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Blackwater Audiobook

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army

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Publisher's Summary

A largely untold facet of the war on terror is the widespread outsourcing of military tasks to private mercenary companies. Accountable neither to the citizenry nor to standard military legal codes, these largely unregulated corporate armies are being entrusted with ever-greater responsibilities on behalf of the nation.

Meet Blackwater USA, the most secretive, most powerful, and fastest-growing private army on the planet. Founded by fundamentalist Christian mega-millionaire Erik Prince, the scion of a conservative dynasty that bankrolls extreme-right-wing causes, this company of soldiers is now being sent "to the front lines of a global battle, waged largely on Muslim lands, that an evangelical president, whom Prince helped put in the White House, has boldly defined as a 'crusade'."

Ranging from the blood-soaked streets of Fallujah to Washington, D.C., where they are hailed as heroes, this is the dark story of Blackwater's rise to power.

©2007 Jeremy Scahill; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

What the Critics Say

"A crackling expose." (New York Times Book Review)
"Jeremy Scahill's Blackwater would be a masterpiece of the genre of futuristic sci fi were it not so regrettably real....It's got all the twists and turns and secret corners of a Hollywood thriller....[A] horrifying but necessary read." (Daily Kos)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (584 )
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  •  
    George R. Schillinger 10-31-07
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    "Blackwater"

    Although the author shows his political bias and did not write well, it is a facinating report. It is very troubling that our defenses must include private armies.

    My comment about poor writing concerns the copying and pasting of earlier text by the author in later parts of the book. I think some identical text was used at least three times.

    Also, my download copy did not include the final chaper(s).

    11 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Watertown, ma, United States 10-29-07
    Paul Watertown, ma, United States 10-29-07 Member Since 2005

    Something about myself...happy now?

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    "Stunning"

    It's not often that I'm dying to get to the end of an audiobook. This one, however, has everything going for it. Great writing, a compelling story and, for the most part, flawless narration. My small complaint with the narration is the occasional accents he uses. His Arabic accent is downright embarassing. However, I've never heard better "voice-quoting"

    The book itself is a straight-forward history of Blackwater. If you don't have a problem with a private army funded by your tax dollars that operates with no oversight and bleeds jobs away from the US Military, the book will infuriate you. If you do have a problem with it, you'll be even more infuriated. Rather than giving American troops money for armor, training and benefits, the Bush adminisistration prefers to throw money at private contractors which inflates the cost of the "War on Terror" and makes its buddies rich.

    The Fallujah section boggles the mind - an understaffed group of four Blackwater mercenaries are sent to guard a shipment of utensils get killed and hung from a bridge. The media not only treats them as if they were soldiers but refers to them as if they worked for the Red Cross. And the military needs to revenge the deaths of *contractors*?

    If you ever wondered why the US Military isn't good enough to guard the likes of Paul Bremer, this book will tell you why - Blackwater has better guns because the US taxpayer is getting bilked.

    14 of 21 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max Hawi, HI, USA 01-18-09
    Max Hawi, HI, USA 01-18-09 Member Since 2015
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    "t"

    If you like Noam Chomsky, Naomi Klein or William Blum you will love this book. The link between massive corruption and privatization is shown in startling relief. Bringing extreme Christianity into the mixture is a nice addition.

    13 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 11-27-07
    Elton Los angeles, CA, United States 11-27-07

    I teach Business, Economics, and English at a university in Tokyo. My interests are in politics, economics, and philosophy. I hold a BA in English Literature, and an MA in Political Science.

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    "What did you say you were going to say?"

    I think the author forgot his point while writing this book. There is a lot of really pertinent information, and when coupled with some other really good books on the contracting issue, you start to get a really good idea of what it means to be a Libertarian or Neocon.
    The book loses focus in many parts when it focuses too much on the political machinations in the Bush Administration. The whittled down objective information is enough to make you scream...even if the author's adjectives weren't in the way.
    The narrator is really grimmy though. He made me want to wash my ears. I think he was trying way too hard to sound like a bad guy telling a story.

    16 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ninjachinchin 10-23-13 Member Since 2013

    Books make the world a better place

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    "BLACKWATER IS TERRIFYING AND UNTOUCHABLE!"

