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The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan | [Michael Hastings]

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

An explosive, behind-the-scenes look into the workings of the U.S. war in Afghanistan that lifts the curtain of the world stage to reveal the devastating greed, waste, and failure surrounding this unwinnable war.
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Publisher's Summary

In June 2010, Michael Hastings published an article in Rolling Stone that made headlines around the world: In “The Runaway General”, he reported on a week he spent in Europe with General Stanley McChrystal, the revered soldier in charge of the war in Afghanistan.

McChrystal and his staff's unguarded remarks about the White House, our allies, and the conduct of the war led President Obama to order McChrystal to the Oval Office, where he was fired unceremoniously. While Hastings' reporting won him a prestigious Polk award and led to two Pentagon investigations, there is much more to his story than the indiscretions of Stanley McChrystal.

In The Operators, Hastings, formerly the Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek, takes the listener behind the diplomatic façades to paint a picture of nation-building gone awry. Hastings also takes us on patrol missions in Afghanistan, where he is embedded with American troops, and witnesses firsthand the madness, horror, and existential contradictions of Afghanistan.

The Operators combines the acute reportage of a Sebastian Junger with the mad energy of a Michael Herr - it is the painful, powerful tale of a war that can never and will never be won.

©2012 Michael Hastings (P)2012 Tantor

What the Critics Say

"An impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did." (Frank Rich, The New York Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (141 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher Milwaukee, WI, United States 03-05-12
    Christopher Milwaukee, WI, United States 03-05-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
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    33
    2
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    "An author with an agenda."
    This book wasn???t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    It was clear to me 15 mins into this book, the author hates the military.It's Rumsfelds' fault, it's Bushs' fault, it's John McCains' fault. The authors description of General McCystals' uniform and awards and comindations.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Michael Hastings again?

    no


    How could the performance have been better?

    Performance was fine, material was bad.


    You didn???t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Yea, never to buy another Micheal Hastings book again.


    Any additional comments?

    It was a waste or time and money.

    7 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Michael Stengel Miami 08-01-12 Member Since 2012
    ratings
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    25
    5
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    Performance
    Story
    "Ever wonder why the military distrust the press?"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Operators to be better than the print version?

    I did not read the print version, however the audio was well worth the listen


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I liked the portrayal of General Mc Chrystal. It is unfortunate that no matter how hard Hastings tries to gloss over his despicable betrayal of Mc Chrystal and his staff, he still comes off as a deceptive worm and makes it impossible for embedded reporters in the future to get honest answers. I'm sure Hastings is proud he got one of America's greatest generals and heroes fired. Obviously no deception is below his moral.


    What about Lloyd James’s performance did you like?

    The narrative was excellent and well spoken.


    If you could give The Operators a new subtitle, what would it be?

    "How to worm your way into someone's trust and then betray him"


    Any additional comments?

    Although the story was extremely informative, I do not believe the author's betrayal of McChrystal can be justified. Obviously Hastings is attempting to be another Woodward and Bernstein, and comes off more as a Keith Olbermann

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stacey AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-12-12
    Stacey AUSTIN, TX, United States 03-12-12 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Interesting and thought-provoking perspective."
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I have already recommended this book to several friends. It is a view of American involvement in the middle east that we rarely see. According to the author's research and personal experiences with the bigwigs and the grunts, we are not only not winning hearts and minds, but we are actively furthering hostilities with our


    What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

    The subject matter of this book is the most compelling. The writing occasionally seems like


    1 of 5 people found this review helpful
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