Against All Enemies: Inside America's War on Terror

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Richard A. Clarke

Narrated By: Richard A. Clarke

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: March 2004

Duration: 6 hours 17 minutes


"The [Bush] administration has squandered the opportunity to eliminate al Qaeda....A new al Qaeda has emerged and is growing stronger, in part because of our own actions and inactions. It is in many ways a tougher opponent than the original threat we faced before September 11, and we are not doing what is necessary to make America safe from that threat."

No one has more authority to make that claim than Richard Clarke, the former counterterrorism czar for both Bill Clinton and George W. Bush. The one person who knows more about Usama bin Laden and al Qaeda than anyone else in this country, he has devoted two decades of his professional life to combating terrorism. Richard Clarke served seven presidents and worked inside the White House for George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush until he resigned in March 2003. He knows, better than anyone, the hidden successes and failures of the Clinton years. He knows, better than anyone, why we failed to prevent 9/11. He knows, better than anyone, how President Bush reacted to the attack and what happened behind the scenes in the days that followed. He knows whether or not Iraq presented a terrorist threat to the United States and whether there were hidden costs to the invasion of that country.

Most disturbing of all are Clarke's revelations about the Bush administration's lack of interest in al Qaeda prior to September 11. From the moment the Bush team took office and decided to retain Clarke in his post as the counterterrorism czar, Clarke tried to persuade them to take al Qaeda as seriously as had Bill Clinton. For months, he was denied the opportunity even to make his case to Bush. He encountered key officials who gave the impression that they had never heard of al Qaeda; who focused incessantly on Iraq; who even advocated long-discredited conspiracy theories about Saddam's involvement in previous attacks on the United States.

Clarke was the nation's crisis manager on 9/11, running the Situation Room -- a scene described here for the first time -- and then watched in dismay at what followed. After ignoring existing plans to attack al Qaeda when he first took office, George Bush made disastrous decisions when he finally did pay attention. Coming from a man known as one of the hard-liners against terrorists, Against All Enemies is both a powerful history of our two-decades-long confrontation with terrorism and a searing indictment of the current administration.


  • doc

    Bias in presentation, narrator is good, information is debatable

  • Dion

    Great book. Brings you inside the fight against terror and myriad problems and the history leading up to 911. Clarke has an "agenda" but I found he kept his opinions separate from his factual retelling.

  • Clarence Johnson

    Great Book. Outstanding analysis and insight into to Bush administration policy guidance and reaction to 9/11.

  • Anonymous

    Of all the post-9/11 books, this one does the best to summarize the successes and failures in trying to prevent the terrorist attacks. While any author involved in the events would be somewhat self-serving, it's easy to see through Clarke's biases and distill the truth. His recounting of the events of 9/11 itself were perhaps the most riveting, and the failings of the Bush Administration and Clinton Administration in having the imagination to prevent the attacks is telling.

  • Dennis Fahlstrom

    Clarke has laid out this political tale like a well spun Tom Clancy yarn. He grabs you in the first few minutes and doesn't let go. I kind of expected it to be a more scathing indictment of the mess the current administration has made of affairs by dropping the ball in Afghanistan rather than remaining focused there. To some extent this is done - there is enough blame to go around -but not to the detriment of the rest of the story. This is frightening stuff. It's spell binding and very well read by author Richard Clarke. Put this one on your "must hear" list.

  • Martin

    Strictly a Bush basher -- has an agenda that he is pushing in his book. Facts are fuzzy and credibility is low.

  • Mandi Chestler

    Richard Clarke's book is a real eye-opener. His writing is precise and his ideas well supported with facts. A professional who has worked for 7 presidents from both parties, he is an expert that can be believed to present the real non-partisan truth behind our policies on terrorism. A must-read book for any American who wants be informed about events leading to 9/11.

  • Michael Scott

    WOW! I knew I liked this guy!!! One can only hope that in the next LEGAL election, someone brings this guy back. I can sleep better at night, knowing that people like this 'got my back'. It's a pity that this current faux-administration didn't try to take advantage of his expertise, both before, and especially AFTER 9/11.

  • Anonymous

    You will become ever frustrated with Federal Government, especially that of the Bush Administration. While you picture Richard Clarke reading this book while wearing a Superman costume (the ego does show through) you will be facinated at the events before, during and after September 11th.

  • William Bozeman

    Great book, great read, and excellent information. Won't go into the details of the text, but I found it to be a very frustrating book in many ways, which I am sure Richard Clarke would agree too. I'll be buying the book very soon, and read the full text of this one. Highly recommend to everyone.