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Waco  By  cover art

Waco

By: David Thibodeau,Leon Whiteson,Aviva Layton
Narrated by: Robert Fass
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Publisher's summary

The basis of the celebrated Paramount Network miniseries starring Michael Shannon and Taylor Kitsch - Waco is the critically acclaimed, first person account of the siege by Branch Davidian survivor, David Thibodeau. 

Twenty-five years ago, the FBI staged a deadly raid on the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas. David Thibodeau survived to tell the story.  

When he first met the man who called himself David Koresh, David Thibodeau was a drummer in a local a rock band. Though he had never been religious in the slightest, Thibodeau gradually became a follower and moved to the Branch Davidian compound in Waco. He remained there until April 19, 1993, when the compound was stormed and burned to the ground after a 51-day standoff with government authorities. 

In this compelling account - now with an updated epilogue that revisits remaining survivors - Thibodeau explores why so many people came to believe that Koresh was divinely inspired. We meet the men, women, and children of Mt. Carmel. We get inside the day-to-day life of the community. We also understand Thibodeau's brutally honest assessment of the United States government's actions. The result is a memoir that sounds like a thriller, with each minute taking us closer to the eventual inferno. 

©1999 David Thibodeau (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic reviews

"Thibodeau, one of only four Branch Davidians to live through the Waco disaster and not be sentenced to jail, has produced a surprisingly balanced and honest account of his time as a Branch Davidian. Neither sensationalist nor defensive, this will make satisfying reading for anyone interested in the April 1993 tragedy." (Kirkus Reviews)

"A disquieting portrait of a religious community and its enigmatic leader." (Kirkus Reviews)

"This book gives a rare glimpse of life at Mount Carmel and an account of how that attack contrasts with the 'official' government version. With the renewed interest in this siege, this book is recommended for public libraries." (School Library Journal)

What listeners say about Waco

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An sides perspective

I listened to this book with an open mind. After all we have heard many things about Waco over the last 25 years and know many things went wrong that lead to way too many deaths, deaths that were avoidable in April 19 1993. This book is written by a member of The Branch Dividians and was at the compound on that fateful day. Too me he tells the story in a candid way that leaves the listener questioning things that happened and why they happened. As a police officer with more than 30 years service with an understanding of how politics and Hubris work within law enforcement agencies can an only hope we all have learned lessons so we never see something this preventable happen again. I say this and I am pro-police and understand decision making can be tough. It worth reading.

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28 people found this helpful

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Breathtaking!

What did you love best about Waco?

This book, while long, is a very informative and comprehensive narrative from one of the survivors...The recent mini series peaked my interest in reading a book from a survivor's account and this book did not disappoint. I actually enjoyed the entire 13 + hours and looked forward to picking up where I left off.

What other book might you compare Waco to and why?

Autobiography.

Which scene was your favorite?

I enjoyed the epilogue, that was read by the author.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The entire book! I have been captivated by this story and was hungry to learn more.

Any additional comments?

Thank you, David Thibodeau!!! Brilliant! Although I still have questions, I really think this narrative captured what life was really like in Waco, despite what the media wants us to think. Bravo!

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12 people found this helpful

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Interesting and Informative, 25 Years Have Passed, Still Unfortunately More Shockingly Relevant Today!

I think this book is most eye-opening because it is a 25-year-old example of the abuse and miss use of government power In the United States. Furthermore, it also is a relevant illustration of how our criminal legal system is politicized. This is further complicated by the fact that the jury verdicts in criminal cases are rarely if ever about justice. Finally, in the context of what is going on today with regard to the issue of the use and the abuse of government power in the United States. I think the book is most relevant indeed. I cannot honestly say we have learned anything from the tragedy that occurred in Waco. As the book illustrates this is specifically but not exclusively true with regard to the federal government’s conduct, contrasted against the American people’s failure as citizens to hold our government accountable, for it’s misdeeds, poor reckless judgment, and it’s criminal conduct. This should concern every loyal American, because the American government is a government based on the principle that the government is constructed of, for, and by the people it is responsible for governing, the American people. In the United States our rights are given by God not the United States government and it is the American people who are sovereign and thus ultimately hold the power not only in the government but also above it as well. The government of the United States in all it’s forms and actions is ultimately answerable to the people of the United States. The average American citizen. This important and vital point is well made in this book. It is one of the reasons this book is a must read.

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9 people found this helpful

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incredible!

This is an incredible story and a very well written and narrated one. I enjoyed it very much and encourage others to read it / listen to it.

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8 people found this helpful

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Needless Death

This book is written from the perspective of a survivor of the Waco massacre.
I don't understand other reviews saying this book about a pedophile apologist. David Koresh was guilty of statutory rape. The author argues so.
The bigger question is why didn't the ATF grab Koresh while he was out alone?
All those people were murdered for a botched publicity stunt.

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Not sure what to think.

David Thibodeau went through hell, and there’s no getting around that. However, he presents David Koresh as a god like figure who never did anything wrong, aside from raping a 12-year-old girl and calling her his wife. Otherwise, hey! What possibly be the problem? He conveniently ignores tape recordings of his own people talking about setting the fire that killed so many. Instead, he only blames the ignition of teargas as what killed everybody. The narrator was very annoying and exaggerated to the point of sounding both Condescending and unbelievable. Still, it is a horrible and fascinating story .

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A story that needed to be told!!!

It’s sad that events like this get pushed aside and forgotten due to the government over reaching and political gains. This and others need to be shared and discussed more often as we are so often blinded by media and social pressures to lean one way or another. You have to search for truths and answers. There are alway two sides to a story. I am thankful David was able to share this. Imagine if he hadn’t survived to tell this tell would we every truly know about the community and the people lost at Mt. Carmel?

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  • Ct
  • 03-08-18

interesting

Such a tragic story. So glad there are now 2 sides to this story now out there.

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Crazy or very clever.

Although this book is well written and narrated, I just don't get the reviews. It may be insightful into the working of these peoples minds, but I can't believe the stupidity of the follower belief in this crazy or very manipulative man. I won't even go into the FBI. Poor David K, it's tough having all that sex, while no one else can. It also must be hard to have God want you you to have sex with little girls. Maybe others can stand all these stupid people including including the federal.goverment.. I regret use of my time ,emotions and my credit.

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this is what the state is

this harrowing tale is a shocking but typical examination of what the state does; it selects a problem that it boldly announces a plan to solve (if it is a real problem it is usually one that it at least co-authored, but often the problem is illusory) and in the pursuit of solving the problem the state causes destruction that is hard to even account for the vast scope of. sometimes it does this just to justify it's own existence, other times it is as a distraction from its atrocities elsewhere. and nefariously it takes the opportunity to expand its tendrils further into the cracks of the society it infects.

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