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Showing 1-10 of 198 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 319 reviews
on November 25, 2011
I read a lot of history books, and I find they tend to fall into two general categories -- a) those that are years in the writing, scholarly, exhaustively researched, extensively footnoted and annotated, and b) those that make history come alive. This book is clearly in the latter category. If you want to know what it's like to train to be a SEAL and to participate in a mission, this is that book. The author -- who was a Navy SEAL and for years has been involved in training Navy SEALs here and in Afghanistan and Iraq -- writes so descriptively, you'll feel the heat of the weapon in your hands, experience the jolt to your foot as you kick down the door in the Abbottabad compound and smell the musty air of Bin Laden's bedroom when you burst in.

What I didn't expect, and the book delivered, were chapters that put the mission in context -- including the geopolitical context going back decades, and the preparation for this particular mission through the context of the last several decades of SEAL missions. One element I particularly appreciated in the book was the section that gave a background to what made Bin Laden Bin Laden. It's popular to think that he sprung up from nowhere as a fully formed monster. But many factors made him the man he was who did the things he did. Chuck writes so vividly -- well, you don't exactly sympathize with Bin Laden -- but you do have an idea what it would have been like to BE him. That accomplishment takes a special and rare kind of historian and, I think, represents the main value of this book. A value that will stand even decades from now when the mission is declassified and someone has the extensive time and many research assistants it will take to write the fully annotated, exhaustively researched definitive account of the killing of Bin Laden. Perhaps Chuck will be that person. Perhaps it will be someone else. Perhaps, as is usually the case, it will take several books for the reader to be able to get "the full story".

I do want to address the negative reviewers -- not the one-star troll flamers who have never reviewed on Amazon before this and clearly have never read this book -- but the people who bought the book and thought it wasn't "extensive" enough. You do know the years and years of work that goes into those sorts of books? I doubt we'll ever have a more definitive book on Seabiscuit than Laura Hillenbrand's or a more multi-leveled biography of Kit Carson and his impact on the American West than Hampton Sides', but it took both of those authors nearly a decade to research and write each of their books. They also had the advantage of being able to stand on others' shoulders as they had access to a wealth of history, research, newspaper and contemporary accounts of their subjects and the gift of distance to put it all into perspective.

Chuck's book is first out of the gate and, it does have the advantage of his first-hand research -- both in his role as a contractor involved with the training of SEALs, his former service as a member of the elite SEAL Team Six and his primary research here and in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, not only did he not have Hillenbrand or Side's luxury of time for research, he was dealing with a subject for which many details are classified and necessitated that, even if he was privy to some of those details, he omit or obscure them for security's sake. It's a huge burden on a historian, but, as I contend, when the exhaustively researched, annotated account of the Bin Laden mission comes out, this book will still stand -- as a visceral description of how the mission went down.
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on November 27, 2013
outstanding book that not only covers the mission but gives a great background to US special forces and the countries that comprise the home turf of islamic extremists. its a book i will read and re-read again (have already read it twice) as there is so much there; however, its so well written that it reads like a thriller.

frankly, most military books are either excessively technical and a constant barrage of acronyms, or, they are some chest beating rant that gets old by the second chapter. this book explains in plain english and without all the "hoo-rah" you get with most military writers.

i think its a must read if you want to know more about OBL and his history, legacy and motives.
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on December 9, 2011
This is a really cool book! After I had ordered it I read the politician's reactions in the press before it was delivered but wasn't swayed. I thought I'll read the book first then make up my own mind who is telling the truth. I had already seen parts of the training documentaries on the Discovery Channel which I thought were way cool, so when I saw the book advertised I ordered it right away.
I think the guys have genuine gripes and maybe this was a legit way of airing them. They certainly have my respect. To attain then maintain that level of fitness, awareness and focus is really cutting edge physical and mental achievement. Without giving too much away, operations are clearly and convincingly described in the book. I think about as much has been said as could be said, but it is enough to allow insight into how the team functions. I liked the Zen references which highlight the levels of mental and physical control required in extreme situations. The brief references to technology used were also very interesting with enough detail provided to allow visualization of how different aspects come together in general terms.
No need to question Chuck's credibility, holding the position he did, obviously he would have had to have the absolute trust of team members he was training.
It was also a bonus to have an account of the Maesk Alabama mission included which helps to give a broader picture of how the team operates.
I had followed General McChrystal's falling out with the Administration earlier and found that many of the issues raised in this book are consistent with observations he had made back then.
Wishing Chuck and members of the team safe passage.
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on February 28, 2012
SEAL Target Geronimo by Chuck Pfarrer weaves you through some of Special Operations history. Throughout the book he walks you through some important operations, e.g. Son Tay, Grenada invasion, and Operation Eagle Claw. He gives details on how hard it is to become a Navy SEAL, and the impossible task of making SEAL Team Six. This book to my knowledge has the most up to date information on ST6. It shows you how incompetent the CIA is, and how even after 9/11 the alphabet agencies are still not sharing information to help stop terrorism. Pfarrer gives you a brief description of Osama's life along with Ayman al-Zawahiri's showing how they became the two most wanted men in America. There is a controversial chapter in the book about WMD's; after reading the book I believe the author that there were WMD's in Iraq. The book is very short on covering the real Osama raid, so don't read this if you're looking for the book to just be about the raid. I recommend reading this book even with the controversy surrounding it. In my opinion I'm going to believe an actual Operator before I believe anything put out by the media.
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on June 2, 2012
First of all, I would like to thank Chuck Pfarrer for all that he has done in the U.S.A. military. He should be honored for his dedication in protecting us, and for becoming a valuable Navy Seal. So thank you, Chuck Pfarrer, for all you have done for our country. It is greatly appreciated!

