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Publisher's Summary

The story of one of the Afghanistan war's most decorated units and their 15-month ordeal, culminating in the Battle of Wanat, the deadliest battle of the war.

A single company of US paratroopers - calling themselves the "Chosen Few" - arrived in eastern Afghanistan in late 2007 hoping to win the hearts and minds of the remote mountain people and extend the Afghan government's reach into this wilderness. Instead, they spent the next 15 months in a desperate struggle, living under almost continuous attack, forced into a slow and grinding withdrawal, and always outnumbered by Taliban fighters descending on them from all sides.  

Month after month, rocket-propelled grenades, rockets, and machine-gun fire poured down on the isolated and exposed paratroopers as America's focus and military resources shifted to Iraq. Just weeks before the paratroopers were to go home, they faced their last - and toughest - fight. Near the village of Wanat in Nuristan province, an estimated 300 enemy fighters surrounded about 50 of the Chosen Few and others defending a partially finished combat base. Nine died and more than two dozen were wounded that day in July 2008, making it arguably the bloodiest battle of the war in Afghanistan.  

The Chosen Few would return home tempered by war. Two among them would receive the Medal of Honor. All of them would be forever changed.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2017 Gregg Zoroya (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are now producing their own volumes, and this is one of the better ones...Well-researched...The book does an excellent job of telling the entire story of the action...As one of the most highly decorated units in Army history, these men, many of them from broken families and rough backgrounds, are worthy successors to Band of Brothers from previous generations of American fighting men." (New York Journal of Books)

"The gripping, often heartbreaking story of Chosen Company's time in the Waygal Valley...In a style reminiscent of Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers, Zoroya takes readers beyond the blood and sweat of close combat and into the hearts and minds of the soldiers themselves. The result is an intensely personal and heart-wrenching tale of courage, love, and loss...a vivid portrait of America's war in Afghanistan...brutally honest in the telling, in a way that will affect readers deeply... The Chosen Few is an exceptional book...as revealing as it is enthralling. For military readers, The Chosen Few is a 'must read'; few books are as insightful, especially with respect to the character, courage, and commitment of those fighting for the future of Afghanistan. For readers with preconceived notions of what it means to engage in the 'forever war,' this book is a necessary addition to the bookshelf." (Military Review)

"A searing account of war in Afghanistan...A remarkable story, whose telling raises myriad questions without resorting to polemics. It is unlikely that those who read it will ever utter the phrase, 'Thank you for your service,' quite the same way again...A gripping, exhaustively reported account of modern warfare...[Zoroya] cuts through the fog of war...Zoroya delivers the adrenaline of combat right to the reader's easy chair. His prose is direct and clear, and never upstages the action. He also brings the warriors to life, chronicling their trials and triumphs." (USA Today)

What listeners say about The Chosen Few

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too much character detail

this book was a struggle. I just got bored and had to stop. not recommended.

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Epic book about true heros

An Amazing book, good narrator and well worth the listen. The Chosen Few true hero's

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Such an emotional story.

This is a well told account of battle war history. I was just as frustrated and angry as the soldiers themselves, at the decisions made by the brass higher up. The way in which the author describes the deaths of each brave warrior brought tears to my eyes.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Mila
  • 22-06-2018

Wow! What an amazing group of men!

As a sister of one of the soldiers in this book, I was moved and felt I was right there in the action. I never realized the true danger he was in. I can't thank the author enough for taking the time and effort to research the events and write this book. I've always been proud of my brother and those who served. Now, I have a new found respect for them. My heartaches for the lives lost and the loved ones left behind. But I feel like I really got to know all of them in this book. I wish I could have gone to the 10-yr reunion last year. I now understand why my Dad was on cloud 9 when he and my mom accompanied my brother to the reunion. He was in awe by being in the presents of such a great group of men.

31 people found this helpful

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  • David
  • 04-06-2018

Wow

Up there with some of the best: The Outpost, House to House, Outlaw Platoon, and more. Great narrator, well written, I’ve listened to them all. Vets, if you can, we need more books like this, to remember and celebrate your sacrifices.

15 people found this helpful

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  • Tom
  • 03-06-2018

Painfully Excellent

The best effort to honor the soldiers of Chosen Company/173rd. Author did an excellent job of collecting the information and translating it. Heartbreaking heroic acts of heroism displayed by the soldiers of Chosen.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Nathan Myers
  • 13-07-2019

as a fellow paratrooper ..

as a fellow paratrooper and combat veteran, I enjoyed the story. may the fallen rest in peace. AIRBORNE

3 people found this helpful

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  • Steve Hillman MD
  • 19-10-2018

Afghanistan

An intimate look at the people who fought in the war in Afghanistan. Some gave all. The rest remain forever changed by the experience which was overwhelming both physically and emotionally. Heroes all.

