Mark Bowden tells a really great story, and he obviously had very good source access.
The descriptions of how the Obama team made the decision to kill bin Laden and why were fascinating and a very good look into national decision making on critical issues facing our country. McRaven comes off looking like a badass.
The narrator thinks that whispering makes him sound more mysterious. Or maybe he just likes to whisper. Anyway, his voice acting contributed nothing to the story and eventually became distracting from it.
This book is incredibly profound. Unfortunately its narrator distracts from the message with a stilted accent. Is he British? Wealthy from New England? In the end, it makes listening to the book a trying experience. A deep Southern drawl would be less trying. Please get Grover Gardner or someone who can read a powerful book without testing the listener's patience.
It was a good book, and Ronson's sympathetic take toward the people he covers humanizes them as they dehumanize others. Whether it's racism, or anti-semitism, or anti-twelve foot tall lizardism, whatever group dehumanization you prefer, the point is that these people fail to see the flaws in their own absurd thinking while fabricating flaws in others. An old man pissing against a redwood becomes a satanic act somehow, while McVeigh's murder of more than 100 patriotic Americans in the Murrah Building is a proportional response to Ruby Ridge and Waco. And yes, if you attend Aryan Nations meetings, you are a racist anti-Semite. Just like Randy Weaver. SPOILER ALERT: it was Alex Jones who erased the footage on Ronson's video tape, in order to secure himself an exclusive, and he did it in such a way that would facilitate Ronson's conspiracy mongering.
Good book. Not the best book I ever listened to, but definitely solid. I will use its insights with my staff.
Well worth your 18 hours. Amazingly even-handed, even if it loses some of its balance on the issue of Israel generally and in the treatment of the Six Day War particularly. Regardless, I would recommend it to anyone and would be interested to hear an analysis of it by other historians of Islam.
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