Synopses & Reviews
The hunt for Ernesto and#147;Cheand#8221; Guevera was one of the first successful U.S. Special Forces missions in history. Using government reports and documents, as well as eyewitness accounts, Hunting Che tells the untold story of how the infamous revolutionary was capturedand#151;a mission later duplicated in Afghanistan and Iraq.
As one of the architects of the Cuban Revolution, Guevera had become famous for supporting and organizing similar insurgencies in Africa and Latin America. When he turned his attention to Bolivia in 1967, the Pentagon made a decision: Che had to be stopped.
Major Ralph and#147;Pappyand#8221; Shelton was called upon to lead the mission. Much was unknown about Cheand#8217;s force in Bolivia, and the stakes were high. With a handpicked team of Green Berets, Shelton turned Bolivian peasants into a trained fighting and intelligence-gathering force.
Hunting Che follows Sheltonand#8217;s American team and the newly formed Bolivian Rangers through the hunt to Cheand#8217;s eventual capture and execution. With the White House and the Pentagon monitoring every move, Shelton and his team helped prevent another Communist threat from taking root in the West.
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Weiss and Maurer (coauthor, Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds)--who in the past five years has embedded six times with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan--detail the team's ill-fated 2008 mission in eastern Afghanistan's Shok Valley, a place "isolated and surrounded by a wall of mountains." The soldiers had been tasked to capture Haji Ghafour, a high-ranking commander of an extreme militant group. Through interviews with the men involved, the authors provide captivating individual perspectives on the undertaking. Captain Kyle Walton believed the assignment was flawed from the beginning; the authors write that "Not only did the basic tactical plan of attacking up a mountain not work, but it was unclear how they would evacuate casualties." Staff Sergeant John Wayne Walding--who had joined the army just months before 9/11 for "a job where you can ‘lay down your head at night and be proud of it'"--would ultimately lose part of his leg. It was his first and last deployment with Special Forces. Like many of the men in his unit (also profiled in the book) Walding would be honored with a Silver Star. In this compelling, multi-dimensional account, Weiss and Maurer remind us of the extraordinary risks soldiers take and the sacrifices they make every day both for their country, and for each other. B&W Photos & maps. (Mar.)
Take a post-9/11 version of Black Hawk Down, put it in the hands of two gifted writers like Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer and here’s what you get: an adrenaline-fueled narrative that will forever enhance your appreciation of U.S. Special Forces. What’s it like to fight an ill-conceived mission against well-trained insurgents who command the high ground? What’s it like to lower colleagues with life-threatening bullet wounds down an Afghan cliff? With meticulous reporting and powerful writing, Weiss and Maurer put us there. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to know how modern battles are fought – and how they should be.
It was simultaneously fascinating and disturbing, and an adrenaline rush to hear it first-hand from the operator's perspective... They are fiercely loyal to each other and our nation, and offer the enemy no quarter when the bullets start flying. You have captured all these with your words. Combat vets will read it and "get it" right away. Americans who have no connection with such men of valor ought to read it to understand what intense combat can be like.
"OP Commando Wrath was an operational marshmallow of the highest order where Mission Impossible
and Murphy’s Law collided head on with some of the meanest mothers in the valley--Green Berets from ODA 3336. It’s Blackhawk Down
in the Afghan Mountains!"--Dalton Fury, author of Black Site
"The book is not just a cautionary tale in warfare, but a powerful portrait of the men who fought to save each other from certain death."--Michael D. Sallah, investigative reporter for The Miami Herald and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
"It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to know how modern battles are fought--and how they should be."--Ames Alexander, award-winning investigative reporter with The Charlotte Observer
"In this compelling, multi-dimensional account, Weiss and Maurer remind us of the extraordinary risks soldiers take and the sacrifices they make every day both for their country, and for each other."--Publishers Weekly
andquot;OP Commando Wrath was an operational marshmallow of the highest order where Mission Impossible
and Murphyandrsquo;s Law collided head on with some of the meanest mothers in the valley--Green Berets from ODA 3336. Itandrsquo;s Blackhawk Down
in the Afghan Mountains!andquot;--Dalton Fury, author of Black Site
andquot;The book is not just a cautionary tale in warfare, but a powerful portrait of the men who fought to save each other from certain death.andquot;--Michaelandnbsp;D.andnbsp;Sallah, investigative reporter for The Miami Herald and winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Reporting
