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Shadow Warriors: Inside The Special Forces (Commander Series) Paperback – February 4, 2003

3.3 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

The present war against terrorism has been quite a showcase for the United States's Special Operations Forces (SOF), which consists of the well-known Navy SEALS, Army Rangers and Green Berets, the supersecret Delta Force, and other similar units. Clancy presents some of their history, as well as incidents from the not-too-distant past, which demonstrates that what has happened in the past year is not entirely unknown to our armed forces. Narrator George DiCenzo offers a strong, confident, and deliberate performance. Recommended for purchase by public libraries.
Michael T. Fein, Central Virginia Community Coll., Lynchburg
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

“Some action vignettes from [Special Forces] roots in WWII and Vietnam rival Clancy fiction.”—Kirkus Reviews

 

“The plethora of insider history and firsthand operation specifics…will please the historically minded.”—Publishers Weekly

 

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Product Details

  • Series: Commander Series (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley (February 4, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425188310
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425188316
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #368,192 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book fails to live up to its title - Inside the Special Forces. First, it isn't about SF, its about Special Operations. Second, it isn't Inside anything - its a poorly researched and poorly resourced piece that fails to offer any new material on Special Operations other than some barely believable anecdotes of several retired general officers (come on, Mr. Clancy, we all know Sergeant Majors tell the best stories...).
Before and during my 16 year career with the Army and the Special Forces, I have enjoyed Tom Clancy's novels and respected his deep understanding of modern warfare. Unfortunately, this hardly extends to the supposed subject of this book, Special Forces. It is quite obvious that Mr. Clancy made the most minimal contribution to this book, both in concept and writing. In my opinion, Clancy's name is on the cover to sell copies.
Clancy's co-author, General Carl Stiner, appears to have done a little more work. Unfortunately, while Stiner's record is full of high-profile jobs, including the Commander in Chief of Special Operations Command, he fails to provide more than a few superficial anecdotes to a number of special operations missions that have been told and re-told in far greater detail by other authors.
As an example of Stiner's failure to provide substantive information on Special Forces, the book takes two chapters, nearly 100 pages, to give a totally misleading account of one of the military's most-poorly led and executed invasions, that of Panama in 1989. While there are plenty of details on Stiner's relation to the XVIII Airborne Corps, there is very little information on Special Forces training, planning, or execution. Even the details on conventional units (why they are even mentioned in this book is incomprehensible) are misleading.
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By A Customer on June 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I don't pretend to know much about U.S. Special Forces...precisely the reason I purchased this book. Having now read it, I continue to feel I know very little about this subject. While I've never been a Clancy fan and have the utmost respect for General Stiner and his work and sacrifices for our country and its foreign "relations," I walked away from this book feeling like the title was very much a misnomer. While the stories in the book are interesting in and of themselves, they failed to paint any cognizable picture of Special Forces operations I might have hoped to gain.
For any novice, like myself, interested in learning about the Special Forces (i.e. all the U.S.'s Special Forces) I would recommend looking elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback
Far be it from me to say that Tom Clancy's writing (his "Guided Tour" series, his "Commanders" series, etc.) has become formulaic. But while his earlier book with Chuck Horner, "Every Man a Tiger," was described to me as one of the best looks yet at air combat in the (first) Gulf War, this title struck me as much longer than it needed to be and at times more than a little dull.
Like Clancy's other "Commanders" co-authors, General Carl Stiner is a fascinating guy with a lot of interesting stories to tell (or, at least, stories that would probably be interesting to typical Tom Clancy readers). In this book, however, his autobiography is combined with a history of the US Army special operations units (the subtitle of this book is "Inside the Special Forces," but this book is mostly an Army affair), a look at modern Special Forces tools and training, and more. The level of detail is frequently numbing, and I often found myself skimming, or skipping entire pages to get to the end of the story being told.
Readers looking to get a better understanding of how special forces units operate, while still getting a good dose of Clancy's military-techno prose would probably do better to star with his "Guided Tour" book "Special Forces." Then, if you're really into true-life stories and even greater detail, come to this title. But if you're not interested in, or ready for, nearly six hundred pages of reminiscences, you can probably do without it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have nothing better to do on a Sunday afternoon in the winter when snowed in . . . then perhaps this book is for you.

I was looking forward to great insights on all of the Special Forces - across branches of service. I see our special forces as the most mobile, tactical answer to terrorism and was hoping to glean a better perspective of who/what/how. This is not that book.

The first few chapters take you back several decades, good start. Set up the creation of special forces groups. Talk about how they engaged in WWII. Fine. Then it becomes a play-by-play of various battles in the 70s,80s,90s without much appreciation for our global US military context. As though events around the world are distinct and our responses can be siloed. It was literally hour by hour in some cases. But, here's the rub, without actually giving away information. Disappointing. It was like watching a reality tv show, some drama, not much substance.

As another reviewer states, this one is a sanitized memoir.

Not sure Clancy even had a hand in the writing.

I've noticed a similar trend among all Clancy's co-authored offerings. Stick to Clancy written and Clancy written with (whomever) researching. This was coke zero.
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