I really enjoyed the book. It opens your eyes to many of the details that effect the decision making process the gov goes through. The only draw back is a little to much regurgitation of what the media gives us. I expected more in-depth honesty.
It was worth a listen, however if you have been alive and read a newspaper during the course of the last 20 years there is not much new here. If you have not kept up on current events, or weren't around for the Jimmy Carter era it is a very good recap. Uses a lot of insider lingo and abreviations as a substitute for any concrete unique insights. If you are reasonably well informed and are looking for inner sanctum secrets you won't find them here.
Any analysis of a hidden and complex relationship such as that between Al Quaeda and the U.S. is going to have some flaws, and no analysis is going to please everyone. What I find so praiseworthy of the Stratfor analysis is that it strives to be as astute and unbiased as possible. I am sure there are biases, but there certainly is no obvious political intention to those biases.
So, this will disappoint both diehard liberals and conservatives, who will come away unsatisfied: liberals thinking that it defends Bush's actions, conservatives thinking that it demonizes him. It does neither. Instead, it provides much food for thought in the midst of a dangerous situation in a complex world. At the least, it demonstrates that the special interests and flag-waving that characterize the political parties are just superficial issues that have little direct effect upon international politics and terrorism. Instead, the parties utilize their ability to influence votes to gain the White House (and Congress) so that they can employ their own nuance of diplomacy and strongarming.
This book has changed my entire view of Iraq. Perhaps the war was not the only way to deal with the terrorist situation, but the alternative choices were pretty lousy as well.
Unfortunately, this book does not empower the reader (listener) by providing new insight, it only helps to better understand. And it does make one realize how impotent an individual American is.
What a wonderful book!! It does not take sides on the war, just lays out the facts for the reader to absorb. I will have to watch the news even closer now to try and see the backdoor plays that effect the global political scene.
This book is a true insider's look at the "Big (Brother) Picture" of Every Player's view in the NEW WORLD WAR which is blowing up all around us. Although this is a lengthy book it is well worth listening to if you wish to learn the mindset of the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Russia, etc... during our "War On Terror?". I highly recommend this book if for nothing else but to burn a few hours. This is the intelligent person's war primer.
Not bad if you want someone else to think for you. The position of the author is that we are really good but our government intellegence is designed very poorly but we are still winning. This is another attempt to support everything that our government has said and done, even at the cost of the truth. Having said that, it is probably one of the better attempts at explaining the unexplainable, but at the end it is still one more book saying everything we have done is for the benifit of the world and we should be proud. Oh, and by the way don't ask too many questions.
You might want to save your credit for something a bit better.
This book offers many rational, dispassionate insights into the war on terror. Friedman does not go easy on the U.S.'s missteps and dissemblings, but neither does he obsess on them like the disloyal left is wont to do. Instead, he provides a balanced expose on the behind-the-scenes machinations and how the gears of decision-making turn in Washington, the capitals of Europe, and the caves of Afghanistan.
Now, the narration... truly distracting, especially since the narrator pronounced the end of every third or fourth sentence with a comma instead of a period. Amateurish.