500 Days

  • by Kurt Eichenwald
  • Narrated by Holter Graham
  • 21 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Kurt Eichenwald - New York Times best-selling author of Conspiracy of Fools and The Informant - recounts the first 500 days after 9/11 in a comprehensive, fly on the wall, compelling pause-resister as gripping as any thriller.
In 500 Days, master chronicler Kurt Eichenwald lays bare the harrowing decisions, deceptions, and delusions of the 18 months that changed the world forever, as leaders raced to protect their citizens in the wake of 9/11.
Eichenwald's gripping, immediate style and true-to-life dialogue puts listeners at the heart of these historic events, from the Oval Office to Number 10 Downing Street, from Guantanamo Bay to the depths of CIA headquarters, from the al Qaeda training camps to the torture chambers of Egypt and Syria. He reveals previously undisclosed information from the terror wars, including never-before-reported details about warrantless wiretapping, the anthrax attacks, and investigations and conflicts among Washington, D.C., and London.
With his signature fast-paced narrative style, Eichenwald - whose book, The Informant, was called "one of the best nonfiction books of the decade" by The New York Times Book Review - exposes a world of secrets and lies that has remained hidden until now.


What the Critics Say

"With the pacing of a suspense novel, award-winning journalist Eichenwald's richly researched account ... [is] a breathtaking inspection of the war on terror that began on 9/11 and reverberates to this day." (Booklist)
"Gripping... both a page-turning read and an insightful dissection of 9/11's dark legacy" (Publishers Weekly)
"A blow-by-blow, episodic reconstruction of the fallout from 9/11 in the highest spheres of terrorist strategy... demonstrating literally how the anti-terrorist hysteria in the United States, and the hatred of America and general global paranoia, forged the 'trauma that haunts the world to this day.'" (Kirkus Reviews)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Gory Details of Torture, Not An Unbiased History

In this book, the author tries to show how the Bush administration acted with ignorance, stupidity and outright maliciousness leading up to and in response to 9/11. Most of the book is spent describing in great detail newly available details of the torture of terrorist suspects and the decisions of officials that lead to it. In particular a narrative that runs throughout the whole book is that of Kuwaiti Ahmad El-Maati. He is supposedly a completely innocent Canadian Muslim truck driver and family man who as a result of bumbling by the Canadian and US intelligence services was sent to Syria for some very intense and brutal torturing. All the gory details of these torture sessions are weaved into the narrative throughout the book to disgust you and to keep the sometimes dull story interesting. The author argues that torture as a interrogation technique never works. And that as one study has shown, being nice to and empathizing with terrorists is the most effective way to get them to talk.

The author does have a unique perspective on Tony Blair’s role. He presents him at first as making wise and practical choices, and suggesting to Bush in private that he was making the wrong choices. Knowing on the other hand that any disagreement with Bush in public could damage the relationship and even make it more difficult to persuade Bush not to invade Iraq. However, it seems that after a few friendly and intimate meetings, Blair drank the cool aid and became a true believer in the Bush doctrine.

The narrator does a great job with this audio book. He had unique and convincing accents for all the characters ranging from President Bush, Dick Cheney, the Muslim terrorists, and even Tony Blair and his staff. Amusingly though, he makes Blair sound allot like Oliver Twist.

Overall I would say that if you were angered about the decision to allow torture in the “War on Terror”, than this book is definitely for you. On the other hand if you are looking for a historical perspective that reports the facts without the bias than much of this book will disappoint because the details of many of the successes are ignored.
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- Graham

Interesting Book about Post 9/11 Events

Very interesting book on Post-9/11 Washington. Eye opening and an easy read and listen (I read it on Kindle also).

This book will make you think whether you are a Neo-Con or a Dove.

I must say that I was a supporter of the Iraq War and the renditions, but have been rethinking all of these issues. This book excels at bringing events together that were happening all over the world at the same time. That is why I would recommend this title.

I also enjoyed the narrator.

Also, Mr. Eichenwald gave interviews after this book was released, so search for him on YouTube. His comments on the book provide more insight.
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- Cranky Greg

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-11-2012
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio