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No Good Men Among the Living Audiobook

No Good Men Among the Living: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes

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Publisher's Summary

In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America's war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent, a U.S.-backed warlord who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power, and a village housewife trapped between the two sides who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality. Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the U.S. invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively the Taliban ceased to exist--yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day.

With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopal's thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of America's longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.

©2014 Anand Gopal (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What the Critics Say

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice

"Gopal's book is essential reading for anyone concerned about how America got Afghanistan so wrong. It is a devastating, well-honed prosecution detailing how our government bungled the initial salvo in the so-called war on terror, ignored attempts by top Taliban leaders to surrender, trusted the wrong people and backed a feckless and corrupt Afghan regime.... It is ultimately the most compelling account I've read of how Afghans themselves see the war." (The New York Times Book Review)

"A brilliant analysis of our military’s dysfunction and a startlingly clear account of the consequences." (Mother Jones)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    L. Maranto 06-23-15
    L. Maranto 06-23-15 Member Since 2013
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    "What a great job of reporting!"

    I have learned so much about the war in Afghanistan and about the Muslim view of the world from this book. I highly recommend it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    Amazon Customer New York, NY USA 03-07-15
    Amazon Customer New York, NY USA 03-07-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Fascinating"

    An important work in examining our War On Terror. Interesting, compelling, thought provoking but not polemical

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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    beth merritt 09-11-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Captivating!"

    Read this twice, could read it again! Many characters, broad scope, well written and edited.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Jameson 05-29-16
    Jameson 05-29-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Interesting and valuable "

    This book was important to hear, although I would definitely like to confirm some of the authors claims and assertions for myself first. Some stories can be a bit dry, and while driving it was easy to get lost and miss a few things. Overall though, these are important stories for Americans to hear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    John 10-29-15
    John 10-29-15 Member Since 2006
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    "Detailed and fair history of the subject"

    a detailed and fair history. Afghanistan is so much more complicated than most people think

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    United States University Student 10-21-15 Member Since 2014
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    "Telling of U.S. Policy"
    Would you listen to No Good Men Among the Living again? Why?

    Yes I would. It is great to see things through the eyes of the people that we are actually fighting. I like to compare this book to the likes of when the West was conquered by the Union Army of the United State.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I like how he jumps from interviewees. I think it is nice to see how the cultures and gender relations are brought out and excentuated. What I like most is the fact that he hit on 2 themes: 1) No trust among the natives by the U.S. and 2) Just being a human being and treating people humanely. I think it's interesting to see that the U.S. sent an Army that had little political/cultural knowledge of the region. But that is what you get when you hole yourself up in a FOB and mix diplomacy at the same time. To top things off, no language expertise. How do you fight an enemy you cannot communicate with?


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Susan Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-14-15
    Susan Philadelphia, PA, United States 05-14-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Two Sides to Every Story"
    Would you consider the audio edition of No Good Men Among the Living to be better than the print version?

    Amazing,succinct writing! Essential reading for all Americans! I didn't read the print,yet, but I will! It was a little bit confusing to keep the people straight while listening, but the reader was excellent. The amount of American money wasted in this rather ridiculous endeavor was a message that came through clearly. Just as in Benghazi, it was difficult even for experts to tell the good men from the bad. I can't blame the men for trying to pick the winner and whimsically changing sides. The consequences of picking the wrong side were torture and death which is the meaning of the book title"No Good Men Among the Living". What on earth was America thinking by even being there? If Seymour Hersh's story turns out to be true(and some of it does clear up some inconstancies). We have missed the target and have more enemies than we imagined possible.


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    I was a little bit familiar with what had happened to women in Iraq whose husbands had been killed, but the women of Afghanistan faced greater obstacles in some respects because they were practically incarcerated and sometimes had no place to go and faced starvation. Part of this story follows an educated woman who was able to find a phone and some aid, but her sons may also be in a "lost generation"


    What does Assaf Cohen bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    An excellent reader whose pace and voice were perfectly suited to the work. Too bad he didn't read the new Wright Brother's book.


    What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

    The fact that many of the detainees at Guantanamo were held without charges and even when the tribunal knew they were not subversives, they were still detained for years.


    Any additional comments?

    I wish that there were more reporters who could actually be journalists.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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