The Operators

  • by Michael Hastings
  • Narrated by Lloyd James
  • 12 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In June 2010, Michael Hastings published an article in Rolling Stone that made headlines around the world: In “The Runaway General”, he reported on a week he spent in Europe with General Stanley McChrystal, the revered soldier in charge of the war in Afghanistan.
McChrystal and his staff's unguarded remarks about the White House, our allies, and the conduct of the war led President Obama to order McChrystal to the Oval Office, where he was fired unceremoniously. While Hastings' reporting won him a prestigious Polk award and led to two Pentagon investigations, there is much more to his story than the indiscretions of Stanley McChrystal.
In The Operators, Hastings, formerly the Baghdad bureau chief for Newsweek, takes the listener behind the diplomatic façades to paint a picture of nation-building gone awry. Hastings also takes us on patrol missions in Afghanistan, where he is embedded with American troops, and witnesses firsthand the madness, horror, and existential contradictions of Afghanistan.
The Operators combines the acute reportage of a Sebastian Junger with the mad energy of a Michael Herr - it is the painful, powerful tale of a war that can never and will never be won.


What the Critics Say

"An impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did." (Frank Rich, The New York Times)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


Somehow all the news and articles passed without touching me, so when I began this book all the facts were totally new to me.

I have to say that I'm at a loss for words, I'm not sure what I think about all of this, but I have no doubt that everybody should read it.
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- Professor "1*=I didn't like it..... 2*=It was OK...... 3*=It was good but I will never read it again.......... 4*=Maybe I will read it again in the future.............. 5*=I will definitely read it again(maybe more than once)"

Part history, part biography, totally enjoyable

This book was very entertaining and enlightening. Like many Americans, I have followed the wars through the new for the last 10+ years. I was aware of many of the actual historical events that are backdrops to this story. What I really liked was getting a glimpse behind the headlines, and seeing how the 'operators' that caused the events, and why.

The book is not, and does not try to be, comprehensive. Nevertheless, there is enough there to provide a pretty good review. It certainly made me want to read other books that provide a critical synthesis of the wars and politics.

I enjoyed the whole book, but it did sag a little toward the end. Even that was interesting, but not as good as the first 4/5ths or so. Still, I highly recommend this book.
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- Dr. Jonathan Newman

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-23-2012
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio