There is sooo much garbage out there on the topic of UFO's, written by nutty ufologists or by arrogant debunkers. It was nice to get a book that looked at the subject from a logical, reasonable perspective. Credible witnesses presented with thoughtful analysis by the author, and no nutty claims one way or the other.
I really enjoyed the account of the Iranian Air Force pilot who played cat and mouse with a UFO back in the 70's (Iran was a close friend of the US back then). And I especially enjoyed the thoughtful analysis of our government's position on UFO's by two respected university political science professors.
Keep your mind open. Listen, like a juror would listen to testimony. You make the call. This is a book for peoplke who like to think through things, not make knee-jerk reactions based upon a mind that is already made up.
I'm a 62 yr old former Infantry captain who served between Vietnam and Desert Storm. I am a liberal democrat who was very opposed to the war in Iraq, although I thought Afghanistan was necessary. I read everything I can about those wars and the lead up to them. So, I suppose that I should not like Gen. Franks. But if there is any military or political person involved in those years that I would like to sit down with and eat some barbeque and drink a beer, it is "Tommy." He has been criticized in other books by journalists. But to listen to his take on the events of 2001-2003 is an enjoyable eye opener. He's honest about his upbringing, flunking out of college and coming into manhood in the Army. He admits that mistakes were made leading up to the wars, but has no apologies for the patriotism that drove him and others. He is honest about those that he could work closely with and about those he found to be sometimes difficult. But he is gracious to all. Having lived in Texas for 20 years I can attest that he represents a true flavor of the best of Texas. So, listen with an open mind. General Franks is an officer and a gentleman.
Gen McCrystal was a goof ball his first couple of years at West Point and he tells some hilarious stories about this. This is a long book that covers many, many years. He gives the most attention to Afghanistan and Iraq, as I was hoping. The General is a driven work-a-holic (4hrs sleep a night, eats one meal a day, runs 7+ miles a day). He just missed Vietnam and didn't see combat until much later in his career. As intense as he is, he is very gracious to others he talks about in the book. This is largely the story of the special ops in O.E.F. and O.I.F. from the view of the man in charge. The reader is absolutely the best reader of any book I have listened to. I thought I was listening to Gen McCrystal himself. He speaks directly about the death of Ranger Pat Tillman. Finally, he deals head-on with the Rolling Stone magazine reporter and story that cost him his job. Very enjoyable.
I was an Army lieutenant 1974 - 1978. Never went to war like these lieutenants did. But I had many of the same anxieties these five lieutenants had. These guys are reflecting back several years after the war. They each have their own thoughts and experiences. A couple lived in a bachelor pad. One stayed in the BOQ. One was a scout platoon leader, the others leading tank platoons. Some had great platoon sergeants, one had a horrid PSG. Some loved their company C.O.'s, some had weak C.O.'s. All had one great fear (as I did) "to let their men down." These guys are honest with their feelings, about the SNAFU's in the Army and about the growing up they did. Most of them won "Combat V's". If I were an ROTC instructor, I would make this book required reading for cadets...and then we would honestly talk about it. The reader is a little dry, by the story is so compelling.
Delightful, Humbling, Forgive
Nice accent...sometimes German...sometimes French...but always delightful. He tried hard to sound German
Reconciliation is Necessary for Soldiers
I was a tank commander with D. Co. 2/112th AR, 49th Armored Division. Military History was my minor in college. I needed to listen to this book. The reader does a great job. He tries the accent. Sometimes it sounds German...sometimes French. But always delightful. It only takes about 15 minutes to get used to it. The book is delightful!! But...if you want to hate someone...Germans, Russians, Blacks, Democrats, Republicans, Gays, Straights, Muslims, Christians...whoever!!!! You will not like this book Von Luck ends up saying that "forgetting" is good..."forgiving" is better..."reconciliation" is the best. He should know! Think you have a reason for hating??? You should have lived his life. I don't think he ever reconciled with the Nazis, but he did with everyone else he fought or suffered under.
WARNING: If you are a deeply entrenched Neo-Conservative,you will not like this book. Ms Jacobsen is a liberal academic who does not hide her distain for the Atomic Energy Commission, General Curtis LeMay, or the disinformation spun by the CIA and USAF to hide their "blackest" projects. As a college educated, liberal thinker myself, I found Ms. Jacobsen's passion (both in writing and reading this book) to be delightful! I actually bought the hardcover book because I wanted to see if she verified her information with her sources in footnotes. There are 384 footnotes in the book. I personally only randomly checked out 8 of them, but they were accurate. This book covers many topics from the early Cold War era, some of which are only remotely connected with Area 51.
Her passionate distain for those leaders who mislead and likely endangered many US citizens in the early days of the Cold War comes shining through in her reading. (-:
I thought the theory that she presents on what really happened at Roswell was a bit far-fetched. But she is clear that this is the story of one man who was a source for her. Sometimes you have to be willing to read things like that account and give it some thought. That is the price of having an open mind. Very enjoyable audio book!
The book is a "sampler" of these three great documents. The book gives insight into the "political personalities" that were involved with them, and the changing dynamics of these men's relationships. It's makes me understand that the kind of antagonism that we see in today's politics is as American as apple pie. Lots of insight on Paine, Jefferson, Adams, Monroe, and Hamilton. A little on Franklin and Jay. Probably not the book for someone with a Masters in American Political History, but for an average reader interested in the subject, it's well worth the money.
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