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Publisher's Summary

Lawrence of Arabia meets Sebastian Junger's War in this unique, incendiary, and dramatic true story of heroism and heartbreak in Afghanistan written by a Pulitzer Prize-nominated war correspondent.

Some have called him "Lawrence of Afghanistan". To the Pashtun tribesmen he is "Commander Jim", leader of the "bearded ones". He is Army Special Forces Major Jim Gant, one of the most charismatic and controversial U.S. commanders of modern memory, a man who changed the face of America's war in Afghanistan when his critical white paper, "One Tribe at a Time", went viral at the Pentagon, the White House, and on Capitol Hill in 2009.

A decorated Green Beret who had spent years training indigenous fighters, Jim argued for embedding autonomous units with tribes across Afghanistan: These American soldiers would live among Afghans for extended periods, not only to train and equip tribal militias, but to fight - and even die - alongside them in battle. He argued that we could earn the trust of the Afghans and transform them into a reliable ally with whom we could defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda networks. The military's top brass, including General David Petraeus, then commander of U.S. Central Command and overseeing the war in Afghanistan, and Admiral Eric Olson, head of Special Operations Command, approved the plan and gave Jim the go-ahead to embark on the mission.

p>A war story like no other, an unprecedented account of a warrior who took up the cause of villagers as if it were his own, and of a woman on the front lines of a distant war, American Spartan is an unforgettable tale - and one of the most remarkable and emotionally resonant narratives of war ever published.

©2014 Ann Scott Tyson (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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  • Hunter
  • Huntsville, AL, United States
  • 07-17-14

THE TRUE ARMY OF ONE!!!"THE SPARTAN"

This is coming from a guy who was in the Army and my father retired from the Army. Major Gant was a soldiers soldier, the type of gung ho officer everyone wanted. After reading this book I'm ashamed that the top brass let this happen!! Did Major Gant break some Army regs.? YES!! Has most every solider in the Army done the same? YES!!! Jim Gant is a true Spartan. He got the job done and never lost a man down range and that is the stuff the Army can't take away. Major Gant's legend will grow and it should. I think Jim did turn tribal but that is what he was asked to do.Taking Ann Scott in was over the top but the heart wants what the heart wants. Drinking beer on christmas and you loose your rank? I was in Kuwait and alcohol and more was available while I was deployed. Everyone who has served in the military world knows Major Jim Gant was shafted. Its sad but Jim Gant can watch my six anytime!!!! One article 15 can't take away what you did for this country. Thanks for all you have done and your service!!!! Major Jim Gant makes me proud to say I was in the Army!!!! Hooah!!!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • BDHumbert
  • Fort Pierce, FL, United States
  • 07-30-17

Important book for hawks and doves alike.

There are books that you can describe as fun, intriguing, exciting - then there is this one.
I have lately come to believe we should never send any of our young men and women to fight a war that we aren't willing to do what it takes to win.

This book confirms that POV. Jim Gant was a true hero who did not deserve to be treated as badly as he was by the country he served so long and so well.

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Riveting

What an amazing, and tragic story. Although the book starts off slow due to character development, quickly winds up to incredible story. This book is filled with tales of war, love, laughter, and bravery. The book does a great job of describing the afghans, and even the Taliban in a way few Americans I've ever known.

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A must read!

This book needs to be made into a movie so everyone knows this story. SF should emulate Jim Grant, not the other way around. It just goes to show-once again- how bureaucratic bullshit never works. I'm going to read it over again and again. Incredible story. A must read.

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May I call you, “General Gant”?

I could not stop listening – I’d get the bends when I had to do anything that got in the way. Narrator Cassandra Campbell made me feel that author Ann Scott Tyson was talking to me in real time!

What I love about this story the most is how Jim Gant grabbed the initiative in the war and kept it no matter what. By comparison, my experience with other good Afghanistan War books showed our fighters responding to enemy attacks over and over again. It’s nice to get out of response mode and take it to the enemy. This book put me into a positive, can-do mindset.

But what a few of our own Army brass did to our war-winning Jim Gant! The names of what I think of as our nation’s traitors, a few officers who apparently have no idea how to win a war and who obviously look down on the poor mountain people of Afghanistan, are forever memorialized in this book. These insolent traitors are repugnant, a disgrace to our flag and the children of our nation, in my view. Of course, I only heard one side of the story, but had to get that out.

Thank you for your service, Jim. How is the Medal of Honor not around your neck? Are we going to have to wait 10-30 years?
Thank you for your service, Ann. The Presidential Medal of Freedom for sure!

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Very few good GBs left

This truth was emotional and hit home for many reasons. I am proud to be an American and to have listened to Jim and Ann's story. I thank you both for sharing your personal life. God Bless!!!

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A must for any Military Advisor

It's amazing to hear the story of Jim Gant, someone who truly "gets it." Advising in a different part of the country in a different capacity, it's impossible for me to ignore the similarities. Mission Accomplishment was the only goal, and going native to build the sort of rapport that Jim had was necessary. I'd love to shake his hand for having the courage to do what was necessary. Wish I read this during advisor training. I would have been able to make a greater impact.

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Super Hero

Is what I liked most is Jims dedication valor and ability to adapt f&$@&n stud!

What I disliked is how the brass handled this whole situation. If your not on the ground how can you really know what's what.

Good job Colonel you're an American hero

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Hit Close to Home

I may not have been sf but my service and subsequent discharge in 2009 had many similarities. This book not only reassured me that I was not alone but also that I am not crazy in thinking our current military brass have lost their minds with who the kick out and who they keep. The ending of this book hit me hard and brought up my own memories of being told I was no longer fit for service and many of the identity and honor issues Jim faces in the wake were similar to my own. This book is amazing insight into the minds of today's warrior vets and just how bad the military and it's strategy is lost its way. I highly suggest this book to everyone I meet.

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Peshmerican Warrior

Fantastic book! I highly recommend this to anybody interested in unconventional warfare within the context of the US's policies and approach in Afghanistan. Not your typical war story!

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  • Justin
  • 02-19-17

a warrior true n true

this is a story of a legand n a betrayal.
soemting we see often..
the greed of higer appointments. is someting that is everywere.
thx for the time.. put into writing this book.
.
if the listeners is lloking for an action book. this isnt it.but if the listener is looking ofr the skills
of war n negotiations.. this is a good guide book

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  • Simon
  • 08-03-16

Contemplative, challenges the common perception.

There was good use of male and female narration through this book to support the main players.
It really supports the need for greater intervention for SF guys suffering PTSD and the divide between what politicians think is achievable and what it takes to get there - they are unconventional forces for a reason!

At times a challenging listen at times, worth it in the end.