The following is a quoted Review on the book's jacket..."Pfarrer has written a true page-turner about the inside story of Operation Neptune's Spear. There is enough action here, enough human drama, enough fascinating history, to keep you reading until dawn--you simply have to know what happens next. SEAL TARGET GERONIMO is first-rate story-telling. It's an amazing story, written about a world no one knows better than Chuck Pfarrer himself."

So, I thought this book was going to be cut and dry...with Seal Team 6 training for it, conducting the operation, and making it back to base of operation with everything they could possibly bring, along with Osama bin Laden's body.
However, it is more than that. There is much intel from an inside view of how Special Ops. conducted historical events--which are equated with Osama bin Laden--the World's #1 Most Wanted Terrorist, due to his jihadist views, his terrorist reign, his stature, as well as for the finances he provided in the construction thus, the birth, of al-Qaeda.
The book includes events of bin Laden's former plots, his being denied entry into many Muslim countries once he created his jihadist organization, and other historical devastations which took place on his watch. This book's content adds a bit more drama to bin Laden's previous news stories because they include private covert operations carried out during the past few decades, whereas al-Qaeda spawned terrorists to commit atrocities of deaths and destruction, on land, air and sea.

One well told event in this book will always stick in my mind. Seals were in Iraq in an 'in closure' covert operation, quite close enough to identify the terrorist Abu al-Zarqawi (sp?) in his safe house (al-Qaeda's #1 man of operations in Iraq at that time). We remember this disturbed man as he took pride in showing on television stations which would air it... beheadings (he himself committed), as well as intentional medieval barbaric killings in hopes of planting al-Qaeda into Iraq once they rid of us and those opposing him. But those hidden Seals were the ones who gave their 'seal of approval' (pardon the pun) that Zarqawi was 'in the building', sending their approval of accuracy to have him in his well secured safe house, bombed accurately.

You are also going to read a chapter in the middle of the book called WEAPONS OF MASS DENIAL. It is quite a 'surprise of information' that this reader/ U.S. citizen never had any knowledge of. Did you? "Hum."

A Glossary at the end of the book is also included which is a contribution for many of us to use as need be.

I hope you enjoy the book and the 'extras' which were publicly kept from the news makers. You are reading a book written by a respectful Seal who knows about the intricate details of many covert special operations, along with how and who directed them.

This is Western military action vs. Muslim Terrorist Fundamentalists as we are living it after the Cold War--coming together during the time George H.W. Bush was our President and Osama bin Laden was growing up--fueling the fires of Hell known as Jihad, against Israel and Western Civilization (Infidels).
Yes, I do recommend this book.
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on October 5, 2012
Pfarrer's writing is excellent and gripping, with enough humor and spice to appeal to any intelligent reader. He gives detailed background information on the training and heroic activities of SEALs. If you want even more complete and gritty SEAL background, see "Lone Survivor" by Marcus Luttrell.
Then comes a fascinating short history on the formation of Al Qaeda and Middle East events and the personalities that foster such atrocities. He reveals untarnished truths about WMD's in Iraq and their danger to the world.
The last third of the book details the raid that killed Bin Laden and moves rapidly with page-turning action, protecting necessary secrecy without loss of salient details.
A must-read if you want the truth in a politically correct atmosphere. Does not spare either political party or Hollywood.
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on December 9, 2011
Finished the book and I thought it was good. It was a page turner for me. I just wondered why it came out so fast after OBL's death. Kinda makes it look like he wrote it to make a buck. It's easy to tell that the author used his own experience as a Seal to fill in a lot of the story. Some of it seemed impossible to tell accurately without actually being there. For example, he wrote a verbatim account of a conversation between three men in a secure room about the initial mission brief. Other things like assaulting the building from above and taking out OBL quickly seem to make more sense than what the WH was saying. He claims his facts came directly from the operators who conducted the operation. We may never know the truth. Anyway, for what it is I thought it was really good. It is well written and makes a good and interesting story. If you let the opinions and hype lead you, it may be hard to enjoy what you payed for.
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on December 1, 2011
Just finished a very entertaining read in this 'version' of the raid to capture/kill Osama bin Laden in Chuck Pfarrar's latest offering. Much of the book focuses on historical background and perspective, which is interesting, but troublesome in the lack of citations. The descriptions of the training of Navy SEALs are fascinating and lend support for the author's premise that the SEALs, and Team Six in particular, are absolutely the best in the World at what they do. The raid events as described by Pfarrar are entertaining, and in many cases, more plausible than the multiple explanations offered by the Obama Administration and (apparently) ill-informed members of Congress. Still a good read, but I can't tell where it hovers on the scale of "Total Fact" to "Total Fiction". I'm glad I bought it.
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on October 22, 2012
It was nice to have a simplified, somewhat distilled version of the history behind the 'event'. In so many ways, the preparation for action can trump the actual mission.
Not in this telling. The 'setup ' touched on the training well enough, allowing us to put these men into ANY conflict that might lay before them.

Seal Target, Geronimo, is probably a book you should READ, as opposed to taking it in with the Audio format. I personally LIKE audio readings when the AUTHOR is the reader; most of what I've read in the last decade-and-a-half, has been non-fiction, and even if the reading gets a little flat, I much prefer hearing the actual voice of the person who was there. In this case, I think the audio version would have been well-served to get Chuck Pfarrer on the microphone.
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on May 27, 2017
This was a well rounded and balanced,yet succinct,tale of payback. One has the feel of being there at the climax.
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