andquot;Itandrsquo;s a must-read for anyone who wants to know how modern battles are fought--and how they should be.andquot;--Ames Alexander, award-winning investigative reporter with The Charlotte Observer
andquot;In this compelling, multi-dimensional account, Weiss and Maurer remind us of the extraordinary risks soldiers take and the sacrifices they make every day both for their country, and for each other.andquot;--Publishers Weekly
"This is the real storyand#8212;extremely well toldand#8212;of the unraveling of a guerrilla force and the patient and heroic team work of the men who brought down the iconic myth."and#8212;Enrique Encinosa, author of Unvanquished: Cuba's Resistance to Fidel Castro
"Weiss and Maurer have done it again...With memorable characters, rich detail and a fast-moving narrative, they bring us deep into the Bolivian jungle - and into a riveting story you will not want to miss."and#160;and#8212;Ames Alexander, award-winning investigative reporter with the Charlotte Observer
"Hunting Che provides a powerful portrait of an iconic revolutionary who fell prey to his own ego and passions and a US blacks ops team hellbent on his capture -- and death."and#8212;Michael Sallah, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter for The Washington Post
and#8220;Veteran journalists Mitch Weiss and Kevin Maurer have tag-teamed on another nail-biterand#8230;They shed light on an importantand#8212;largely misunderstoodand#8212;operation with fairness, objectivity, and candor.and#8221;and#8212;Tom Henry, Toledo-based writer and book reviewer
In a remote, enemy-held valley in Afghanistan, a Special Forces team planned to scale a steep mountain to surprise and capture a terrorist leader. But before they found the target, the target found them…
The team was caught in a deadly ambush that not only threatened their lives, but the entire mission. The elite soldiers fought huddled for hours on a small rock ledge as rocket-propelled grenades and heavy machine-gun fire rained down on them. With total disregard for their own safety, they tended to their wounded and kept fighting to stay alive. When the battle finally ended, ten soldiers had earned Silver Stars—the Army’s third highest award for combat valor. It was the most Silver Stars awarded to any unit in one battle since Vietnam.
Based on dozens of interviews with those who were there, No Way Out is a compelling narrative of an epic battle that not only tested the soldiers’ mettle but serves as a cautionary tale. Be careful what you ask a soldier to do because they will die trying to accomplish their mission.
A hard-fighting soldier's story-from the trenches of America's first battle in the Cold War.
From the devastating counterattack at Unsan to the thirty-four months he spent in captivity-a period of years in which giving up surely meant dying-Col. Bill Richardson's instinct for leadership and stubborn will to survive saw him through one valley of death after the next. Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination that offers a fascinating, intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the Cold War in the unvarnished words of one of their own. Richardson endured many long months of starvation, torture, sleep deprivation, and Chinese attempts at indoctrination, yet maintained defiance under conditions designed to break the mind, body, and spirit of men.
"Richardson never pulls his punches in these vivid descriptions." --Publishers Weekly
Caught in the Chinese counterattack at Unsan-one of the deadliest American battles of the Cold War Era-Colonel Bill Richardson led an Alamo like defense of the few survivors before being taken prisoner. The North Koreans marched them through sub-zero weather without food, shelter, or medical attention to the area known as Death Valley. Enduring torture designed to break the mind and body, Richardson remained strong enough to lead his fellow prisoners in resistance, sabotage, and new plans for escape.
Valleys of Death is a stirring story of survival and determination, an intimate look at the soldiers who fought America's first battle of the cold war in the unvarnished words of one of their own.
About the Author
is a Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist for the Associated Press. In 2003, he was assigned to an investigative series that uncovered the longest string of atrocities carried out by a U.S. fighting unit in the Vietnam War. In recognition of the series “Buried Secrets, Brutal Truths,” which led to an investigation by the Pentagon, he was awarded the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting. Weiss currently works for the AP on investigative projects, and an investigative series he wrote about corrupt real estate appraisers won several national awards in 2009. He also was part of a team of AP reporters that won a George Polk Award in 2010 for their coverage of the British Petroleum oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Kevin Maurer has covered special operations forces for eight years. He has been embedded with the U.S. Special Forces in Afghanistan six times in the last five years and spent ten weeks with a team of Green Berets in Afghanistan in 2010. He has embedded with American soldiers in Iraq, east Africa and Haiti. The author of four books, he co-wrote a memoir of a Korean War veteran, a book about the 2006 Battle of Sperwan Ghar, and is the co-author of No Easy Day: The Firsthand Account of the Mission That Killed Osama Bin Laden.