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Warlord: No Better Friend, No Worse Enemy Hardcover – June 20, 2006

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--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Threshold Editions; English Language edition (June 20, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416524266
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416524267
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.2 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

The impetus for this memoir is the military hearing U.S. marine Pantano underwent in 2004 for the alleged murders of two Iraqi insurgents during a raid in Al Anbar (chronicled in a New York magazine cover story and featured on NBC Dateline). What is initially fascinating about Pantano's story is how 9/11 galvanized him. His first reaction after seeing the smoke and debris choking streets in Manhattan was to run to his barber and get a military haircut. Pantano had been a marine in Desert Storm but then morphed into a commodities trader and the founder of an interactive TV think tank. The core of his book is how 9/11 re-upped the semper-fi side of his identity. Although there is far too much initial background on family and upbringing, the heart of the book, which shuttles from Pantano's experiences in Iraq and the Article 32 hearing into the accusation that he committed premeditated murder, is suspenseful and involving. Pantano provides firsthand accounts not only of the marine ethos and the fighting in Iraq but also of the media pile-on during his hearing and the machinations of military lawyers. Although choosing to tell his story in book form necessitates too much padding--this might have been better as a lengthy magazine article--there is still lots to like here: good courtroom drama, excellent war reporting, and absorbing psychology. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved


"The writing is riveting...the message timeless.... Put it at the top of your reading list."
-- Michelle Malkin, New York Times bestselling author

"Vivid.... Compelling."
-- The Weekly Standard

"Suspenseful and involving.... Good courtroom drama, excellent war reporting, and absorbing psychology."
-- Booklist --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Instructor Staff Sgt. colloquial dialect.
Stephen R. Mcleod
His observations are right-on and his story is wonderfully told, jumping back and forth between the courtroom and the battlefields of Iraq.
You will put the book down feeling very proud that there are people in this country like Ilario Pantano.
M. Czech

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

97 of 108 people found the following review helpful By J. Johnston on June 10, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Regardless of political affiliation or attitude about the war, everyone should read this book. It is not pro/con or red/blue. It is the story of a man's fight for survival in the sand of a foreign land and a courtroom of his own country. He tells a heart warming yet heart wrenching story.

There is something for everyone in this book. It is a life story, a love story, a war story, and a courtroom story. The reader is given deep insight into his love for his family, his men, and his country. It is not written as a daily account of war from a daily log. It is written from the heart of a man. He challenges us to think, to soul search, and expand our thinking.

There are great sacrifices being made in this war, but only by a few. After reading Warlord, you will know this man, and yourself, better.
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168 of 202 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 7, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I was 2nd Lt Pantano's chaplain in Iraq in 2004.

The book is a quick read. The intermixing of the Article 32 hearing report with Lt Pantano's background helps the book's pacing considerably. The writing is crisp for the most part, and it certainly gives one as good an impression as any mere book can of the realities of combat, both in theater and in a military court. I frequently found myself back in the Battalion Aid Station, or up in the C-I-C as the reports came in.

But the book is more than just a good summer read that does an excellent job of presenting this war from the perspective of a bona fide warrior.

Our military, and certain intelligence assets are at war, but we have not yet become a nation - a people - at war. To the extent people read and really pay attention to what 2nd Lt Pantano is saying, this is a step in the right direction. I am still afraid that it will take another attack on US soil to drive the point home that we are in a war with a determined enemy, though I certainly hope not. If that happens, I pray it puts steel in the American spine and inspires a remorseless pursuit of victory in our people, because, as I have said before, this war will not be won until we do to our enemy what Sherman did to Georgia. The legal beagles, euro-weenies, and hyper-sensitive won't like that, but it is so. War is force - disciplined violence with the intention of breaking the enemy's will or killing him. We can win their friendship after the war. Until that time, we must face the facts. Our enemy will not permit a truce (a la Korea). We cannot afford a defeat (a la VietNam). And one cannot achieve victory with half-measures.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Hans Heinz on June 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Warlord is a solid memoir of a Marine in combat. The best account to come out in many years, and one that I will not soon forget. Pantano's true story is as honest as a first hand account of a grunt can be. The excellent manner in which Pantano gives you the essential details, that still paint a vivid picture keep the reader glued to this book. The style of the story is unique, combining the court room drama and the circumstances that put him there. Written in this manner the book is tight and fast paced.

The internal struggle of an intelligent man going in combat is portrayed perfectly here. Pantano shows the constant inner struggle of a leader doing what is right and what he needs to do to get all his men home alive, the entire time doing that under frustrating rules of engagement. At times this would be hysterical if it were not true.

This hero's story is one that should be known to every American. He sacrificed everything he thought dear to him, and more than he could have possibly imagined. His story is both touching and motivating. This story should be required reading for every man considering becoming a United States Marine, and this will end up on the "Commandant's Reading List."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Fellow Marine on July 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I too am a Marine Infantry Officer who has spent over a year in Iraq. The reason people don't understand why Pantano did what he did is that they have never been in his situation or are incapable officers. We are TRAINED to make the occupants of a vehicle search it in case it is rigged with explosives - Pantano followed his training.

Second, the most important aspect of counter insurgency is the information war - PsyOps. Putting the sign over the bodies sent a message - we are fighting a war of ideas, not a war of tactical battles like WWII. Iraqis respect strength and Pantano projected strength. It is a professional embarrassment to read a review from such a cowardice officer. I would hate to be in your unit.

Pantano is part of a dying breed - men that fight. Men that sacrifice high paying jobs and urban lifestyles for battlefields. Men that excel under the hardest conditions, stand by tough decisions and win.

Everyone with XY chromosomes should read this book. It's hard, gritty and gets to the heart of what's wrong with America and the war. If you want to come out of bubblegum fantasy land for a while and see what the world is really like and what needs to be done if America is going to survive - Read IT.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Angelo Berrios on June 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Warlord is an extraordinary account of an American hero. Pantano masterfully takes the reader through his life, both in and out of the Marine Corps, and his Article 32 Hearing. Pantano's account of combat and court equally encapsulate the reader, thus stirring unsettling emotions of astonishment and admiration. In life, we encounter few individuals with indispensable honor, courage, and commitment; obviously, Lt. Pantano personifies this creed. As our nation was attacked, Pantano's warrior spirit is immediately manifested with an unwavering determination to seek revenge and defend our country. Pantano does not blame the Marine Corps for the investigation, nor does he discuss the rationale for Operation Iraqi Freedom. Through reading this memoir, one can discern the complexities and danger of OIF. Moreover, one can conclude this war may not be won through an undermanned operation or inflexible ROE that result in troops second-guessing themselves for fear of legal ramification. I strongly recommend Warlord!

Semper Fi, AB
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