I am going to buy a hard copy of the book. Often when I read a book that I want to refer to in the future I turn around and buy a hard copy. However, this was so interesting and insightful that I may even listen to the book again. This is a classic because it is genius. It clearly and concisely lays out the political strategy used by President Obama to gain power, and I suspect others have used parts as well. Obviously, you can not murder your opponents, but you can do everything possible to destroy (legally) those who oppose you. That is clearly the strategy used by everyone in power these days. Except in Iran, Syria, Egypt, or Libya where they actually do kill their opponents. Watch Putin as he deals with his political opponents, he jails them or runs them out of the country, or has them killed. Nothing has changed much, only the names and dates. This is as good an analysis of political (or bureaucratic) behavior as one can find.
Really, for me the Prince was unique. I like old books that shed light on our modern lives. I include "Democracy in America" by D' Tocqueville and the "Protestant Ethic" by Max Weber in that category. I also include "Confessions" by St. Augustine and Plato's descriptions of Socrates's works.
Machiavelli's description of his analysis of ancient kingdoms and principalities and how they were brought low by 1). other Nobles/elites; 2). the common people; 3). foreigners; or 4). Their own army. This of course is exactly the same from ancient times through today.
No, I listened to it over a period of days.
I did not listen to the Prince until i was 59 years old. I should have listened to it when i was 29! This is good instruction for anyone analyzing any organization and its leadership and power struggles. Understanding these basic principles will help one make sense of the world in which we live.
This book is very ambitious, trying to show the complexity of the problems facing America in Iraq from the beginning to the end (?) of the conflict and from the lowest private to the President. No book can capture it all, but in the age of unlimited television and press, and the familiarity we all have with our military adventures throughout the world, this book helps to flesh out just how complicated it all is, and how deadly it can be. I am not sure what the author's actual purpose was, but in my mind he bolstered George Washington's advice to the young nation as he was departing when he stated we should stay out of foreign intrigues and wars! His advice could not be more correct for us today.
The detail of description was outstanding. As a former soldier and staffer at the 4 star level and witnessing first hand American invasions and the aftermath, I can assure one and all these are very complex operations that would be hopeless failures with out the outstanding people from top to bottom of our military. Unfortunately, we need some military officers willing to fall on their swords to keep incompetent orders from being published and followed on occasion. We need a few Macarthur's out there.
Excellent reading of the work.
I had not read a good description of the transition of forces and the battle for Fallujah. There were excellent.
As screwed up as this thing got, it is actually less screwed up than:
1). The Revolutionary War, 2). The War of 1812; 3). The Civil War; 4). The Mexican American War; 5). The Vietnam War; and even WWII! War is hell! It never goes right, and once the dogs of war are unleashed, no one can predict with certainty the outcome. American's need to restrict the use of American forces to only those situations where clearly our National Security is at risk. As the Author has clearly shown, that was not the case in Iraq. Iraq was an experiment at culture change in the Mid East, only time will tell if it was successful.
The amazing research that produced this book is clear, well written, and well analyzed. It is astonishing.
Harry Dexter White, because he was one of the best agents Stalin had. He and his fellow agents were able to shape America WWII policy and helped Stalin use America to enlarge his Communist Empire!
When I realized that so many Russian agents had taken over policy positions in the American government and pushed us into a war that claimed 500 thousand American lives.
Every single American should read/listen to this book. This is truly and excellent academic study of a subject that will be shocking to all Americans: The Soviet Leader, Joe Stalin, actually was able to use his agents in the American government to shape our war policy to help him enlarge his empire. If made into a movie, no one would believe it, and it is all true.
I suppose so, it was every easy to listen to, and it is not necessarily a book I will need to refer back to.
The author's descriptions of all the good people accepting the challenge and danger of trying to create a new, great society in Iraq with all their effort, and their ultimate failure.
This is a good listen.
Why America can not actually win a war! Our system is the result of our history, and it can not really be exported in the short term, and we should not try.
