For three decades, Richard A. Clarke worked in the White House, State Department, and Pentagon. As adviser to four presidents, he traveled throughout the Middle East, visiting palaces, military bases, and intelligence centers, meeting rulers, soldiers, and spies. Some of what he found appeared in Against All Enemies. Much more of it appears here.
In an extraordinary geopolitical thriller filled with the kind of cutting-edge authenticity only someone on the inside could bring, Clarke takes readers just five years into the future, when forces both in the Middle East and the United States are at work to launch another war. But this time, it could be bigger. This time, it could be nuclear, and spread to Asia and beyond.
A coup has finally toppled the sheiks of Saudi Arabia, and put a determined but shaky Islamic government in its place. Everywhere, the scent of oil has begun to attract the scorpions, and among them are men in Washington and another capital ready to strike a devil's bargain to fundamentally realign the map of the Middle East. The plans are not the same, however, though some of the planners think they are. Hidden agendas, fierce ambition, conflicting loyalties, faulty intelligence, catastrophic miscalculation-soon the dominos will start to fall, and not even the efforts of a few dedicated men and women on the outside may be able to stop an unstoppable folly.
Listen to an interview with Richard Clarke on Fresh Air.
©2005 RAC Enterprises, Inc.; (P)2005 Penguin Audio
"Clarke's dramatic micro explanations of how things 'really' work; from a hand who served Nixon, Reagan, Clinton and both Bushes; are the true story. This is the first novel to shift all the way from Clancy's Cold War to the present war on terror." (Publishers Weekly)
To call this a "page turner" is probably not appropriate for an audio book but it is a well written fast moving thriller. However, more importantly it also gives an excellent view by an insider of the workings of the white house, intelligence agencies and the military. Although it takes place 5 years in the future this book is a well done critique of the style of the current administration and the secretary of defense in particular.
This book is a great spy story, much like Clancy's older books.
Clarke doesn’t have the character development or story smoothness of a Clancy book, but the details and higher level Middle East political concepts, make the book interesting to listen to.
The book exposes lots of interesting details on our internal government workings and Middle East politics, and Clarke's white house experience as Clinton's and Bush's counter-terrorism chief, shows in the details of the book. Although set in future 5 years, I wonder how much is really fiction.
As far Bush bashing, it is not direct and only a small part of the book and can be ignored. Clarke just showed the same conflicts we all experienced in the cold war. Both sides have people thinking the other side’s only goal was to destroy them and doing their best to stop it from happening. And both sides also have people who think there are other solutions besides war too. In Clarke world, war is not the only possible solution.
Good story by a guy George Bush should have spent a lot more time listening to. Had he done so, perhaps he might not have so botched this war.
The narrator, however, is another story. No audio book should ever get published with mispronounced words. This production is FULL of them. From mispronounced military acronyms to mispronounced country names to just flat mispronounced English words, this audiobook has 'em all in profusion. Truly disappointing.
The plot itself was very interesting, and the elements of communications, intelligence collection, intelligence assesments, and military strategy were a lot of fun. The statements on current and past American policy were way, too, repetetive!
I found the narrator to have a pleasant voice and paced the narration well. He made good use of adjusting his timber for different characters, but his launguage accents could be improved.
Despite these cons, I still found this to be the first audio book that I was reluctant to stop playing because I just had to get to the end.
I am glad I read this book. After reading "Against all Enemies", I wanted to have more insight into how Clarke sees our present international situation. This book, while fiction, offers a good window into one interpretation of the United States in the world. I agree with others who note that Clarke is not yet a well-developed fiction writer, but I think that limiting a review to the quality of the character development and dialogue is unfair and overly restrictive. The writing is not bad and the quality of the insight is excellent. I did not feel preached to by the politics; rather I thought the presentation of ideas was thoughtful and balanced. If you found "Against all Enemies" to be up your alley, I believe you would enjoy this book.
A well written suspence novel. It was clear that the back ground details for the story were well reasearched and added a lot of credibility. I found that I just had to hear the next track or Cd until I finished. However, the author's political postuizing and infered Bush bashing was a bit tired. A little yellow journalism woven into the story - enough already.
I enjoyed the detailed story and it was the possibility of something like this happening that made it even better.
This was an interesting story and had some good facts. Of course you heared the Authors biases and views of how the current goverment decieved us repeated through this book. Some people call this book Clarkes Second book on fiction.
I found the storyline hard to follow party due to the narator keeping his tone the same throughout the book so when there was a dialog going between several people it was difficult to determine who was supposedly saying what?
This might have been an OK book in paper format but I don't recommend it for audio listening.
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