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
"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)
1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)
Somehow all the news and articles passed without touching me, so when I began this book all the facts were totally new to me.
I have to say that I'm at a loss for words, I'm not sure what I think about all of this, but I have no doubt that everybody should read it.
The book is about the author's investigation into writing a Rolling Stone article (June 2010) on Gen. Stanley McChrystal who was in charge of the war in Afghanistan as well as the fallout after publication of the article.
Now that I have finished the book, I'm dying to read the RS article. The author never realized what a sh*tstorm the article would create - and it did.
The middle part of the book is a little boring but stick with it. The end where the sh*t hits the fan and the fallout at the White House is fantastic.
The story is also interesting knowing about Gen Petraeus' recent scandal in Florida.
The sad part about the book is that you realize we have no business in the war. We aren't winning, they don't want us there, they don't even want democracy and our soldiers are risking the lives for nothing. It's time to bring our troops home.
Very Well Written and Equally well Read. Congratulations, Michael for creating such in depth and unbiased portrait of Generals who fought the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This book was very entertaining and enlightening. Like many Americans, I have followed the wars through the new for the last 10+ years. I was aware of many of the actual historical events that are backdrops to this story. What I really liked was getting a glimpse behind the headlines, and seeing how the 'operators' that caused the events, and why.
The book is not, and does not try to be, comprehensive. Nevertheless, there is enough there to provide a pretty good review. It certainly made me want to read other books that provide a critical synthesis of the wars and politics.
I enjoyed the whole book, but it did sag a little toward the end. Even that was interesting, but not as good as the first 4/5ths or so. Still, I highly recommend this book.
The narration of this book was exciting and easy to listen to. It was as though the author were sitting next to me telling a really good war story.
An excellent account of Mr. Hastings' experiences with General McCrystal and the War in Afghanistan. Mr. Hastings was a fine reporter and this is far better than his posthumous novel which was, after all, unfinished. He died way too young.
Hastings and McChrystal both. Their fateful time together reveals a lot about both men and gives us a look into the inner circle of military power.
Both men are intriguing for totally different reasons, but its performed very well.
It’s a very polarizing book and it has and will continue to anger folks and have others scratching their heads in disbelief . It's a crazy rock n' roll ride that shows some of the madness of our modern warfare . A great piece of literature .
A better author
Hell no. He will never be confused with Max Hastings. He should be writing articles for Vanity Fair.
Get an author to write a military related book who isn't an anti-war liberal trying to create a career.
For me, none what so ever.
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