    The greatest enemy to the United States is its own military-industrial complex. Add Christian fundamentalism into that brew and if a stupid president is doing the stirring, the mix is sure to lead to our own demise.

    This book is not only scary, it is chilling! The author clearly has a liberal slant but it is also clear that he has done his research. He obviously knows what's going on in the world, he's a first-class investigative journalist, a crusader for the truth and I commend him for his knowledge. But and although the story is gripping and more than just a little sinister, I have to honestly say that listening to this book over the course of about a week was more of a burden than a joy. Granted this is not a joyful subject matter, I place partial blame upon the narrator, Tom Weiner, whose cold, monotone voice and nearly flat reading made it hard to get into this already complicated story. The rest of my complaint sits with the author who packed this book with fact upon fact upon fact...reinforced by supporting facts and somewhat long and convoluted digressions of even more facts. I feel the story suffers because of the excessive and never-ending facts.

    Suffice is to say, this is an important book. The truth is that it is deeply disturbing how our government is semi-secretly building a corporate army (the new "Praetorian Guard" as the author calls it), to loyally serve the far right; and the fact that this army seems to be impervious to any attempt to hold it accountable for its actions, as if Blackwater is above and beyond the reach of any law. From all the frightening, alarming, horrific things this book touches upon, there is one important question. What incentive does a private, profit-driven mercenary army have to create and maintain peace and democracy, and to eradicate suffering and anarchy? It can only be the same incentive that our current government has, which is NONE...and that is a truly terrifying truth.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amr 09-18-11
    Amr 09-18-11
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    "Horrifying Details, Great Book"

    First word that comes to mind when finishing this book is "Horrifying".
    It's not the mysterious mercenaries in black cloth and full military gear roaming the globe shooting people with no accountability. It's the government that lets them.
    Refusing the idea of allowing for private armies to operate freely under no strict guiding laws seems like a no brainier to me. Yet Blackwater exists and have a booming business.
    This book tells the story of how Blackwater, how it was formed, who are the main people behind it, what's their background, highlights of their work in Iraq and Afghanistan, and stories from all around the world about mercenaries involved with Blackwater.
    The book tends to read like reporting rather than telling a story. This could sometimes make it a little boring if you're not really interested in the topic, especially when it comes to legal details. However, the amount of details and their importance trumps any slow down in some parts of the book.
    This book is a must read for all those who heard about Eisenhower's famous phrase "the military industrial complex" as Blackwater is the leader of the industry of military.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Pacific Palisades, CA, USA 07-16-09
    David Pacific Palisades, CA, USA 07-16-09
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    "Wandering with an awful narrator"

    While there's a lot of interesting material in this book, it wanders for hours and is often more a discussion of the Iraq war than about Blackwater.
    And the narrator . . . awful. For the first time, I'm going write down his name to make sure I never download another title read by this man.

    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Floyd Leesburg, VA, USA 12-30-07
    Floyd Leesburg, VA, USA 12-30-07
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    "Not as advertised"

    This book is not about Blackwater at all. It is an opportunity to make subjective statements about everything wrong about our current policies. The simplified version of this book can be expressed by the following authors conclusions:
    Blackwater is a christian right organization and this is bad.
    Our military is mismanaged and doing evil things around the world.
    Our leaders are driven by greed and ignorance.
    We are murderers and our "foes" in Iraq are "resistance fighters".
    If you are looking for any real insight into "Blackwater" or organizations like this, don't bother with this book. There is no real objective insight here just an adgenda to fill.
    This book is about as insightful as an islamic martyr school.

    34 of 60 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stewart Gooderman San Francisco, CA 11-14-07
    Stewart Gooderman San Francisco, CA 11-14-07 Member Since 2007

    DrG

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    "another"

    Only an informed citizenry is capable of make sound decisions about the future of our country. With the approaching presidential election, this is another of those works that should be read by all of us so that we can better judge who will lead us for the next four years. What is so wonderful about this book is that it gives the reader the background to understand what is happening in the news even as I write this review. Listen and learn. You won't regret it!

    19 of 35 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hunter D Kyle 03-14-16 Member Since 2015
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    "very informative"

    this book was a deeper look into the world of private Contracting. reply or better in the United States Army infantry I found this extremely informative. however there seem to be heavy liberal overtones regarding any basis on religion and also military.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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