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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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  •  
    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.

    1 of 1 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 Master!! 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!!!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    thomas 06-16-15
    thomas 06-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    "We all must choose sides & battles."

    No one is innocent, we are all guilty of living with our self-serving interest preceding other's interest. Most of us choose a side based on what our heart desires despite the hard realities of humanity. We can at least try to accomplish somethings, but never expect 100% participation, or concensus! At the same time that we should keep sober minded, we play with things that clouds our minds, our judgement. What if the certain elements, i.e. chemicals, so-called security-related breeches, lack of fatherly love, were not part of Commander Jims life, or vise? Leutenant Snitches would had less claims to make notice regarding the Commander. Did someone believe they're above the contractual rule book? Did someone sub-conciously sabotage themselves? Well, hard times call on hard people, that play hard. The game field is not always the same. I believe Commander Jim could have been more cautious in regards to trusting the elitist political, & military hyerarchy. Right from the beginning he knew the players were all unstable, and fickle. What goes around, comes around.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr Hex 02-19-15
    Dr Hex 02-19-15 Member Since 2013
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    "Great reading very insightful"

    Very inspiring and emotionally charged book. Extremely well written by Ms Tyson. Can be easily made into a movie.
    Recommend to any one who loves to read about our me in war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David 01-28-15
    David 01-28-15 Member Since 2014
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    "A great warrior story"

    When I first started listening to it, I thought that I wouldn't like it, but I really got drawn in.

    Great book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lobo11 Kissimmee, FL, United States 01-27-15
    Lobo11 Kissimmee, FL, United States 01-27-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Better named "American Spartan and His Wife""
    What would have made American Spartan better?

    If Ann Scott Tyson didn't insist on inserting herself into the story so much. This is a book could be called the Ann Scott Tyson story. Frankly, I don't care about her. She interrupts the story repeatedly and at length, talking about herself.


    Has American Spartan turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No. Just self absorbed authors.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The snippets about his story in between her meddling...


    Any additional comments?

    The book would be better named "American Spartan and His Wife".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh 01-17-15
    Josh 01-17-15 Member Since 2013
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    "ok. great story"

    struggled to finish it. great info and history. just not what I was looking for.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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
  •  
    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

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