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The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan

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Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

General Stanley McChrystal, the innovative, forward-thinking commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. He was better known to some as Big Stan, M4, Stan, and his loyal staff liked to call him a "rock star." During a spring 2010 trip across Europe to garner additional allied help for the war effort, McChrystal was accompanied by journalist Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone. For days, Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration for what they saw as a lack of leadership. When Hastings's piece appeared a few months later, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was ordered to Washington, where he was fired unceremoniously.

In The Operators, Hastings picks up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. He gives us a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stakes maneuvers and often bitter bureaucratic infighting. Hastings takes us on patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands, to late-night bull sessions of senior military advisors, to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building gone awry. And as he weighs the merits and failings of old-school generals and the so-called COINdinistas-the counterintelligence experts — Hastings draws back the curtain on a hellish complexity and, he fears, an unwinnable war.

Review:

"Hastings (I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story) recounts the events behind and beyond his award-winning 2010 Rolling Stone article 'The Runaway General,' which led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with General David Petraeus. Trailing McChrystal and his staff as they travel to Paris, Berlin, and Kabul, Hastings discovers how the nation's foremost 'operators' — the special forces and other personnel on 'the X...the spot on the satellite map where the action down' — regard the war as secondary to their loyalty to each other. Cavalier remarks about key figures and incidents ranging from the infamous cover-up of the cause of Pat Tillman's death to scenes with President Obama reveal the essential divide between military and civilian perspectives. Hastings brilliantly intertwines narratives, whether writing about the halls of Washington, war-torn Baghdad, or rudimentary lessons in counterinsurgency math, a system wherein killing two of ten results not in eight, but twenty insurgents. Hasting's first-class, engrossing reportage reveals unsettling yet human flaws behind one of recent history's most lionized military figures, and a war which purportedly began as a response to terrorism, but whose aims — in the author's estimation — remain ambiguous. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Review:

"The life of a general is something to see, especially when it's Stanley McChrystal, America's four-star, rock star commander, at the height of his power and panache in Afghanistan. It's a hard story to get, and hard to tell it well, but in the hands of Michael Hastings, it's a world-class job of reporting and a joy to read." Richard Benand Cramer, author of What it Takes and DiMaggio

Review:

"The most impact-laden story of the year...written by a perfect specimen of the new breed of journalist-commentator." Barrett Brown, Vanity Fair

Review:

"An impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did." The New York Times

Review:

"The Operators is a troubling first-person narrative about a bizarre episode in U.S. military history, as well as a trenchant analysis of the disaster in Afghanistan. Hastings...brings a fresh eye and a brutally authentic voice to America's decade-old misadventure in Afghanistan." Bob Drogin, Los Angeles Times

Review:

"The Operators seems destined to join the pantheon of the best of GWOT literature, not just for its rock-and-roll details, but for its piercing chronicles of a world gone mad." Matt Gallagher, Newsweek/Daily Beast

Review:

"As the situation in Afghanistan grows increasingly muddy, [Hasting's] disciplined adherence to solid journalistic practices and his acute eye for sharp scene setting makes much of the chaos comprehensible. Hastings has definitely taken up the traditional banner of the intrepid war correspondent, but he's simultaneously shot it through with iconoclastic holes; the effect is illuminating on many levels." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Superb....One of the most eye-opening accounts...from one of the bravest and most intrepid journalists." Salon.com

Review:

"It demands to be read...this is a book of great consequence, not a pop-culture puff piece, which some of its deriders claim it is. The Operators seems destined to join the pantheon of the best of GWOT literature, not just for its rock-and-roll details, but for its piercing chronicles of a world gone mad." The Daily Beast

Review:

"Brings a fresh eye and a brutally authentic voice to America's decade-old misadventure in Afghanistan." Los Angeles Times

Synopsis:

General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. His loyal staff liked to call him a "rock star." During a spring 2010 trip, journalist Michael Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration. When Hastings's piece appeared in Rolling Stone, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was unceremoniously fired.

In The Operators, Hastings picked up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. From patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands to senior military advisors' late-night bull sessions to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building, Hastings presents a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of what he fears is an unwinnable war.

Synopsis:

In June 2010, Michael Hastings's extraordinary, uncensored Rolling Stone article, "The Runaway General," shocked the world and set off a series of events that culminated in the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal. Now, The Operators will lead us even deeper into the war, its politics, and its major players at a time when such insight is demanded and desperately needed. Based on exclusive reporting in Afghanistan, Europe, the Middle East, and Washington, DC, this landmark work of journalism will elucidate as never before the United States' involvement in Afghanistan in vivid, unforgettable detail. Part wild travelogue, part expos, and part sobering analysis, The Operators promises an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of the war from the only journalist uniquely poised to tell it.

