Masters of Chaos

The Secret History of Special Forces
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 14 hrs and 38 mins
Categories: History, Americas
4.5 out of 5 stars (215 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Special Forces soldiers are daring, seasoned troops from America's heartland, selected in a tough competition and trained in an extraordinary range of skills. They know foreign languages and cultures and unconventional warfare better than any US fighters, and while they prefer to stay out of the limelight, veteran war correspondent Linda Robinson gained access to their closed world. She traveled with them on the frontlines, interviewed them at length on their home bases, and studied their doctrine, methods, and history. In Masters of Chaos she tells their story through a select group of senior sergeants and field-grade officers, a band of unforgettable characters like Rawhide, Killer, Michael T, and Alan - led by the unflappable Lt. Col. Chris Conner and Col. Charlie Cleveland, a brilliant but self-effacing West Pointer who led the largest unconventional war campaign since Vietnam in northern Iraq.

Robinson follows the Special Forces from their first post-Vietnam combat in Panama, El Salvador, Desert Storm, Somalia, and the Balkans to their recent trials and triumphs in Afghanistan and Iraq. She witnessed their secret sleuthing and unsung successes in southern Iraq and recounts here for the first time the dramatic firefights of the western desert. Her blow-by-blow story of the attack on Ansar al-Islam's international terrorist training camp has never been told before.

The most comprehensive account ever of the modern-day Special Forces in action, Masters of Chaos is filled with riveting, intimate detail in the words of a close-knit band of soldiers who have done it all.

©2013 Linda Robinson (P)2013 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Masters of Chaos

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Story of Special Forces

Linda Robinson provides insights into some of histories most intense battles. it was freaking awesome.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book, interesting and exciting moments!

Well narrated, easily followed, great story of the dynamics, challenges, and evolution of warfare our brave warfighters are facing on the battlefield today.

1 person found this helpful

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Like listening to a history book

This book gives a great overall view of Special Forces from Panama to Iraq, but it lacks intimate details. The performance was superb, but the content was surprisingly dry for a book, even a history book, about Special Forces.

1 person found this helpful

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in depth

this is a very in-depth look at Special Forces. an excellent read or very long distance depending on the format. will work for anybody interested in the intricacies of Special Forces.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars

Uninspired reading of just adequate writing

The writing in this is not very dramatic, even though it does include some pretty dramatic events. What's worse is that the reading is really uninspired and labored. There is no change in pitch or pace regardless of what happens, and what does happen is mostly told from a distant academic voice. I don't think I have ever heard war and warrior stories related as if they were corporate financial reports. I jumped ahead in the book several times to see if it got better, but it just kept plodding along.

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Cery informative SF history.

This was a very detailed comprehensive history of the modern special forces. It's a great read and I recommend it to anyone.

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amazing story... poor narration

awesome story... it was really easy to get lost in the story and lives of each operator and there mission.
only draw back was the narrator, no emotion as she read thru the story and stayed so monotone that it was easy to lose the scope of what was going on during the story and never had any real connection to the book because of that. if i had it to do over again i would try and find a different reading of the book.

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overview of sf

the book covers a lot of history of special forces as well as political influences on the uses of special forces in the past and into the future.

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Great book

I'm a huge history fan, especially military history, and I absolutely loved this book. I teach history and believe there is a lot to learn from this, and you'll have a great time doing it.

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Really Excellent . . . very well done!

Well written, factually accurate story which details the Special Forces soldiers and their missions since their inception. The author tells a very entertaining recount of the dramatic stories of the brave men and their missions over the past 5 decades while maintaining the perfect mix of subjective advocacy and rational objective assesmemt. The narrator brings it all together with a solid performance.