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Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base Hardcover – May 17, 2011
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"Cauldron-stirring. [AREA 51] is not science fiction. It is an assertive account, revelatory ... Ms. Jacobsen has put together a set of strong allegations about Area 51's covert history ... Her research into the world of 'overhead,' the aerial espionage that needed to be developed in extreme secrecy, is compellingly hard-hittting ... the book is noteworthy for its author's dogged devotion to her research."―The New York Times
"A compelling narrative of 50 years of covert operations by the CIA, the U.S. military, and the mysterious "Atomic Energy Commission".... Her meticulous research makes for a fascinating read, as it intersperses the accounts of secret government projects with anecdotes from the people who made those projects happen."―Rachel Larimore, Slate
"An informative history...about the creativity, political acumen and courage of the high-flying Cold Warriors who sought to protect the free world in the decades after World War II."―Andrew Dunn, Bloomberg
"Jacobsen's take veers from the standard conspiracy narrative in just about every imaginable respect."―Earl Swift, Popular Mechanics
"What Jacobsen believes happened in the New Mexican desert is more frightening than UFO conspiracies..."―Elizabeth Bair, Dallas Observer
About the Author
Annie Jacobsen was a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.
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For all the negative reviews attempting to discredit Jacobsen and this book (and some of them were just plain nasty and completely unwarranted), I have one and only one conclusion: somebody out there does *not* want you to read this book!
Who should NOT read this book:
1) Anyone who is looking for highly technical information on the U-2, A12, or F-117, or who is looking for scientific research. Jacobsen is a journalist, not a scientist or engineer. She writes for the rest of us who are just looking for the big picture.
2) Anyone who believes in and is hoping to hear about aliens from outer space. Any reviewer who says this is a "tin foil hatter" book has *not* read the book.
3) Anyone who who believes we should blindly trust our government and that they always have our best interests at heart. To say she should completely rely on government sources for all of her information is pure naivete.
4) Any scientist, engineer, or government person who is already familiar with these black programs. It seems there were many who read it for the sole purpose of picking it apart in an attempt to discredit the author. Move on already.
Who SHOULD read this book:
1) Anyone who wants to know more about the development and history of black programs in the United States. Personally, the book was a real eye-opener, especially learning the extent of nuclear testing in the continental USA. The heart of this book, and the main question that is asked is this: how do we balance citizen's need-to-know with their right to know. As a journalist, Jacobsen presents the information, asks the questions, but always lets the reader draw their own conclusions.
My advice: do not let the negative reviews keep you from reading this book and forming your own opinion.
If anyone thinks they can do a better job, that they can interview more people and do more research than Annie Jacobsen did--then go at it--and stop complaining. I am waiting for your book.