About the Author

Michael Hastings is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone. He regularly covers politics and international affairs for the magazine, including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In 2011, he received the George Polk Award in journalism for his Rolling Stone story "The Runaway General." His work has appeared in Newsweek, GQ, Men's Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. In 2010, Hastings was named one of The Huffington Post's Game Changers of the year. His GQ story "Obama's War" was selected for Best American Political Writing 2009. The author also of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Hastings lives in Vermont.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780399159886
Subtitle:
The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan
Author:
Hastings, Michael
Publisher:
Plume
Subject:
Politics - General
Subject:
Public Policy
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20121127
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
b/w images throughout
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
8.02 x 5.38 x 0.94 in 0.7 lb
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Current Affairs » General
History and Social Science » Military » Afghan War (2001-)
History and Social Science » Military » Afghanistan
History and Social Science » Military » Gulf Wars
History and Social Science » Military » Recent Military History
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » Politics » General
History and Social Science » Politics » United States » Foreign Policy

The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America's War in Afghanistan Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.00 In Stock
Product details 432 pages Blue Rider Press - English 9780399159886 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Hastings (I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story) recounts the events behind and beyond his award-winning 2010 Rolling Stone article 'The Runaway General,' which led to the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal and his replacement with General David Petraeus. Trailing McChrystal and his staff as they travel to Paris, Berlin, and Kabul, Hastings discovers how the nation's foremost 'operators' — the special forces and other personnel on 'the X...the spot on the satellite map where the action down' — regard the war as secondary to their loyalty to each other. Cavalier remarks about key figures and incidents ranging from the infamous cover-up of the cause of Pat Tillman's death to scenes with President Obama reveal the essential divide between military and civilian perspectives. Hastings brilliantly intertwines narratives, whether writing about the halls of Washington, war-torn Baghdad, or rudimentary lessons in counterinsurgency math, a system wherein killing two of ten results not in eight, but twenty insurgents. Hasting's first-class, engrossing reportage reveals unsettling yet human flaws behind one of recent history's most lionized military figures, and a war which purportedly began as a response to terrorism, but whose aims — in the author's estimation — remain ambiguous. (Jan.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "The life of a general is something to see, especially when it's Stanley McChrystal, America's four-star, rock star commander, at the height of his power and panache in Afghanistan. It's a hard story to get, and hard to tell it well, but in the hands of Michael Hastings, it's a world-class job of reporting and a joy to read."
"Review" by , "The most impact-laden story of the year...written by a perfect specimen of the new breed of journalist-commentator."
"Review" by , "An impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did."
"Review" by , "The Operators is a troubling first-person narrative about a bizarre episode in U.S. military history, as well as a trenchant analysis of the disaster in Afghanistan. Hastings...brings a fresh eye and a brutally authentic voice to America's decade-old misadventure in Afghanistan."
"Review" by , "The Operators seems destined to join the pantheon of the best of GWOT literature, not just for its rock-and-roll details, but for its piercing chronicles of a world gone mad."
"Review" by , "As the situation in Afghanistan grows increasingly muddy, [Hasting's] disciplined adherence to solid journalistic practices and his acute eye for sharp scene setting makes much of the chaos comprehensible. Hastings has definitely taken up the traditional banner of the intrepid war correspondent, but he's simultaneously shot it through with iconoclastic holes; the effect is illuminating on many levels."
"Review" by , "Superb....One of the most eye-opening accounts...from one of the bravest and most intrepid journalists."
"Review" by , "It demands to be read...this is a book of great consequence, not a pop-culture puff piece, which some of its deriders claim it is. The Operators seems destined to join the pantheon of the best of GWOT literature, not just for its rock-and-roll details, but for its piercing chronicles of a world gone mad."
"Review" by , "Brings a fresh eye and a brutally authentic voice to America's decade-old misadventure in Afghanistan."
"Synopsis" by , General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. His loyal staff liked to call him a "rock star." During a spring 2010 trip, journalist Michael Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration. When Hastings's piece appeared in Rolling Stone, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was unceremoniously fired.

In The Operators, Hastings picked up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. From patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands to senior military advisors' late-night bull sessions to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building, Hastings presents a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of what he fears is an unwinnable war.

"Synopsis" by , In June 2010, Michael Hastings's extraordinary, uncensored Rolling Stone article, "The Runaway General," shocked the world and set off a series of events that culminated in the resignation of General Stanley McChrystal. Now, The Operators will lead us even deeper into the war, its politics, and its major players at a time when such insight is demanded and desperately needed. Based on exclusive reporting in Afghanistan, Europe, the Middle East, and Washington, DC, this landmark work of journalism will elucidate as never before the United States' involvement in Afghanistan in vivid, unforgettable detail. Part wild travelogue, part expos, and part sobering analysis, The Operators promises an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of the war from the only journalist uniquely poised to tell it.
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