Let's face it, these authors aren't paying me, so there's no need to lie!!
First off, this is a GREAT book. Very well researched, full of new information, and written in a way that will hold your attention; especially if you enjoy CIA/black ops/ SEALs stuff.
Now for the negative, and it's not really a negative, just something you should keep in mind.
This author comes across as VERY anti-targeted strikes/ anti-drones. In fairness, he does present both sides of the argument, but he presents much more of the "innocent civilian casualties" side than perhaps is necessary.
He tends to disregard the mindset of most Americans, which is "if people are hanging out with terrorists (IE in the same car with them), then they are probably people that are a threat to the US" I'm not saying I agree with this, and there are always exceptions, but it's certainly a stance that deserved more weight in the book. Let's face it, other than journalists, there aren't many "innocent" people riding around in cars in the desert with the leaders of Al Qaeda. There just aren't.
This didn't paint my enjoyment of the book, however. The author doesn't beat you over the head with one particular opinion or the other, he just simply spends a bit too much time talking to the family members of suspected terrorists. For the most part, he sets out all the facts and lets you decide. I'd give this book 5 stars, simply based on the classified information and incredible interviews that are inside. The story and narrator make it outstanding.
SciFi/Fantasy and Classics to History, Adventure and Memoirs to Social Commentary—I love and listen to it all!
I'd just listened to a heavy work, over 24 hours, and wanted something short and engaging. When I found this, I figured it would do well for my mood.
What I got was a punch in the gut.
Looking back, I went in god-awfully glib: This is short! This is, even better, free! This is perfect!
It was a descent into the madness and memories of that horrific day and the days that followed. I was suddenly transported back to days of weeping and stuffing Oreos into my mouth, all in an attempt to release the terrible grief and fear of all that I (and most of the country) was feeling.
The tapes start with people simply living their lives, going through their day, with a blip or two occurring on the radars of their awareness. It grows into a gnawing fear and dread. We get to experience things just as they do, hearing oddities from cockpits, trying to understand, then trying to take actions to control what they soon start figuring out is a completely out of control situation. The line, "Does anybody know why there's smoke in lower Manhattan?" about killed me. Follow up with, in trying to get a bead on lost planes, someone saying, "Look out the window. Do you see it flying low?" and then "Yeah, it just dropped like 800 feet!" with the second plane going into the WTC, and I was flat-out sick.
There is some misinformation that the controllers deal with; there is audio from NORAD and the "This is real world, not exercise!"; there is horror, dread, and some extraordinarily calm people doing the impossible.
There were plenty of times that I wanted to shout at them to just get the planes out of the air, but who knew then what we know now? The fact that decisions were made so quickly and with such finality is mind-blowing, especially when so many different towers were involved. And though the last four minutes of the recording are tinny and difficult to understand, they're worth listening to. They pretty much sum up everything that became part of our American culture.
It's strange. I work with teen-aged girls who were only toddlers when 9-11 happened. These tapes would mean nothing to them. But for anybody who watched their television sets in a trance-like horror on that day, I strongly suggest the quick listen. Warning, though: if you felt even an iota of anything that remotely suggests your humanity back then, you will most likely, even now at this late date, feel something pretty powerful.
Personally, I'm going to sit and stare at the wall for a while, wipe some tears away...