3 people found this helpful

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  • jdbeyers
  • 18-07-2018

A highly recommended read

A well presented and well researched story, showing the lives of the soldiers and the horrors of the war that they had to endure. This is possibly the best representation of the war that I have read to date. I highly recommend this to anyone who has a passion for understanding the war in Afghanistan.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Caleb R
  • 09-10-2019

A great story, poorly written and performed.

Although extensive and well-researched, it was hard to follow and even harder to listen to. The author's dull, monotone voice, tangent backstories, editing errors, and overabundance of mundane and irrelevant details overcomplicated the storyline and made it difficult to finish. This is a story worth telling, one of valor and sacrifice and the reality of war, but it needs to be told by someone else.

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  • james
  • 15-12-2018

Proud of these men that have served an sacrificed so much for our great country.

Thank to all the men that served an sacrificed in these battles to defend our great country

2 people found this helpful

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  • Conqueror 09
  • 04-12-2018

One of the best accounts of any conflict that I’ve ever read

This book was one of the best I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading or listening to. The details provide a vivid glimpse into the multiple decisions which must be made on tactical and strategic levels involving both combat effectiveness and geo-political implications. This is a must read for anyone who wants an unvarnished understanding of what happens at the Company level during all phases of combat planning and operations.

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  • Matt McClellan
  • 18-03-2020

slowwwww

it isn't that this is a bad book. but man is it slow. it goes into great depth of who people are and where they are from. but there is so much of it that it drowns out the action and storyline. the loss and love of soldiers is the highlight but sadly it doesn't come through very easy.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 19-01-2019

A sad reality

I don't know who said it originally but it is a fact of life that in war people die. It's the nature of the beast and when you go to war against a highly motivated and ruthless opponent you had better make sure that you're ready to lose people in combat, because it is going to happen. This book demonstrates within its narrative how life and death are linked with the choices that leaders make. One mistake and people will be wounded or killed. As an ex-paratrooper (British) I was saddened by the waste of young lives when they are put in harm's way by their hierarchy but proud of the way they fought for each other even to the point of dying. This book points out very clearly that every human life despite troubled beginnings can mean something in the way it is lived and sometimes in the way that person chooses to sacrifice themselves. The Taliban know that just as well as anyone and whilst we have young people who are prepared to put themselves in harms way we will have wars like this. I found parts of this audio book troubling and wondered how much longer we humans will choose to settle our differences by killing one another?

4 people found this helpful

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  • Toby Orme
  • 22-05-2020

terrible

This is the worst book I have purchased from audible. I tried to return the title but it's a non refundable purchase. The book is slow and boring only made even more painful by the monotone drone of the narration. Awful.

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  • Mr H
  • 18-02-2020

Very honest and detailed account

Really enjoyed listening to this book. The author provided a first hand account of all that happened delivered in a very engaging way. Literally had to keep listening at every opportunity.

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  • @detox.cupping
  • 27-12-2019

it was really good and easy to listen to

brilliant reading. very passionate. I was very impressed by the way that he was able to keep the audience captivated.

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  • nick t
  • 25-09-2019

riveting first hand accounts

an in depth view from the eyes of the heros from Chosen and an insight into the minds of the front line tip of the spear and not the leaders ..

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  • Al Hardie 554
  • 11-05-2019

Can't imagine their thoughts and nightmares now.

I just about felt the pain of multiple wounds. We will never appreciate their sacrifice.

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  • Anthony Mellon
  • 16-03-2019

real snd gritty

a real insight into a period of war that should never be forgotten and an insight into what you ask our young men and women to do.

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  • Grizzly
  • 15-01-2019

Awesome

One of those great books, that I could not leave alone. God Bless you all.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-12-2018

Very brave young men

This is a book that I found hard to stop listening to and at the same time hard to listen to. The author and narrator delivers a very tough story very well. I feel like I have a great understanding of what these guys faced though in reality only they can. I feel very humble that these young men and thier families gave so much for us.

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  • chris
  • 19-11-2018

good story , a lot of detail

a lot of background detail to get through initially , but the story soon gets going and is an insight to what the military went through not always reported by the press

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