"... there are times when silence is a poem." - John Fowles, the Magus ^(;,;)^
Haney's memoir of Delta Force is one of those influential military memoirs that sets the bar for future warrior authors. You can see its influence on the recent 'No Easy Day' (the memoir by one of the Navy Seals who hunted and killed OBL) and countless other minor trooper tales. That isn't to say this is a perfect memoir, nor a perfect history of Delta Force.
The very nature of Delta opererators, and the unit they served in, practically requires that memoirs of Delta Force (and the SF or Navy Seals) will always be viewed as partial truths, shaded stories, rumor, and myth. But like David Hackworth's 'About Face' before, this memoir is informative and entertaining. It is a single data point but shouldn't be taken as the gospel of anything, just a single (slightly biased) retelling of one man's memory of how things in a very elite military unit functioned.
I could say this is one of the best memoirs I've read. I could also say it is one of the most brilliant books on war I've ever read. It would probably be easier, however, for me to just acknowledge I haven't read many books that have the power, the poetry, the intensity, the vividness, the bathos and the pathos that Herr pushes through every single page of this amazing book. This is a book that haunts you hard while you read it and resonates both the horror of war and the surreal qualities of war and the men who fight it.
If you are going to read/listen to Thucydides, might I suggest listening to this wonderful audiobook while reading the Landmark version. There are so many places, people and changing loyalties that it really helped having the notes, maps, etc. I love the classical beauty of the Crawley translation and Bottino does a stellar job at narrating this amazing work. While I'm not one to demean anyone, I would simply suggest that the difficulties in narrating Thucydides is ORDERS of MAGNITUDE beyond most contemporary fiction or history. Narrating this book must have been a beast, and Bottino is my hero for doing such an impressive job.
For me, there is not much better than Thucydides' speeches. "The Funeral Oration of Pericles", "Diodotus to the Athenian Ecclesia", "Demosthenes to his troops at Pylos" & "Nicias before the last sea fight" are all some of the most interesting, moving and inspiring speeches and harangues ever written.
This book is a must for students of the classics, politics, history and war. Hell, even if you are just interested in a good story, Thucydides tells a mighty good one. This is an amazing, beautiful and important piece of history.