I expected the book to get a lot of backlash about partisanship based on Clarke's testimony but not from the people who actually read the book. I found it to be helpful in figuring out how we got here, in this mess with al-Quaeda. Richard Clarke's career started in the Reagan Administration and he told about the unintended consequences (that no one could forsee) of the Cold War and Reagan's efforts to bring down the Soviet Union.
Clarke himself acknowledges that it is likely that no one could have prevented 9/11. Those he criticizes most for not preventing 9/11 are the CIA and FBI and their entrenched, territorial view of their jobs.
He says that he knew it would take body bags for them to listen. He faults Congress and the Clinton Adminstration for not adequately funding anti-terrorism efforts. He does fault the Bush Administration for Iraq, which he views as a distraction from the war on terror, but that is not the purpose of the book.
I found the behind-the-scenes view of the inner workings of our government fascinating and an interesting read for that reason alone. Clarke's frustration at trying to "turn the battleship" is evident throughout the book - in all the Adminstrations in which he served.
This is such a good story, it is a shame that there isn't an unabridged version to listen to. Whether you're into biking and Le Tour or not, this book is a great listen. I've given it to several non-biking friends who are facing a tough illness and each has finished the book inspired and encouraged for their own battle. All have also become fans of LA.
This is the story of a misfit young kid from Texas who is blessed (and possibly cursed) with great genetics. Lance Armstrong has tremendous natural physical ability to be a great bike rider but his experience with cancer provides the maturity and focus he needed to become winner of what is arguably the world's toughest endurance event. He describes his life pre-cancer and post-cancer seemingly very frankly. In the unabridged version, he describes his reaction to his diagnosis, his near-death experience of his cure, and the awakening of an appreciation and zest for life in much more detail than the abridged version. Still, the reader gets a sense of the struggle and the sweetness of the victory.
The reader is enthusiastic although he mangles many of the names in procycling as well as some of the sport's terms. If you follow cycling, you'll know what he means and if you don't, it won't matter. This is a very inspiring story that I can recommend to all.
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