved flavor of the Zetas’ lives.”

—Vanda Felbab-Brown, fellow at the Brookings Institution; author, Shooting Up: Counterinsurgency and the War on Drugs

“[A]n astonishing tale with detail that Mickey Spillane would have envied. Vividly written, meticulously documented with footnotes that can serve as tools for other academics and journalists, this is a crime story that must be read and understood on both sides of the bloody border.”

—Jerry Kammer, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist

“Carefully researched and vividly written, The Executioner’s Men provides the most detailed analysis currently available of the ‘Zetas,’ Mexico’s most violent and aggressive criminal organization. The book will be essential to scholars, policy-makers, and the public in their efforts to grasp the dimensions of the challenges posed by a new breed of organized crime to Mexico and the United States.”

—John Bailey, professor of government and foreign service, Georgetown University

About the Author

George W. Grayson is professor of government emeritus at the College of William & Mary, an associate scholar at Foreign Policy Research Institute, and a senior associate at the Center for Strategic & International Studies. He is the author of Mexico: Narco-Violence and a Failed State?



Samuel Logan is the founder of Southern Pulse and a senior writer for the International Relations and Security Network.  


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Customer Reviews

The book has too much of an appendix and not enough content.
denis
Although the book was an intersting read I found it hard to keep up with all of the events and the order in which they happened.
ranger65
It contains a great deal of information and has in-depth documentation.
Craig M Koerner

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J Jimenez on May 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Executioner's Men . . . is current and provides a solid background surrounding Los Zetas, a diabolical Mexican Transnational Criminal Organization (TCO) that is arguably one of two most powerful Mexican drug trafficking organizations. "The Executioner's Men" provides information on "spillover" that may not be politically correct but is the truth.
If your work as a scholar, intelligence analyst, law enforcement, or other entails the current Mexican phenomenon, this book is a must. You need this book because of the lack of information on the subject due to censorship of Mexican media (see chapter twelve, "Mexican Journalists Murdered from 2008 through 2011") and the uneasy intelligence sharing between Mexico and the United States.
The authors, Grayson and Logan, address important and key topics. For example the information found in the chapter "Psychological Operations", specifically of Los Zetas. More scholarship in the field must be developed to fully understand the threat from Mexican TCOs, and this book adds to that body of knowledge. The information found in the chapter "A Sampling of Zeta Financial Operators" is a critical element to dismantling any criminal organization.
One important discussion is found in the chapter "A Shadow Government: Elements of Dual Sovereignty" is critical due to the entwined relationship between Mexican institutions and TCOs that is a national security threat not only for Mexico but also the United States.
This book offers insight into topics not often or not researched as yet and certainly not openly discussed. The authors make a comparison of Los Zetas to "sturdy corporations". This validates to the sophistication of Los Zetas other TCOs. I especially appreciate that Dr. Grayson, a well-respected scholar, teamed up with a colleague with an intelligence/investigations portfolio providing a broader perspective. The Executioner's Men is a must for your professional, academic, or personal library.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sylvia Longmire on June 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I was very excited to get started on this book for several different reasons. First, it was written by two colleagues of mine, professor and TCO expert Dr. George Grayson from the College of William & Mary, and journalist and author of This Is For The Mara Salvatrucha, Sam Logan. I've read most of the material written by both authors, so I knew it would contain a lot of good information.

Second, this is the first authoritative book ever written solely about Los Zetas, the most vicious, bloodthirsty, and ambitious TCO in Mexico. Of course, much has been written about Los Zetas over the years, but never this much, and never in this much detail.

It's obvious from the start that Grayson and Logan have done their homework. There's plenty of history about how Los Zetas were first recruited in the late 1990s, and joined the Gulf cartel as Osiel Cárdenas Guillen's private army. The authors cover how Los Zetas are organized, financed, armed, and trained, and these sections contain information that is a researcher's dream. The Executioner's Men also discusses the expansion of Los Zetas into Central America, as well as their operations in the United States - of particular interest and importance to my work.

One of my favorite parts is the chapter on Dual Sovereignty - how Los Zetas (and other TCOs in general) are operating as a state parallel to the Mexican state. The chart (one of many helpful charts and tables) in that chapter that outlines side by side all the state functions that both execute is quite eye-opening.

The book does have some down sides. First, it's not a page-turner; but then again, I don't think it's designed to be.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By CAPWA on July 21, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is unlike anything I have read before. I agree with others when they say that this book is a 'must' for any drug war researcher. The atrocities occurring in Mexico are horrific and are migrating North. The war occurring at the US/Mexico border should not be ignored. I believe this book represented the biggest threat to homeland security in our modern times. Forget Afganistan, Iran, Iraq, and Pakistan... look South!

This book illustrates what I have suspected for a long time regarding our nations borders and cartels. It is expertly written and full of well documented research. Be prepared for the horrific details you will read about the level of violence that takes place. I imagine this book will be cited in years to come.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Kammer on September 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
The Zetas, Mexico's most notoriously brutal and viciously efficient criminal band, were born when a group of highly trained military men went rogue and threw in with the Gulf Cartel. Then they went even roguer and struck out on their own, making extreme brutality their sport with acts of savagery that are often literally eye-popping.

Up until now, the story of the Zetas had its most dramatic telling in the narcocorridos they commissioned to spread their fame and the fear with which they seek to paralyze their foes. Now those folk ballads have been eclipsed by a powerful tale told by two of the best sourced and most knowledgeable chroniclers of Mexico's descent into the hell of narcoterror.

George Grayson, a professor at the College of William & Mary, has long been recognized as a Mexico expert remarkably well plugged into the country's political system. Here he is joined by investigative reporter Samuel Logan to tell an astonishing tale with detail that Mickey Spillane would have envied. Vividly written, meticulously documented with footnotes that can serve as tools for other academics and journalists, this is a crime story that must be read and understood on both sides of the bloody border.
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