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Executive Orders Hardcover – Unabridged, August 13, 1996

4.1 out of 5 stars 1,006 customer reviews
Book 8 of 10 in the A Jack Ryan Novel Series

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Tom Clancy goes to the White House in this thriller of political terror and global disaster. The American political situation takes a disturbing turn as the President, Congress, and Supreme Court are obliterated when a Japanese terrorist lands a 747 on the Capitol. Meanwhile the Iranians are unleashing an Ebola virus threat on the country. Jack Ryan, CIA agent, is cast in the middle of this maelstrom. Because of a recent sex scandal, Ryan was appointed vice president, a slot he doesn't hold for long when he lands in the Chief Executive's chair. He goes after the Iranians and then tries to piece together the country and his life the only way he knows how--with a fury that we've grown accustomed to in Clancy's intricate, detailed, and accurate stories of warfare and intrigue. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Jack Ryan, Clancy's amazing upwardly mobile series hero, must put together a government from the wreckage left at the end of Debt of Honor (Putnam, 1994). While Jack, who assumed the U.S. presidency after the shocking deaths of the president and many congresspeople, attends to affairs of state, selecting a new Cabinet and arranging for special Congressional elections, enemies far and near continue to create nefarious plots against the United States. Political enemies prove themselves equally relentless, attacking the very legitimacy of Ryan's presidential role. While Clancy is, as always, chillingly up-to-date, he telegraphs too many plotlines here. Worse, Ryan has become something of a whiner, complaining at length about the miseries of living a political life. At almost 900 pages, the book includes too much minutiae and dwells overlong on Ryan's earlier adventures. However, with a two-million-copy first printing, Ryan's presence?at least for now?is assured in most public libraries.?Elsa Pendleton, Boeing Information Services, Inc., Ridgecrest, Cal.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 874 pages
  • Publisher: Putnam; 1st edition (August 13, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399142185
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399142185
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 2.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,006 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #137,559 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Lawrance Bernabo HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on September 22, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the end of "Debt of Honor" a jet airplane slams into a Joint Session of Congress, pretty much wiping out the American government and suddenly putting Jack Ryan into the Presidency. While Clancy's book was at the top of the Best Seller list someone crashed a small plane into the White House, yet I heard nothing on the news about how life was imitating art. Now, of course, this is headline news and Clancy's books are suddenly being hailed as dire prophecies that are suddenly coming true. In "Executive Action" as Islamic leader assassinates the President of Iraq, forges Iran and Iraq into the United Islamic Republic, attacks the United States with biological weapons, and invades Saudi Arabia to grab the oil fields. Suddenly Tom Clancy has become the prophet of the moment as his fiction became fact with the terrorist attacks of September 11th. Of course, Clancy has not been alone telling such tales, but the focus is certainly on his writings at this pivotal moment in history.
A few have suggested that Clancy was actually providing a blueprint for the terrorists and I seem to remember that there had never been a skyjacking until Robert Serling wrote about it in a novel. But writers just look at the world around them and find creative opportunities, which is certainly no different from what terrorists do in planning operations. However, the reason I feel compelled to reread and review "Executive Orders" is because I think that there are some important things that Clancy has to say about the moment that goes beyond terrorist attacks. First, as Jack Ryan repeatedly points out in the novel, the actions of terrorists for are fundamentalist Muslims do not reflect on the vast majority of the followers of Islam around the world.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Jack Ryan and Tom Clancy may have reached their pinnacle of achievement with this book. However, this book is definitely not the place to start the series; as a minimum, The Hunt for Red October, Patriot Games, and Debt of Honor should definitely be read before this book.

Jack, due to the events detailed in Debt of Honor, suddenly finds himself President of the U.S., a position which he never aspired to and in which he feels decidedly uncomfortable. But, good former Marine that he is, he quickly buckles down to the demands of the job - a job that rapidly spawns seemingly endless problems and complications. In detailing these, Clancy weaves an incredible number of sub-plots together: an assassination of the Iraqi President and the amalgamation of that country with Iran, an attempt to kidnap his youngest daughter, a biological attack on the U.S., a heat up of the continuing dispute between the two Chinas, an attempt by the former Vice President to remove Jack from office, and multiple attacks on his integrity by the news media. This is where Clancy shines, as each of these sub-plots is probably strong enough to be a novel in its own right. They all have strong dramatic elements and are not only plausible, but frightening in just how close they are to events in the real world that have occurred since this book was written - so much so that the notion has been put forth that certain terrorist elements got the ideas for their deeds from this book and Debt of Honor.

Jack is well drawn. His reactions to situations and problems make sense for the type of man he is, and Clancy does a good job of making the reader empathize with him.
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By Amy C. on September 20, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I think that this is seriously one of the best books that I've ever read. The scary part is that this book starts with a plane crashing into the Capitol building, and I began to read this book on Monday, September 10th, the day before the planes crashed into the WTC and the Pentagon. That was truly bizarre. I think this book is a good read, although it did make me kind of scared to wake up in the morning, hoping that the book was not coming true.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Tom Clancy's longtime hero, former CIA analyst Jack Ryan, has managed to assume the Presidency, Gerald Ford-style, without ever having been elected on a presidential ticket.
Unlike Ford, however, Ryan had never been elected to any public office at all. Asked by President Durling to serve as Vice President, after the previous Vice President is forced to resign in the wake of a sex scandal, Ryan reluctantly agrees to take on a largely ceremonial office. The catch for the non-politician Ryan, however, is that the Vice-Presidency is only a heartbeat away from the most burdensome job in the world, and one which Ryan shivers at the thought of undertaking.
Then the incredible happens, when a grief-striken Japanese pilot who lost family in a brief Japanese-American shooting war, mans a jumbo jet during Ryan's swearing-in ceremony and crash lands into the Capitol, thereby all but obliterating government. The President, First Lady, the entire Supreme Court, nearly all the Cabinet and most Senators and members of Congress are killed in a few calamitous moments.
This leaves Ryan, who survived by a sheer fluke, to assume an office which he frankly dreads approaching. A complete political outsider, Ryan has an excellent working knowledge of the government, but close to zero political instincts. A populist and technophile of the sort both idolized and unelected by America, Ryan must bumble through his grief and shock at the horror which has befallen his nation and attempt to lead it. His hostility toward any form of ideology that appears other than starkly pragmatic, however, is ultimately disappointing. In the guise of non-partisan vigor, Clancy has Ryan deliver a series of startlingly conservative speeches praising a flat tax and denouncing abortion rights.
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