This is a great listing of many of the failures of American occupation policy in Iraq. There are very little proposed solutions to these myriad complex problems. The author writes from the level of a private who complains that the sergeants over him do know what they are doing, and the Captain in charge is an idiot, and the Colonel in command has no clue, and the General must be smoking dope and living in a brothel somewhere. Nevertheless, though it is obvious the author really wants to criticize the Republican Administration, and the senior leaders and their ambitious desire to actually make life better for the Iraqis, what he really does is show how the American form of post war occupation, developed generally from WW II Germany and Japan, really can not work. Our government is too big, to complex, to focus on the important things first, and that makes working and securing a post combat occupation almost impossible. We do not have good occupation doctrine and systems, and we probably do not have the ruthless political will needed to pacify and occupy any country and change its culture. Thus, we should not try. In the future, we need to defeat the enemy forces, find the most powerful guy in the country, put him in charge, and bribe him to not to attack us. Other than that, we need to let the locals run their own countries, and save us all a lot of heart ach.
No, once was enough
I served in the Gulf War, and Atkins, an embedded reporter had the perspective of an Army brat, who had made a profession of military history. He was the right guy to be embedded with Gen. Patraeus and write this story about the 101st (Air Mobile) Infantry Division's drive into Iraq. If anyone wants to know what it was actually like, read this book.
This guy brings a wealth of historical analysis to which frames what he is seeing. Most writers do not have that gift to add to the telling of the tale.
My only negative, is that, like most people, he becomes a little too much of a hero worshiper of the Generals he observes. But, that is a normal human reaction when living in close quarters with great men under great stress, and watching them perform.
Sowell is such a intellect. He takes an issue, breaks it down into its key parts, and then analyses the whole to understand what is the cause and effect of the processes he is examining. Sowell follows the evidence, and the facts, where ever they lead. He is courageous and is not afraid of being attacked by the PC brigades.
The "Protestant Ethic" by Max Weber is looking at society and culture and trying to describe why American culture is the way it is. Sowell also is looking at the world, and trying to understand why we find what we find the culture.
Yes, this could be a one sitting book.
Powerful. Who knew that Hitler made a pact with the Muslim Brotherhood to exterminate the Jews in the middle east to get the support of the Islamic leaders in the region? I certainly did not know this piece of history. Hitler's plans were not fulfilled because the Allies pushed his forces out of North Africa. However, he did use his Mufti to recruit Muslim SS units in the Balkans to track down and exterminate Jews in the region.
God's Battalions is similar, since it provides some of the history behind the current conflict in the mid-East.
This was a good listen.
yes, it was fascinating.
I really had never heard anything like this before. This man analyzed the parts of the political debate and how the left has succeeded in mastering the process. The right has simply showed up to the game and thought since they obviously had the best ideas they would win. The author shows that having the right ideas is not enough since most of the people who vote can not articulate a rational reason for their choice. Something else motivates them to vote, and the author shows us some of the tactics that need to be used.
You could listen to this book in a sitting, I listened to it on the road in my truck.
It was fascinating how Rove described the election process. He really gave us an insight into the process that gets people elected in this country in the modern era.
Everyone called Rove the evil genius that got Bush the bumpkin elected, but Rove shows how he supported the President, and how Bush was always the leader. Rove was a key player, but he humbly shows how he was a part of the team, not the leader who lead the team to success. Leadership was Bush, Rove was an important staff aid to Bush.
Great book, and we should all thank Rove for his candid description of his duties, responsibilities, successes and failures.
No, not possible.
Listen to this book, Cheney's, Bush's,and Rumsfeld's books and you will totally understand the Bush administration.
This is how big decisions are made.
Decision Points by George Bush.
I loved Rumsfeld's description of his time as the Chief of staff in the White House. This is an unobserved position by the public, but it is the most important position in the US Government.
Listen to the book and understand our decisions to go to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Understand how government actually works. Listen to this book and Cheney's and you will have a clear understanding of the bureaucratic decision making process in the White House.
A genius at work. Listen to this work, but keep a tissue close.
The loss of a beloved and the struggle of a Christian to understand "why life is so hard".
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