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The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals | [Jane Mayer]

The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How The War on Terror Turned into a War on American Ideals

The Dark Side is a narrative account of the decisions the U.S. made after September 11, decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda. In gripping detail, Jane Mayer relates specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of Washington, looking at the intelligence gained and the price paid. In all cases, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.
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Publisher's Summary

In the days following September 11, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. The decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of utter chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser, David Addington, used the crisis to further a long-held agenda to enhance presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history.

The Dark Side is a riveting narrative account of how the U.S. made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists, decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda.

In gripping detail, acclaimed New Yorker writer and best-selling author Jane Mayer relates specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of Washington, looking at the intelligence gained - or not - and the price paid. In all cases, whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.

The Dark Side chronicles one of the most disturbing chapters in American history, one that will serve as the lasting legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.

©2008 Jane Meyer; (P)2008 Random House

What the Critics Say

"A powerful, brilliantly researched and deeply unsettling book....extraordinary and invaluable." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Like a good suspense novel....potent and disturbing stuff." (San Diego Tribune)
"The Dark Side is about how the war on terror became 'a war on American ideals,' and Mayer gives this story all the weight and sorrow it deserves. Many books get tagged with the word 'essential'; hers actually is." (Salon.com)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.4 (142 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 03-19-09
    Madeleine London, United Kingdom 03-19-09 Member Since 2008

    Audiobook addict.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Brilliant and Maddening"

    This was, from start to finish, one of the most engaging audio books I've listened to. Mayer covers the Bush administration from the eve of 9/11 until the end of its tenure with a focus on its manipulation of the law for political ends, especially as it related to executive power and the right to redefine how captured enemy combatants are treated. Far from being a critique of President Bush himself, she underlines his willingness to acquiesce to Cheney and his legal counsel, David Addington, in all matters regarding the treatment of prisoners and the methods by which intelligence was being extracted from them. It is a damning indictment of the unelected bureaucrats who cared more for their own peculiar and idiosyncratic dogmas than for the constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, or the will of the American people.

    My only caution is - don't listen to it while you're trying to fall asleep; it will make you so angry, you won't get any.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    curtis Tucson, AZ, United States 06-18-09
    curtis Tucson, AZ, United States 06-18-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Enlightening!"

    A very well crafted account of our country's recent decent into torture and the fearmongering politics of the Bush Administration. Although a very long-winded book, the author leaves no detail or accusation unexplained. Mayer clearly did her homework on this subject, as this book should be mandatory reading for every civics class in American schools.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nancy udell Santa Fe, NM USA 11-09-08
    nancy udell Santa Fe, NM USA 11-09-08 Member Since 2003
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    "Must read history"

    Thank you Jane Mayer for a chilling and detailed account of Cheney, David Addington and John Yoo's reign of terror. This is an important book that tells the story of how we became torturers and how a few courageous republican lawyers -- Jack Goldsmith and James Comey -- spoke truth to power and put in motion the eventual outing of this outrageous criminality. This is not a democrat v. republican book. THis is a book about principled v. unprincipled people -- courage v. cowardice and sanity v. insanity. It is a must read ("listen").

    15 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Corina Jerusalem, Israel 11-03-08
    Corina Jerusalem, Israel 11-03-08 Member Since 2007

    Corina

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Absolutely outstanding"

    This is a frightening--hair-raising--book that every American should read. Unfortunately, the narration is monotone and sluggish, to my ear. But the content is so compelling that this hardly gets in the way.

    11 of 18 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Dublin, Ireland 10-08-12
    Anthony Dublin, Ireland 10-08-12
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    "What an appropriate title"
    Where does The Dark Side rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Well researched and presented in a ballanced and cogent way. Where sources were available to be named these were cited so can be checked and where sources could not be named the appropriate caviat was in place


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The detail and disturbing justification of the use of torture, which as has been correctly pointed up is counterproductive as well as morally indefensible


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 11-13-08
    Scott Roseville, CA, United States 11-13-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Clever Propaganda Not Critique"

    I got this hoping for a balanced critique of what most agree has been fairly unhealthy eight years for the USA (and the world) after 9/11. 20 minutes into this book its purpose became clear. It is to vindicate and lionize Dick Cheney who is mentioned in nearly every paragraph of the part I heard. Anything evil, such as justifying torture, was ALL the fault of some lawyers (good scapegoats, but who hired them... Dick?) This faux "critique" is nothing of the sort. The theme I gathered (I couldn't get past the first 30 minutes the author's bias became so blatant I just couldn't stand to hear Cheney) made out to be a hero of some sort, Cheney the ultimate long time Washington inside adviser.) But ... hey we had good reasons for still doing evil things to innocent people. The ends always justify the means right?

    13 of 57 people found this review helpful
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