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Publisher's Summary

In the days following September 11, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. The decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of utter chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser, David Addington, used the crisis to further a long-held agenda to enhance presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history.

The Dark Side is a riveting narrative account of how the U.S. made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists, decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda.

In gripping detail, acclaimed New Yorker writer and best-selling author Jane Mayer relates specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of Washington, looking at the intelligence gained - or not - and the price paid. In all cases, whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.

The Dark Side chronicles one of the most disturbing chapters in American history, one that will serve as the lasting legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.

©2008 Jane Meyer; (P)2008 Random House

Critic Reviews

"A powerful, brilliantly researched and deeply unsettling book....extraordinary and invaluable." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Like a good suspense novel....potent and disturbing stuff." (San Diego Tribune)
"The Dark Side is about how the war on terror became 'a war on American ideals,' and Mayer gives this story all the weight and sorrow it deserves. Many books get tagged with the word 'essential'; hers actually is." (Salon.com)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall

Brilliant and Maddening

This was, from start to finish, one of the most engaging audio books I've listened to. Mayer covers the Bush administration from the eve of 9/11 until the end of its tenure with a focus on its manipulation of the law for political ends, especially as it related to executive power and the right to redefine how captured enemy combatants are treated. Far from being a critique of President Bush himself, she underlines his willingness to acquiesce to Cheney and his legal counsel, David Addington, in all matters regarding the treatment of prisoners and the methods by which intelligence was being extracted from them. It is a damning indictment of the unelected bureaucrats who cared more for their own peculiar and idiosyncratic dogmas than for the constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, or the will of the American people.

My only caution is - don't listen to it while you're trying to fall asleep; it will make you so angry, you won't get any.

20 of 21 people found this review helpful

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One of my best audible purchases to date

I can't wait to listen to this one again. Each sentence kept me wanting more with never a dull moment. If you find this type of recent history interesting, you should've already heard this book. If you aren't sure if you like this genre, you will love this book even more for showing you behind the scenes of the aftermath of 9/11. Warning: You will be highly upset, but at least you will be entertained. I love how this isn't a boring, dry, stereotypical educational book. It's truly upbeat, fast pace, straightforward narrative that does a great job of separating chunks of information into the various chapters.

The narrator did an excellent job. I will look for more books read by him. His voice is so easy to listen to & adds the perfect emotion for what is being described.

You will not be disappointed. I promise you. If you aren't pleased, I will gift you a free credit.*

*not guaranteed. offering party will not be held accountable. "free credit" claim is a lie.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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C

great !! everyone should read this book.
now I know why Isis puts orange jump suits
on captors before they be-head them.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Must read history

Thank you Jane Mayer for a chilling and detailed account of Cheney, David Addington and John Yoo's reign of terror. This is an important book that tells the story of how we became torturers and how a few courageous republican lawyers -- Jack Goldsmith and James Comey -- spoke truth to power and put in motion the eventual outing of this outrageous criminality. This is not a democrat v. republican book. THis is a book about principled v. unprincipled people -- courage v. cowardice and sanity v. insanity. It is a must read ("listen").

24 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Enlightening!

A very well crafted account of our country's recent decent into torture and the fearmongering politics of the Bush Administration. Although a very long-winded book, the author leaves no detail or accusation unexplained. Mayer clearly did her homework on this subject, as this book should be mandatory reading for every civics class in American schools.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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The Story of how America gave up it's honor.

Very well researched and written; a story I wished didn't need to be told. A must read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Absolutely outstanding

This is a frightening--hair-raising--book that every American should read. Unfortunately, the narration is monotone and sluggish, to my ear. But the content is so compelling that this hardly gets in the way.

13 of 21 people found this review helpful

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Required tell reading on recent political history

A fascinating account of the painful and idiotic descent into stupidity in the bush administration

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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What an appropriate title

Where does The Dark Side rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Well researched and presented in a ballanced and cogent way. Where sources were available to be named these were cited so can be checked and where sources could not be named the appropriate caviat was in place

What was the most compelling aspect of this narrative?

The detail and disturbing justification of the use of torture, which as has been correctly pointed up is counterproductive as well as morally indefensible

3 of 5 people found this review helpful

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A must read to understand today's politics!

Many of the ideals on torture that the conservatives hold true today are based on a false narrative stemming from the Bush administration. A skewed view of the constitution to uphold false arguments is not what our founding fathers stood for. In fact, the constitution was specifically written with this in mind. A republic is only a republic when the people choose to fight for it. This book explains explicitly how fear and knee jerk reactions leads to something almost unspeakable. This is a part of history that we should not forget and readily keep available to all academics seeking truth. Our future as a nation depends on it!! Also, if you love Jane Mayer then this book is a no brainer. All of her work is extraordinary!!! Stay woke!!