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Penguin Group (USA) LLC
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The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan Kindle Edition
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|Length: 424 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top Customer Reviews
In one, Hastings recaps and expands on his embedded assignment alongside Gen. Stanley McChrystal's team as they traveled Europe and Afghanistan. A variety of inappropriate conversations later reported in Rolling Stone ended up leading to McC's dismissal as Afghanistan war commander. In the second, he presents an after-the-fact roundup of reporting on the Afghanistan situation, and other events in DC.
The book will be reviewed by any number of audiences with preconceived opinions.
There is a set of people who view what Hastings wrote as an attack on the military, which it isn't. Or, that he betrayed his source's confidence, which he didn't - they had to have known he was recording and writing notes. That's what a reporter does, after all, didn't they know it? Or they thought the same relationship that always works would work again - you hang out, you have some late night conversations, you trade stories and you bond...and when the writing's being done, then the reporter should know what to leave in, what to leave out. It always worked before, so why didn't it work now? I'm sure Duncan Boothby, McC's PAO, wondered that when he was resigning.
It didn't work, because Hastings is not Bob Woodward - he's not protecting access by protecting the bridge against enemies from either side. He burned the bridge with everyone, including him, on it. That's what the most honest reporter does - tells the story that he/she sees, and worries about the truth first and last...and relationships nowhere. The reportees aren't called friends, after all - they're called 'sources.'
Hastings shows this in a section where he presents a blistering critique of war reporters in general.Read more ›
The Operators is a book-length version of the Rolling Stone article, covering the first few years of the Obama administration's efforts in Afghanistan. And those looking for a hero in the story are going to have a hard time finding one. Even Hastings, the narrator and ostensible protagonist, isn't particularly likable.
The war Hastings describes is one dominated by political infighting, with various factions hidden away inside their own insulated bubbles, incapable of recognizing the truth, or refusing to admit the truth when it conflicts with ideology. The Obama administration comes off as weak and ineffective, the Afghan government as corrupt and impossibly incompetent, and the American military as an isolated culture more concerned by its own inner workings and politics than whether or not it can achieve actual "success" in a country as thoroughly broken as Afghanistan (or even what "success" might mean).Read more ›
I am sure there are some here who will give a bad review without reading the book. But this is a story that needs to see the light of day if for no other reason than to remind us of the proper role of the press in a democracy.
Well documented and well written. A breath of fresh air unless you prefer celebrity biographies.
But the politicians (and some of the commanders) who put them there? Not so much.
This book, with its authentic and stark portrayal of the thoughts and actions of one such commander, confirms the impression that the lives and money spent in Afghanistan are almost 100% utterly wasted. The sheer scale of the billions and billions of dollars and thousands upon thousands of lives poured down the drain for no good reason "we're there because we're there", is utterly mind boggling.
This book should be mandatory reading for everyone with any interest in the so-called war on terror.
OTOH, those who want to know the truth want more real journalists like Hastings. That is why his book deserves 5 stars. There are way too few of his kind remaining in the US, which explains why our country is going down the drain. Without sunlight shed on the powerful, this Republic will collapse.
Guys like Hastings are the true patriots.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Great insight for junior mil wishing to understand the culture before we started drawing downPublished 1 month ago by Julian
An excellent background to Michael Hastings assassination. His new Mercedes - 3 explosion crash; they had to be sure it burned, running it into the homing device on that tree at... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Marvin Sannes
Great book, A very gripping read. Slightly frightening though seeing inside the USA Forces.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
An engaging expose that has startling repercussions. One should google Michael Hastings after reading this.Published 3 months ago by Mark Warren
What a crazy mess. Not the book, but the characters in it. Stranger than fiction - it's a cliche that fits. Read morePublished 9 months ago by avgJones
A disturbing must read book about the Bush wars. Author ended up dead in one car accident in CaliforniaPublished 11 months ago by Mauibook
a good read; his untimely death adds drama to that whole time period, but it motivated me to learn more about him and watch interviews he'd done (Your Tube is great isn't it) and... Read morePublished 11 months ago by tv
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