Relentless Strike tells the inside story of Joint Special Operations Command, the secret military organization that, during the past decade, has revolutionized counterterrorism, seamlessly fusing intelligence and operational skills to conduct missions that hit the headlines and those that have remained in the shadows - until now. Because JSOC includes the military's most storied special operations units - Delta Force, SEAL Team Six, the 75th Ranger Regiment - as well as America's most secret aviation and intelligence units, this is their story, too.
The 20th-century should make sense. It's the period of history that we know the most about, an epic geo-political narrative that runs through World War One, the great depression, World War Two, the American century and the fall of the Berlin Wall. But somehow that story doesn't quite lead into the world we find ourselves in now, this bewildering 21st-century, adrift in a network of constant surveillance, unsustainable competition, tsunamis of trivia and extraordinary opportunity.
At dawn on March 2, 2002, America's first major battle of the 21st century began. Over 200 soldiers of the 101st Airborne and 10th Mountain Division flew into Afghanistan's Shah-i-Kotvalley - and into the mouth of a buzz saw. They were about to pay a bloody price for strategic, high-level miscalculations that underestimated the enemy's strength and willingness to fight.
Unmanned is an in-depth examination of why seemingly successful wars never seem to end. The problem centers on drones, now accumulated in the thousands, the front end of a spying and killing machine that is disconnected from either security or safety. Drones, however, are only part of the problem. William Arkin shows that security is actually undermined by an impulse to gather as much data as possible, the appetite and the theory both skewed toward the notion that no amount is too much.
The definitive investigation into the greatest aviation mystery in history, with a startling hypothesis about who took the plane, where they took it, and how. On March 8, 2014, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 disappeared. A year later, still no trace of the plane - or the 239 people onboard - has been found. But why? In The Plane That Wasn't There, science journalist and CNN aviation analyst Jeff Wise sweeps aside the conspiracy theories and misconceptions and lays out, with clear concision, just what we know about the plane's fate - and what we don't.
"Russia hijacked MH370?"
The world watched in horror as Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans in August 2005, and the calamity seemed all the worse because many felt that technology had advanced far enough to prevent such tragedies, whether through advanced warning or engineering. Spawning off the Bahamian coast that month, Katrina quickly grew to be one of the deadliest natural disasters in American history, killing more than 1,800 people and flooding a heavy majority of one of America's most famous cities.
Initially dismissed by US President Barack Obama, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has shocked the world by conquering massive territories in both countries and promising to create a vast new Muslim caliphate that observes the strict dictates of Sharia law. In ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror, American journalist Michael Weiss and Syrian analyst Hassan Hassan explain how these violent extremists evolved from a nearly defeated Iraqi insurgent group into a jihadi army of international volunteers who have conquered territory equal to the size of Great Britain.
In the past five years, Israel has mounted three major assaults on the 1.8 million Palestinians trapped behind its blockade of the Gaza Strip. Taken together, Operation Cast Lead (2008-9), Operation Pillar of Defense (2012), and Operation Protective Edge (2014) have resulted in the deaths of some 3,700 Palestinians. Meanwhile a total of 90 Israelis were killed in the invasions. On the face of it, this succession of vastly disproportionate attacks has often seemed frenzied and pathological.
13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security operators fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to avert tragedy on a much larger scale.
"Like you were there !"
From the former secretary of defense, a strikingly candid, vivid account of serving Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. When Robert M. Gates received a call from the White House, he thought he'd long left Washington politics behind: After working for six presidents in both the CIA and the National Security Council, he was happily serving as president of Texas A&M University. But when he was asked to help a nation mired in two wars and to aid the troops doing the fighting, he answered what he felt was the call of duty.
Who understood the risk inherent in the assumption of ever-rising real-estate prices, a risk compounded daily by the creation of those arcane, artificial securities loosely based on piles of doubtful mortgages? Michael Lewis turns the inquiry on its head to create a fresh, character-driven narrative brimming with indignation and dark humor, a fitting sequel to his number-one best-selling Liar’s Poker.
"Finally, I understand what happened!"
From Brandon Webb, Navy SEAL sniper and New York Times best-selling author, comes his account of the eight friends and fellow SEALs who made the ultimate sacrifice. As a Navy SEAL, Webb rose to the top of the world's most elite sniper corps, experiencing years of punishing training and combat missions from the Persian Gulf to Afghanistan. Along the way, Webb served beside, trained, and supported men he came to know not just as fellow warriors, but as friends and, eventually, as heroes.
"Among Heroes well told story of great men"
From the streets of Iraq to the mountaintops of Afghanistan and to the third floor of Osama Bin Laden's compound, operator Mark Owen of the U.S. Naval Special Warfare Development Group - commonly known as SEAL Team Six - has been a part of some of the most memorable special operations in history, as well as countless missions that never made headlines. No Easy Day puts listeners alongside Owen and the other handpicked members of the 24-man team as they train for the biggest mission of their lives.
"Gripping, first-hand narrative of Op Neptune Spear"
This is a sweeping narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, a groundbreaking look at the people and ideas, the terrorist plans, and the Western intelligence failures that culminated in the assault on America. Lawrence Wright's remarkable book is based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews that he conducted in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, England, France, Germany, Spain, and the United States.
