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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 (161 )
5 star
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4.2 (147 )
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4.2 (143 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Professor 01-04-13
    Professor 01-04-13

    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)

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "VERY INTERESTING STORY"

    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.

    9 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bookworm 12-20-12
    Bookworm 12-20-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    ratings
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    "Bring our Troops Home"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Behzad manassas, VA, United States 05-22-12
    Behzad manassas, VA, United States 05-22-12 Member Since 2009
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    "Wonderful"

    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.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. Jonathan Newman Guelph, Ontario Canada 01-31-12
    Dr. Jonathan Newman Guelph, Ontario Canada 01-31-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Part history, part biography, totally enjoyable"

    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.

    8 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    M. Miller Arlington, VA 02-25-13
    M. Miller Arlington, VA 02-25-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Couldn't stop listening!"

    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mark 06-22-15
    mark 06-22-15 Member Since 2010
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    "Hated it!"

    Made hate journalists, Rolling Stone, and the media. I love the check a free press is keeping our society open. Then I read (listen) to stuff like this. I hate that I paid for it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DS 06-20-15
    DS 06-20-15 Member Since 2015

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "WHERE ARE OUR GREAT GENERALS"

    Unlike the 1940's, today's military elite are not our best and most honorable. The War on Terror is an ill-conceived failure. This should have been an intelligence lead, law enforcement effort. We did not learn the lessons of Vietnam and we continue to invest our lives and treasure pursuing futile nation building f**k ups. Such crap. Thank you Michael Hastings, the truth is in short supply in today's media and the American public owe you a debt of gratitude for your truth telling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-17-15
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    "One of the BEST Books Ever written on AFGHAN War ."

    This is one of the Most HONEST, REAL INSIGHT. ....Ever Presented on :
    - HOW the HIGHER Up's i.e.
    -Whitehouse, Pentagon, the Top General's and Diplomats played their role , their decision making process and WHAT motivated them to Act like they did -and- WHY...

    Although -I completely DIS-AGREE...With the WaY this Journalist/Author handled....
    -the -Gen. Stanley McChrystal Affair !

    2 Other Books -come to -My mind of
    -Equal Brilliance :
    -WAY OF THE KNIFE -and-
    THE WRONG ENEMY....

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew 04-19-15
    Andrew 04-19-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Good stuff, very enjoyable."

    It was well written. It had great facts and is probably one of the reasons he is not with us today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave O'Callaghan 04-01-15 Member Since 2015
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    "A great look into today's wars"


    A great look into today's ears and the actors who are making the decisions that have impacted our lives for generations

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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