The Way of the Knife

Customer Reviews

335 Ratings

Overall Ratings

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
  • 4 Stars
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3 out of 5 stars
By Brian on 11-11-13

Not bad

This is an interesting book about shifts in policy in the military and the intelligence services involved in the war on terror from about 2001 onwards. (Some of the material actually pre-dates 9/11.) If the subject matter interests you then you will probably find the book to be worth a credit. Shortcomings of the work include the way the author jumps around temporally and the overly-dramatic reading by the narrator.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Frank on 05-13-13


Excellent book. We really don't know what our government is up to and it has become something very different than we thought. We have to decide if this is really what we want.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Keefer on 04-27-13

Excellent critique of covert operations

This book does a fine job laying-bear the drawbacks of an increasingly militarized CIA and increasingly covert DoD. It also examines the misadventures of using private contractors to do the US government's dirty work, and of becoming involved with unsavory groups or states to achieve short-term goals, which will have long-term negative consequences.

The chronology of the book is sometimes a bit jarring. In a few places it jumps forward or backwards in time suddenly. I think the editing could have been better from a continuity and cohesiveness standpoint. The book also suffers from a little bit of tunnel-vision--it follows the arc of several figures, but doesn't (in my opinion) give a broad assessment or characterization of programs overall. That's understandable, due to the difficulty of getting on-the-record statements from people involved in covert action and the intelligence world, but it does restrict the completeness.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Dennis on 06-19-13

Telling us what the government and media won't.

At first I was a little unsure about downloading this book. I did not want an agenda driven, right or left driven story. I wanted truth and facts and I think I got what I was looking for.

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3 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Pop-A on 04-09-18


Richard Ferrone has an excellent voice and I enjoyed hearing Mark Mazzetti’s words through him. The book was very thorough on setting up the background for the various characters so the multitude of plots could be understood better. I came away with a greater understanding of the US involvement across the globe over time.

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4 out of 5 stars
By browngeoff on 02-18-18

Interesting but parochial

Good overview from an American mainstream point of view. Lots of interesting stories, primarily from US intelligence community. Does a good job of portraying debates within the same community. As usual for an American author, however, the framing is ultimately a parochial one. International law, critics from the left, the voices of innocent victims are given very little attention here. The cowboys have compelling, three-dimensional lives. The Indians appear like ducks at a carnival shooting gallery. And so God’s favourite empire rolls on.

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