"Riveting... Sobering... Chilling..."
In the tradition of the best writing on medicine, physician and reporter Sheri Fink reconstructs five days at Memorial Medical Center and draws the listener into the lives of those who struggled mightily to survive and to maintain life amidst chaos. After Katrina struck and the floodwaters rose, the power failed, and the heat climbed, exhausted caregivers chose to designate certain patients last for rescue. Months later, several health professionals faced criminal allegations that they deliberately injected numerous patients with drugs to hasten their deaths. Five Days at Memorial, the culmination of six years of reporting, unspools the mystery of what happened in those days.
"Five Days in Hell/Years in Purgatory"
As the Beijing correspondent for The New Yorker, Evan Osnos was on the ground in China for years, witness to profound political, economic, and cultural upheaval. In Age of Ambition, he describes the greatest collision taking place in that country: the clash between the rise of the individual and the Communist Party’s struggle to retain control.
"The Insider's Guide to Contemporary China!!"
This is the book the CIA does not want you to read. For the last 60 years, the CIA has maintained a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, never disclosing its blunders to the American public. It spun its own truth to the nation while reality lay buried in classified archives. Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Tim Weiner offers a stunning indictment of the CIA, a deeply flawed organization that has never deserved America's confidence.
"Flawed but Important"
A real-life thriller about the most tumultuous period in America's financial history by an acclaimed New York Times reporter. Andrew Ross Sorkin delivers the first true, behind-the-scenes, moment-by-moment account of how the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression developed into a global tsunami.
"Best Book About Meltdown"
The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the most important mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror, when the men on the ground knew little about the enemy - and their commanders in Washington knew even less. With unprecedented access to surviving members of ODA 574, key war planners, and Karzai himself, award-winning author Eric Blehm cuts through the noise of politicians and high-level military officials to narrate, for the first time, a story of uncommon bravery and terrible sacrifice.
"Great story about the rise of Karzai."
The Ultimate History of Video Games reveals everything you ever wanted to know and more about the unforgettable games that changed the world, the visionaries who made them, and the fanatics who played them. From the arcade to television and from the PC to the handheld device, video games have entraced kids at heart for nearly 30 years. And author and gaming historian Steven L. Kent has been there to record the craze from the very beginning.
"Repetitive but interesting"
The United States military currently views cyberspace as the "fifth domain" of warfare - alongside land, sea, air, and space - and the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, and CIA all field teams of hackers who can - and do - launch computer virus strikes against enemy targets. In fact, as @War shows, US hackers were crucial to our victory in Iraq.
"The short history of the US and Cyber War"
Based on hundreds of interviews with the people who lived the story, Game Change is a reportorial tour de force that reads like a fast-paced novel. Character driven and dialogue rich, replete with extravagantly detailed scenes, this is the occasion-ally shocking, often hilarious, ultimately definitive account of the campaign of a lifetime.
"Out Dated Even When It Was Current"
The Islamic State, known as ISIS, exploded into the public eye in 2014 with startling speed and shocking brutality. It has captured the imagination of the global jihadist movement, attracting recruits in unprecedented numbers and wreaking bloody destruction with a sadistic glee that has alienated even the hardcore terrorists of its parent organization, al Qaeda. Jessica Stern and J.M. Berger, two of America’s leading experts on terrorism, dissect the new model for violent extremism that ISIS has leveraged into an empire of death in Iraq and Syria, and an international network that is rapidly expanding in the Middle East, North Africa and around the world.
"Good information well organized..."
The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States, also known as the 9-11 Commission, was created by congressional legislation and the signature of President George W. Bush in late 2002. This independent, bipartisan commission had the task of producing a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the attack, including preparedness and immediate response, and providing recommendations designed to guard against future attacks.
"Absolutely Outstanding Historical Document"
This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment - a unit known as the Black Heart Brigade. Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq's so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country's most dangerous location at its most dangerous time.
"Difficult, Eye Opening, Moving Book"
As hundreds of rescue workers waited on the ground, United Airlines Flight 232 wallowed drunkenly over the bluffs northwest of Sioux City. The plane slammed onto the runway and burst into a vast fireball. The rescuers didn't move at first: nobody could possibly survive that crash. And then people began emerging from the summer corn that lined the runways. Miraculously, 184 of 296 passengers lived. No one has ever attempted the complete reconstruction of a crash of this magnitude.
Could history repeat itself, with one giant entity taking control of American information? Most consider the Internet Age to be a moment of unprecedented freedom in communications and culture. But as Tim Wu shows, each major new medium, from telephone to cable, arrived on a similar wave of idealistic optimism only to become, eventually, the object of industrial consolidation profoundly affecting how Americans communicate.
"Very interesting history, biased conclusions"
From Mark Bowden, internationally best-selling and acclaimed author of Black Hawk Down and the preeminent chronicler of the actions of our military and special forces writing today, comes an intensely gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. With unprecedented access to key sources and his great gift for storytelling, Bowden takes us inside the rooms where decisions were made and on the ground where the action unfolded.
