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Megan

ratings
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HELPFUL VOTES
30

  • Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Annie Jacobsen
    • Narrated By Annie Jacobsen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1435)
    Performance
    (1003)
    Story
    (1011)

    Myths and hypotheses about Area 51 have long abounded, thanks to the intense secrecy enveloping it. Some claim it is home to aliens, underground tunnel systems, and nuclear facilities. Others believe that the lunar landing was filmed there. The prevalence of these rumors stems from the fact that no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside the base. Until now.

    A User says: "Reality, always more interesting than fiction."
    "Interesting, but flawed."
    Overall

    I will premise this by saying I am still listening to the book...

    First, I have a problem with Ms Jacobson's reading style. She speaks very slowly and pauses frequently to make sure that the reader or listener understands that what she is saying "has never before appeared in print." A statement she uses so frequently it has become a joke between my boyfriend and I. Furthermore, she writes like a reporter (which she is) penning a piece for installments, not just reminding the reader of earlier facts but restating them verbatim.

    Second, many will feel miss-led by the title of the book. Yes, it is about Area 51 but not as much about aliens (there is a sensational aspect to that effect that she has mentioned but yet to adequately explain). It is mostly about the alliance of science and the military, the development of cutting-edge aircraft, and the questionable ethics on the part of all parties involved. It is also about espionage and the misdirection and miss-communication practiced on the American people and the government to maintain secrets. Some have noted that her facts are wrong, but according to her argument, the official record is incorrect as part of a concerted campaign of dis-information engaged to keep the happenings on the site secret. She maintains she has the true story because she spoke with the people that were actually there, but following her logic, her information can not be otherwise verified. She is a reporter specializing in military (I believe) affairs so I would think she would know how to work from primary sources. However, if there are such major problems with minor facts as other reviewers have noted, it does make one wonder.

    I am enjoying this book for the way it ties together many threads of history. Am I taking it as gospel? No. But it has introduced me to aspects of history I would like to further investigate. And I have recommended it to my father who enjoys military and aviation history.

    30 of 35 people found this review helpful

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