The Longest War

  • by Peter L. Bergen
  • Narrated by Peter Ganim
  • 16 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Ten years have passed since the shocking attacks on the World Trade Center, and after seven years of conflict, the last U.S. combat troops left Iraq - only to move into Afghanistan, where the 10-year-old fight continues. The war on terror rages with no clear end in sight.
In The Longest War, Peter Bergen offers a comprehensive history of this war and its evolution, from the strategies devised in the wake of the 9/11 attacks to the fighting in Afghanistan, Pakistan, and beyond. Unlike any other book on this subject, here Bergen tells the story of this shifting wars failures and successes from the perspectives of both the United States and al-Qaeda and its allies. He goes into the homes of al-Qaeda members, rooting into the source of their devotion to terrorist causes, and spends time in the offices of the major players shaping the U.S. strategic efforts in the region.
At a time when many are frustrated or fatigued with what has become an enduring multigenerational conflict, this book will provide an illuminating narrative that not only traces the arc of the fight but projects its likely future.
Weaving together internal documents from al-Qaeda and the U.S. offices of counterterrorism, first-person interviews with top-level jihadists and senior Washington officials, along with his own experiences on the ground in the Middle East, Bergen balances the accounts of each side, revealing how al-Qaeda has evolved since 9/11 and the specific ways the U.S. government has responded in the ongoing fight. Bergen also uncovers the strategic errors committed on both sides - including the way that al-Qaeda's bold attack on the United States on 9/11 actually undermined its objective and caused the collapse of the Taliban and the destruction of the organizations safe haven in Afghanistan, and how al-Qaeda is actually losing the war of ideas in the Muslim world.

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What the Critics Say

Amazon Best Books of the Month, January 2011
"For readers interested in a highly informed, wide-angled, single-volume briefing on the war on terror so far, The Longest War is clearly that essential book....The lucidity, knowledge and carefully reasoned logic of [Bergen's] arguments lend his assessments credibility and weight, even when he is challenging conventional wisdom." (The New York Times)
“When the War on Terror is consigned to the history books, one name will dominate as the steady, clear-eyed chronicler of that period. Peter Bergen was among the first to note the rise of al-Qaeda, and he is still on the case. The Longest War is a vital and essential account of the central conflict of our times.” (Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower: Al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11)
"The first [book] to credibly cover the global sweep of events over the last 10 years, exploring not just American views but also Al Qaeda's....“The Longest War” is one of the most important accounts on the subject to appear in years. But be warned: You will read it and weep." (New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

More Bush bashing..yes, but still worth reading.

This book is both interesting and informative and also filled with Bush bashing and not as great as it could have been, strange huh! As a history of the Al-Qaeda and the American conflict it is to a degree informative and well researched but the author, who no doubt knows the region lets his bias against the Bush administration occupies too much of his presentation and hurts it overall premise as being a history of the "Enduring Conflict between Al-Queda and America'. It is unfortunate since this could have been a great book if it just treated history with blind eyes. Too often the author dismissed the dangers posed by Al-Queda or their operatives as being an incompetent bunch, in fact, I almost feel that in some areas he makes excuses for them and then dwells with two or three times the vectorial on how bad the Bush group was. I am no supporter of Bush and feel that the his Administration was perhaps the second worst Administration in modern history, right behind Carter and perhaps equal to LBJ who lied to my generation and sent us off to a needless war in Viet Nam. I read the book wanting to know more about the workings of Al-Qaeda and not repeating the known history of the Bush missteps. Would I recommend the book, yes...but be aware it is not really about the enduring conflict as much as it is about the author's dislike of Bush.
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- Dennis

Wow! What a disappointment!

I very rarely write a review of anything that I purchase online but I felt like I had to for this book. I don't think that I've been more disappointed by a book in my life. Based on the description of the book, I really expected to get insight into the strategy, tactics, and history of the rise of militant Islam and the ongoing war against terrorism. Instead I got a book nearly entirely dedicated to the bashing of the Bush administration. Not that I would have a problem with that except that this is not how the book is described. To top it all off, in the bashing of the Bush administration, the author often uses the same flimsy and unsubstantiated evidence to criticize the Bush administration as Bush used to make decisions on the so called "War on Terror". I'm by no means a neo-conservative Bush apologist but this book was really poorly written and especially poorly described. Unless you really love everything related to the bashing of Bush (for nearly 17 hours of your life), I would seriously suggest that you steer clear of this book. I wonder if Audible.com gives refunds.
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- S Franklin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-11-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios