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American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant | [Ann Scott Tyson]

American Spartan: The Promise, the Mission, and the Betrayal of Special Forces Major Jim Gant

Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.
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Publisher's Summary

Lawrence of Arabia meets Sebastian Junger's War in this unique, incendiary, and dramatic true story of heroism and heartbreak in Afghanistan written by a Pulitzer Prize-nominated war correspondent.

Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.

A decorated Green Beret who had spent years training indigenous fighters, Jim argued for embedding autonomous units with tribes across Afghanistan: These American soldiers would live among Afghans for extended periods, not only to train and equip tribal militias, but to fight - and even die - alongside them in battle. He argued that we could earn the trust of the Afghans and transform them into a reliable ally with whom we could defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda networks. The military's top brass, including General David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. Central Command and overseeing the war in Afghanistan, and Admiral Eric Olson, head of Special Operations Command, approved the plan and gave Jim the go-ahead to embark on the mission.

p>A war story like no other, an unprecedented account of a warrior who took up the cause of villagers as if it were his own, and of a woman on the front lines of a distant war, American Spartan is an unforgettable tale - and one of the most remarkable and emotionally resonant narratives of war ever published.

©2014 Ann Scott Tyson (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What Members Say

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  •  
    Heyzeus Christ 12-09-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Really worth the listen."
    If you could sum up American Spartan in three words, what would they be?

    He got screwed!!!!!!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of American Spartan?

    The bathroom scene where he lit up a Private for being a complete douche.


    What does Cassandra Campbell and Danny Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They brought in the emotions that flew up and down in this book. The love, the rage, the anger, the plight of trying to do the right thing.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I would have listened to it all in one sitting because it is that good. Unfortunately, life got in the way and well.......u gotta work ya know.


    Any additional comments?

    This is really an excellent book. It is truly a story worth listening to especially if you have served in any branch of service. You totally feel and get where Jim is coming from.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Grant Wentworth 11-03-14 Member Since 2014
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    "Great Story with terrible narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of American Spartan to be better than the print version?

    I never read it so I couldn't say.


    What other book might you compare American Spartan to and why?

    It really is an original.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    It did in some parts and didn't in others.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Not really. I understand the story. A soldier feels sold out by his command. Not that uncommon.


    Any additional comments?

    It was the most annoying thing in the world when the female narrator would immitate a man's voice!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James NEWNAN, GA, United States 08-17-14
    James NEWNAN, GA, United States 08-17-14 Member Since 2012
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    "True warrior betrayed by political brass"
    What did you like about this audiobook?

    The story flowed well with the right amount of detail.


    How has the book increased your interest in the subject matter?

    Magnificent storytelling of how Special Forces found a way to win the hearts of one tribe at a time in Afghanistan and the unique challenges they faced. The US military should be more open minded rather than strong armed when it comes to trying to win a war. It is obvious only a short term solution is sought. We need to understand people rather than try and change the way they are.


    Does the author present information in a way that is interesting and insightful, and if so, how does he achieve this?

    The author digs into how the characters feel. What makes them happy and sad. I had no idea how much a weapon could demonstrate a status among people. If US soldiers go into villages and take weapons from the villagers, this could bring so much shame. We need to be cognizant of this and think of different solutions without bringing emotional harm to the villagers. Major Jim Gant understood the people and worked with them for a common goal.


    What did you find wrong about the narrator's performance?

    Nothing


    Do you have any additional comments?

    Thanks to Major Jim Gant for his service to his country. I felt he followed his heart and his country betrayed him with their ego's and political agendas. I hope Mr. Gant finds peace. I pray that he does.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 07-17-14
    Hunter Huntsville, AL, United States 07-17-14 Member Since 2012

    I just achieved App Scholar!! 1000 hours in 1 yr 7 mo and 10 days!!! I never thought I would make it this far!! Thanks Audible

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    "THE TRUE ARMY OF ONE!!!"THE SPARTAN""

