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Publisher's Summary

General Stanley McChrystal, commander of international and US forces in Afghanistan, was living large, with staff calling him a rock star.

Journalist Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration. When Hastings' piece appeared a few months later, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was ordered to Washington, where he was unceremoniously fired.

Hastings gives us a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of Allied military commanders, their high-stakes manoeuvres and often bitter bureaucratic infighting.

©2012 Michael Hastings (P)2016 W F Howes Ltd

Critic Reviews

"An insightful look at how powerful some of the US's top generals really are, and also unwraps some of the chaos behind allied military command and the so-called 'war on terror'." ( The Sunday Business Post)
"Hastings offers a fiercely intelligent analysis of how the American military spun the war in Afghanistan." ( The Sunday Telegraph)

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

A good accompaniment to war machine

I wanted to read this after seeing Brad Pitt's warm machine. I thought it was fascinating. It was good to get the complete picture around what happened. Let's hope they learn from it.

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Revealing

The author was candid and frank in his assessment of both the subject and at times himself. The story is unique as he was not bluffed by his proximity to the people however he did remain respectful of the subjects.

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  • David Jacobs
  • 13-08-2018

Enriched my worldview. Recommended.

The reviewer:

Age: 29
Country: South Africa
Education: Post-graduate (International Relations and Economics)
Profession: Foreign affairs

My system:

5 - Deeply impactful, changed the way I view the world
4 - Enriched my worldview, will use favourably in conversations and arguments
3 - Entertaining, will mention in light conversations
2 - No markable impact, will probably forget I read it
1 - Will actively dissuade people from reading and will bash during conversations

My review:

This book has enriched my understanding of the war in Afghanistan and the politics shaping it. As a work of high quality and committed investigative journalism, the book succeeds admirably. There is a reason it had such an impact.

The pace is very good with crisp language, never boring, and manages to point out the major political and military landmarks without losing sight of why it was written in the first place.

Certainly of interest to military, academic and diplomatic professionals - and anyone with a healthy interest in security and current affairs - the book stands as a strong tribute to the life of Michael Hastings.