"Bowden's lost his writer's mojo"
Exploring the beliefs, history and politics of the ordinary people of Muslim countries, Grieve cuts through the complexities as he examines all aspects of Islam. He also addresses the big issues: Can Islam support true democracy? Is true democracy what the West really wants for Muslim countries or are we merely seeking a cover of legitimacy for a policy of 'might is right'? Paul Grieve is an unbeliever - he is not a born-again Muslim, a proselytizer or a frustrated desert romantic. His aim is to inform.
"Fair and square"
It was the last-chance moment of the war. In January 2007, President George W. Bush announced a new strategy for Iraq. He called it "the surge". "Many listening tonight will ask why this effort will succeed when previous operations to secure Baghdad did not. Well, here are the differences," he told a skeptical nation. Among those listening were the young, optimistic Army infantry soldiers of the 2-16, the battalion nicknamed the Rangers.
"This book is amazing, but brutal"
Surge is an insider's view of the most decisive phase of the Iraq War. Using newly declassified documents, unpublished manuscripts, interviews, author notes, and published sources, Surge explains how President George W. Bush, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, Ambassador Crocker, General Petraeus, and other U.S. and Iraqi political and military leaders shaped the surge from the center of the maelstrom in Baghdad and Washington.
This audiobook offers the first systematic analysis of Putin's two wars, placing the Second Chechen War and the War with Georgia of 2008 in their broader historical contexts. Drawing on extensive original Russian sources, Marcel H. Van Herpen analyzes in detail how Putin's wars were prepared and conducted and why they led to allegations of war crimes and genocide.
"Pretty good, waiting for next revision"
For the first time, learn what really happened inside the walls of Hotel des Mille Collines. In Inside the Hotel Rwanda, survivor Edouard Kayihura tells his own personal story of what life was really like during those harrowing days within the walls of that infamous hotel and offers the testimonies of others who survived there, from Hutu and Tutsi to UN peacekeepers. Kayihura writes of a divided society and his journey to the place he believed would be safe from slaughter.
"Possibly true details become a rant"
In 1991, the United States Army trounced the Iraqi army in battle only to stumble blindly into postwar turmoil. Then in 2003 the United States did it again. How could this happen? How could the strongest power in modern history fight two wars against the same opponent in just over a decade, win lightning victories both times, and yet still be woefully unprepared for the aftermath? Because Americans always forget the political aspects of war.
A hinge moment in recent American history, 1995 was an exceptional year. Drawing on interviews, oral histories, memoirs, archival collections, and news reports, W. Joseph Campbell presents a vivid, detail-rich portrait of those memorable 12 months.
And Then the Roof Caved In lays bare the truth of the credit crisis, whose defining emotion at every turn has been greed, and whose defining failure is the complicity of the U.S. government in letting that greed rule the day. Written by CNBC's David Faber, this book painstakingly details the truth of what really happened with compelling characters who offer their first-hand accounts of what they did and why they did it.
"Best book explaining the recent economic collapse"
It is the largest oil disaster in American history, and it could happen again. It is more than a story of ruined beaches, dead wildlife, corporate spin, political machinations, and financial fallout. It is a riveting human drama filled with people whose lives will forever be defined as "before" and "after the gulf oil disaster". Black Tide is the only book to tell this story through the perspective of people on all sides of the catastrophe.
After the Fall presents a timely and provocative examination of the impact and implications of 9/11 and the war on terror on American culture and literature. Presents the first detailed interrogation of U.S. writing in a time of crisis.
In late March of 1943, four commandos arrive in northern Norway with a mission of establishing a base for sabotage operations. Before they can unload their cutter, they are betrayed, as a German Schnell boat arrives and turns the quiet fjord into a battle zone. Only one man, Jan Baalsrud, surrvives the attack. This is the story of his perilous journey to freedom. Wounded, the dauntless soldier swims icy fjord waters, climbs snow-laden granite peaks, endures violent snowstorms and is hurled off a mountain by an avalanche.
"GOOD STORY THAT'S JUST TOO LONG"
In Reckless Endangerment, Gretchen Morgenson, the star business columnist of The New York Times, exposes how the watchdogs who were supposed to protect the country from financial harm were actually complicit in the actions that finally blew up the American economy.
"Captivating and enlightening story"
While Vladimir Putin has been president and prime minister of Russia, the Kremlin has deployed the security services to intimidate the political opposition, reassert the power of the state, and carry out assassinations overseas. At the same time, its agents and spies were put beyond public accountability and blessed with the prestige, benefits, and legitimacy lost since the Soviet collapse.
"A little difficult to follow"
John “Iwan” Demjanjuk was at the center of one of history’s most complex war crimes trials. But why did it take almost sixty years for the United States to bring him to justice as a Nazi collaborator? The answer lies in the annals of the Cold War, when fear and paranoia drove American politicians and the U.S. military to recruit “useful” Nazi war criminals to work for the United States in Europe as spies and saboteurs, and to slip them into America through loopholes in U.S. immigration policy.
"Interesting Book - HORRIBLE Narration"