The Dark Side

  • by Jane Mayer
  • Narrated by Richard McGonagle
  • 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the days following September 11, the most powerful people in the country were panic-stricken. The decisions about how to combat terrorists and strengthen national security were made in a state of utter chaos and fear, but the key players, Vice President Dick Cheney and his powerful, secretive adviser, David Addington, used the crisis to further a long-held agenda to enhance presidential powers to a degree never known in U.S. history.The Dark Side is a riveting narrative account of how the U.S. made terrible decisions in the pursuit of terrorists, decisions that not only violated the Constitution, but also hampered the pursuit of Al Qaeda.In gripping detail, acclaimed New Yorker writer and best-selling author Jane Mayer relates specific cases, shown in real time against the larger tableau of Washington, looking at the intelligence gained - or not - and the price paid. In all cases, whatever the short-term gains, there were incalculable losses in terms of moral standing, our country's place in the world, and its sense of itself.The Dark Side chronicles one of the most disturbing chapters in American history, one that will serve as the lasting legacy of the George W. Bush presidency.


What the Critics Say

"A powerful, brilliantly researched and deeply unsettling book....extraordinary and invaluable." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Like a good suspense novel....potent and disturbing stuff." (San Diego Tribune)
"The Dark Side is about how the war on terror became 'a war on American ideals,' and Mayer gives this story all the weight and sorrow it deserves. Many books get tagged with the word 'essential'; hers actually is." (


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Brilliant and Maddening

This was, from start to finish, one of the most engaging audio books I've listened to. Mayer covers the Bush administration from the eve of 9/11 until the end of its tenure with a focus on its manipulation of the law for political ends, especially as it related to executive power and the right to redefine how captured enemy combatants are treated. Far from being a critique of President Bush himself, she underlines his willingness to acquiesce to Cheney and his legal counsel, David Addington, in all matters regarding the treatment of prisoners and the methods by which intelligence was being extracted from them. It is a damning indictment of the unelected bureaucrats who cared more for their own peculiar and idiosyncratic dogmas than for the constitution of the United States, the separation of powers, or the will of the American people.

My only caution is - don't listen to it while you're trying to fall asleep; it will make you so angry, you won't get any.
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- Madeleine

One of my best audible purchases to date

I can't wait to listen to this one again. Each sentence kept me wanting more with never a dull moment. If you find this type of recent history interesting, you should've already heard this book. If you aren't sure if you like this genre, you will love this book even more for showing you behind the scenes of the aftermath of 9/11. Warning: You will be highly upset, but at least you will be entertained. I love how this isn't a boring, dry, stereotypical educational book. It's truly upbeat, fast pace, straightforward narrative that does a great job of separating chunks of information into the various chapters.

The narrator did an excellent job. I will look for more books read by him. His voice is so easy to listen to & adds the perfect emotion for what is being described.

You will not be disappointed. I promise you. If you aren't pleased, I will gift you a free credit.*

*not guaranteed. offering party will not be held accountable. "free credit" claim is a lie.
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- Koch Bros.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2008
  • Publisher: Random House Audio