    This is coming from a guy who was in the Army and my father retired from the Army. Major Gant was a soldiers soldier, the type of gung ho officer everyone wanted. After reading this book I'm ashamed that the top brass let this happen!! Did Major Gant break some Army regs.? YES!! Has most every solider in the Army done the same? YES!!! Jim Gant is a true Spartan. He got the job done and never lost a man down range and that is the stuff the Army can't take away. Major Gant's legend will grow and it should. I think Jim did turn tribal but that is what he was asked to do.Taking Ann Scott in was over the top but the heart wants what the heart wants. Drinking beer on christmas and you loose your rank? I was in Kuwait and alcohol and more was available while I was deployed. Everyone who has served in the military world knows Major Jim Gant was shafted. Its sad but Jim Gant can watch my six anytime!!!! One article 15 can't take away what you did for this country. Thanks for all you have done and your service!!!! Major Jim Gant makes me proud to say I was in the Army!!!! Hooah!!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom C. 07-08-14
    Tom C. 07-08-14
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    "Jim Gant: Hero or Villian?"

    I don't know Jim Gant, but as far as I can tell I don't know him any better after listening to Ann Scott Tyson's account of him, his career and their apparent exploits together in Afghanistan and elsewhere. The biggest problem with the book in my opinion is that it's written by his lover, a woman obviously deeply enamored with him and appearing to use her book in an attempt to make us feel the same way.

    If you believe Ms. Tyson, Major Jim Gant was a warrior's warrior, the only person in the US military hierarchy who knew how to win the war, the only person who really understood, and was capable of understanding, the soldiers he led, the enemy he fought and the tribesmen he so successfully collaborated with. Every tactical decision he made was perfect, every strategic thought was brilliant and if the bureaucrats in Kabul and Washington had put him in charge, or at least left him alone to do...whatever he wanted to do, we would be well on our way to winning instead of losing the war.

    All of that may be true. Or maybe not. There is no way to tell. Her effusive and incessant praise of everything Gant did or said, coupled with her equally incessant derision of anyone who disagreed with, got in the way of or didn't support him in precisely the way he, or she, thought he should've been supported calls everything about the book into question. Some of it is undoubtedly factual, corroborated by other sources. But much of the book sounds like a fictional glorification of people and events based somewhat loosely on a true story.

    In the end I felt sorry for both of them, not because a noble and brilliant warrior was betrayed by the dishonest, incompetent and jealous bureaucrats of the US military. Again, that may be the case. I feel sorry for them because ultimately her book comes across as a blatant attempt to make us believe that Jim Gant was a great man and a hero, and fails miserably.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matthew 06-04-14
    Matthew 06-04-14 Member Since 2008
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    "Good but boring"
    Would you listen to American Spartan again? Why?

    No, the book seemed to drag


    What other book might you compare American Spartan to and why?

    War and peace


    What does Cassandra Campbell and Danny Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her perspective was somewhat interesting.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    I wouldn't


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John PICKERINGTON, OH, United States 06-21-14
    John PICKERINGTON, OH, United States 06-21-14 Member Since 2004

    ND John

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    "Sad Lesson, No Army betrayal here!"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I have never submitted a bad review, until now. I feel very sorry for the mental state of Gant. Vietnam had it's John Paul Van (a better man than Gant) & our mistaken Bush/Chenny bigger error in the Middle East, & our last war had Gant, an out of control man with a giant Napoleon complex. At least the author had the honesty to include Gant's alchol & drug abuses! This Book will appeal to the Beer Belly & misgided so called millitia types, but it will scare normal people. I can't makeup my mind to recomend it or not. I just feel so sorry for Gant's mental issues. I am sure he feels he was right, most fools do. Notre Dame John
    PS Chapter 15 woke me up very quickly!


    Would you be willing to try another book from Ann Scott Tyson? Why or why not?

    Yes, as she at least is honest. Her intentions are pure but at least in this case her judgement was clouded. I can't understand why she went to Afghanistan under the then conditions! In my 60's War no one would have wanted a person they loved near the place! Human folley.


    What does Cassandra Campbell and Danny Campbell bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    They made the insanity clearer.


    Did American Spartan inspire you to do anything?

    Yes, it made me wish I was 21 again so as to beat some sense into Gant! He hurt a lot of people with his dillusions. So sad. I can picture my Marine squad reacting to a speach as given by a shrimp in Arab garb before we went to battle. He'd of been awaken much sooner! I fully expected suiside, if he really had the guts.


    Any additional comments?

    The Army should keep a closer eye on damaged goods! When Gant makes his self serving "I am a Warrior" speaches the Army should have steped in then. I just hope Gant some day faces reality, but I doubt it. ND John

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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