• Fiasco

  • The American Military Adventure in Iraq
  • By: Thomas E. Ricks
  • Narrated by: James Lurie
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 07-25-06
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Penguin Audio
  • 4 out of 5 stars 4.2 (535 ratings)

Regular price: $28.00

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Publisher's Summary

Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondant Thomas E. Ricks' Fiasco is masterful and explosive reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on the unprecedented candor of key participants. The American military is a tightly sealed community, and few outsiders have reason to know that a great many senior officers view the Iraq war with incredulity and dismay. But many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.
As many in the military publicly acknowledge here for the first time, the guerrilla insurgency that exploded several months after Saddam's fall was not foreordained. In fact, to a shocking degree, it was created by the folly of the war's architects. But the officers who did raise their voices against the miscalculations, shortsightedness, and general failure of the war effort were generally crushed, their careers often ended. A willful blindness gripped political and military leaders, and dissent was not tolerated.
There are a number of heroes in Fiasco; inspiring leaders from the highest levels of the Army and Marine hierarchies to the men and women whose skill and bravery led to battlefield success in towns from Fallujah to Tall Afar, but again and again, strategic incoherence rendered tactical success meaningless. There was never any question that the U.S. military would topple Saddam Hussein, but as Fiasco shows, there was also never any real thought about what would come next. This blindness has ensured the Iraq war a place in history as nothing less than a fiasco.
Fair, vivid, and devastating, Fiasco is an audiobook whose tragic verdict feels definitive.
©2006 Thomas E. Ricks (P)2006 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"A wealth of detail and evidence that is both staggeringly vivid and persuasive....Fiasco is absolutely essential reading." (The New York Times)
"A comprehensive and illuminating portrait of the willful blindness of the Bush administration to Iraqi realities." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Solid reporting, deep knowledge of the U.S. military and willingness to name names make this account the most complete, incisive analysis yet of the Iraq quagmire." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kyle on 08-04-06

How not to plan for a war!

Usually when I start listening to an audiobook at some point I get tired and pause it. Not this book! I stayed up and listened to the whole first half, and then I listened to the second half while I was working the next day. I liked this book! Ricks explains the inadequacies of the people and the planning that led to the situation we now have in Iraq. It was a perfect storm of wrong thinking and misplaced optimism. There is no exit plan, because the plan is to stay there for a long time in some capacity.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By desert traveler on 04-03-07

lots of content, well narrated

Scary, convincing, tightly written and so efficiently packed full of content that not a word is superfluous. Whoever thinks that Bush is simply a bumbling fool needs to listen to this--although Ricks never comes out and says he's dangerous (or does he?), you know he is after listening/reading this book. I'm surprised that none of the other reviewers so far have mentioned the fine narration: A dry style with a twist of irony, absolutely perfect for this book, the narrator sounded like he was sitting across from me, telling me something he himself had witnessed and quoting the players as if he'd been right there when they said it.

In short, important subject, well written and well narrated. I'd give it six stars if I could.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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