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Publisher's Summary

This is the story of a small group of soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division's fabled 502nd Infantry Regiment - a unit known as the Black Heart Brigade. Deployed in late 2005 to Iraq's so-called Triangle of Death, a veritable meat grinder just south of Baghdad, the Black Hearts found themselves in arguably the country's most dangerous location at its most dangerous time. Hit by near-daily mortars, gunfire, and roadside bomb attacks, suffering from a particularly heavy death toll, and enduring a chronic breakdown in leadership, members of one Black Heart platoon - 1st Platoon, Bravo Company, 1st Battalion - descended, over their year-long tour of duty, into a tailspin of poor discipline, substance abuse, and brutality.

Four 1st Platoon soldiers would perpetrate one of the most heinous war crimes U.S. forces have committed during the Iraq War - the rape of a 14-year-old Iraqi girl and the cold-blooded execution of her and her family. Three other 1st Platoon soldiers would be overrun at a remote outpost - one killed immediately and two taken from the scene, their mutilated corpses found days later booby-trapped with explosives.

Black Hearts is an unflinching account of the epic, tragic deployment of 1st Platoon. Drawing on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with Black Heart soldiers and first-hand reporting from the Triangle of Death, Black Hearts is a timeless story about men in combat and the fragility of character in the savage crucible of warfare. But it is also a timely warning of new dangers emerging in the way American soldiers are led on the battlefields of the 21st century.

©2010 Jim Frederick (P)2013 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Harrowing account of the atmospherics, commission and aftermath of a war crime.... A riveting picture of life outside the wire in Iraq, where '[y]ou tell a guy to go across a bridge, and within five minutes he's dead." (Kirkus Reviews, starred review)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Good story about toxic leadership

After listening to this book, I can see why the U.S
Army Infantry School Commander requires it be read/heard before attending the Maneuver Captain's Career Course. Toxic leadership is an epidemic in today's U.S. Army. Criminals will be criminals however, meglamanics have no place in leadership and there are far too many in such positions already.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Black Hearts

A story of a group of soldiers that work in the most unfortunate circumstances in Iraq. Toxic leadership, lack of unit cohesion, and poor morale are all of the symptoms that all of these men face. Many soldiers suffer dyer consequences and difficulty when trying to push their leaders to understand whom they are leading. A great book for those that care understand how important leadership is in combat.

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Informative

A chilling look into what a lack if leadership can do to a military unit. A must read for military leaders.

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excellent

loved it. I like how they show the context leading up to the crime. something that was never divulged by the media.

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Leadership.

Great lesson in leadership and how bad leadership styles can form into a bigger issue under certain situations.

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great inside a toxic leadership environment

great inside in to a unit at all levels with toxic leadership and the consequences of their actions on the soldiers on the front line

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An important lesson...

High stars because of how everything was presented, the ease of listening, etc. the narrator was great at displaying emotion and really getting into the heat of the moment.

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Very good listen

The reader for this book gave a very good performance while reading this book. The content of the book itself is very top notch. A great book for those that want to understand the stresses of deployment (while this being an extreme example) and a great book for future leaders in learning about the negative effects of toxic leadership.

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A Necessary Tale to be Told

This is a rough story to hear about a terrible war crime, but leaders need to understand that an event like this is more likely when there are leadership failures as there were here.

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A must read!

An excellent book for all leaders to read. Definitely a great insight into the war in Iraq.