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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

Abridged Audiobook

Written By: Thomas E. Ricks

Narrated By: James Lurie

Publisher: Penguin Audio

Date: July 2006

Duration: 10 hours 18 minutes


From the Washington Post's two-time Pulitzer-winning senior Pentagon reporter, the definitive military chronicle of the Iraq War-and a searing judgment of its gross strategic blindness-drawing on the accounts of senior military officers giving voice to their anger for the first time.

Unabridged CDs - 20 CDs, 24 hours


  • Anonymous

    Oh my. If you are under the illusion that being a citizen of the most powerful country in the world gives you some kind of special security - this book will cure you. The author reveals, through a series of well documented sources, that the "establishment" has grown too large for any type of expected efficiency. Add egos, territorialism, and politics into the mix and you have the perfect recipe for disaster. Not only does this book help you understand the war in Iraq, but also went wrong with the response to Hurricane Katrina and how a few men were able to pull off 9/11.

  • Anonymous

    I listened to this 8 disk set twice. I had no idea what went wrong and why in Iraq. Very eye-opening.

  • Robert Wilson

    My boss recently told me, all business books have a single theme. Once you've figured out what that is, you can close the book. Well, this book was a little better than that, it had about 3 or 4 messages. I'll grant you they were interesting and well-documented. If you are the kind of person who needs a couple of dozen examples for each point, you will love this book. The examples are personal and detailed. In my opinion, they were a few details too many. I think I would have given this 4 or maybe even 5 stars had I rented the abridged version of this book. A couple of CD's worth would have really been crisp and riveting. I thought it was a fairly even-handed treatment of the war. I expected a bit of a liberal mud-slinging but instead I found it more agnostic and sticking to factual accounts. We went in for the wrong reasons, we didn't have a long-term plan, we alienated those we were supposed to be protecting and had trouble admitting any wrong-doing. Got it.

  • Mandi Chestler

    I have read/listened to so many books on the Iraq war--all the biggies. But Fiasco is the hands-down best. It is thorough without getting bogged down; it offers an objective analysis of all the major operations since the beginning; it provides an insider's look at specific decisions, who made them and why, and what impact each had on success or failure of resulting military tactics. Also, it reads like a best-selling thriller without stooping to sensationalism. This is the book for those who want real answers on how we found ourselves in such an intractable mess. This is more than a 5-star book, but the rating system doesn't provide enough to give Fiasco its proper due!

  • Anonymous

    Ricks thinks everyone is an idiot but him! We are lucky he is not in charge of anything--we'd really be in trouble.

  • Clarence Johnson

    I found the book thoroughly intriguing. The examination of key political figures in the current administration as well the insight into the many ongoing agendas were thought provoking to say the least. The excellent narrative informs the reader yet does not water down the storyline. I found it a compelling read which I looked forward to continuing and often didn't want to stop or wait to the end.

  • Scott Bruinooge

    Rick's book is a detailed recent-military-history of the Iraq conflict, with only relatively brief passages about the Washington politics of it all. Excellent synopsis of the people involved on the ground and in command. I found it frustrating (but necessary) to be reminded of the way these events occurred and to remember all the doubts and second guessing that I had since '03. The author stays pretty focused on the theme of "no REAL strategy" and the damage caused by the administration's eternal optimism. The narrator (James Lurie) was the perfect voice for the book. This is what you should read to really understand how the Iraq chaos started and to begin grasping the awful complexities there today. The politicians who say we should draw down immediately don't seem to understand how responsible we are (the USA) for the mess. Listen to this book.

  • Michael Scott

    If you are going to read just 1 book on the Iraq war, this one should be it. Ricks, a military coorespondent for the Washington Post, spent 5 tours in Iraq researching this book, and the result is a well written, no-holds barred account of what worked, what did not, and possible scenarios of what may come next. The narrator, James Lurie, with his smooth speaking style added to the experience listening to this book that left me wanting for more - and to possibly go out and buy it, just to listen again. Ricks' forecast of the possible outcomes of this war are abysmal, leaving outcomes theorized by Thomas Friedman, of whom I am a big fan, overly upbeat in comparison. With the exception of the three Bob Woodward books on the war on Iraq, this is the best book on the topic I've read so far, and I've read quite a few. My only regret - that it's an abridged version. Why anyone would continue producing abridged versions today, where audiobooks are the rage, is beyond me.

Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq

by Thomas E. Ricks

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Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, Thomas E. Ricks