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No Good Men Among the Living

America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes
Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
Categories: History, Military
4.5 out of 5 stars (134 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America's war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent, a U.S.-backed warlord who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power, and a village housewife trapped between the two sides who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality. Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the U.S. invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively the Taliban ceased to exist--yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day.

With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopal's thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of America's longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.

©2014 Anand Gopal (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

Critic Reviews

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
"Gopal's book is essential reading for anyone concerned about how America got Afghanistan so wrong. It is a devastating, well-honed prosecution detailing how our government bungled the initial salvo in the so-called war on terror, ignored attempts by top Taliban leaders to surrender, trusted the wrong people and backed a feckless and corrupt Afghan regime.... It is ultimately the most compelling account I've read of how Afghans themselves see the war." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"A brilliant analysis of our military’s dysfunction and a startlingly clear account of the consequences." ( Mother Jones)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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What a great job of reporting!

I have learned so much about the war in Afghanistan and about the Muslim view of the world from this book. I highly recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Fascinating

An important work in examining our War On Terror. Interesting, compelling, thought provoking but not polemical

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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a painful, poignant local tale of the Afghan war

this story was absolutely painful to read. not because it was poorly written, or that the subject matter was uninteresting, but because it details the avoidable failures of us forces in Afghanistan. this Tale pulls away the curtain and sheds light on both the past, present and the future of that country. every Marine, Soldier and Airman headed to Afghanistan needs to read this book. I've been there a few times myself, and have red over 50 books on the subject, yet none of them approaches this for sheer street level insight into the local second and third order effects of our actions there. much to learn and benefit from here. Oorah

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Outstanding book, remarkable narrator

Fascinating stories, remarkably narrated. Provided me with a rich and fresh perspective on Afghanistan, its people, history and the recent war. Highly recommended!

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A New Perspective on an Old War

This was one of the most fascinating books I've ever read. Having been a child when 9/11 occurred, I was raised in the shadow of the Afghan War and was raised on the narrative of the war. To hear about it from the perspective of Afghanis was absolutely riveting. I will agree with other reviewers that the Taliban is given a bit of a break in the book, but I think that that's largely intentional, as their misdeeds have gone widely published and are well known, while the actions of others may not have been and so are more of the focus. I would highly highly recommend this to anyone with any interest in US foreign policy or anyone with a general interest in Afghanistan itself

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If the author is correct, we've really blundered

This book shows how American soldiers and diplomats made a bad situation much worse. Should be mandatory reading

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Outstanding Book about Afghanistan

The great extent of research coupled with carefully built storytelling makes this book a must-read for anyone looking to learn about the war in Afghanistan and the current crucibles that United States are in to solve if they desire to pit an end to this conflict.

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Klarin
  • SAN PEDRO, CA, United States
  • 06-30-17

Good read and informative.

gives a face to those suffering as well as an understanding to how war effects those who live and grow in it.

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awesome story about a peculiar country. very well

very well documented account of the middle east. loved this book. will read again. h

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Third Book on Afgan War

Understanding that all books are written through the context of the writer. This book is well done and gives you a glimpse into how Afghanistan first encouraged, hoped for and was let down my America. Could we have done it different? Not sure but it's good to have the understanding at least.