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Extended Audio Sample At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA Audiobook, by George Tenet Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (432 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George Tenet Narrator: Eric Conger Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2007 ISBN: 9780061230646
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In the whirlwind of accusations and recriminations that emerged in the wake of 9/11 and the Iraq war, one man's vital testimony has been conspicuously absent. Candid and gripping, At the Center of the Storm recounts George Tenet's time at the Central Intelligence Agency, a revealing look at the inner workings of the most important intelligence organization in the world during the most challenging times in recent history. With unparalleled access to both the highest echelons of government and raw intelligence from the field, Tenet illuminates the CIA's painstaking attempts to prepare the country against new and deadly threats, disentangles the interlocking events that led to 9/11, and offers explosive new information on the deliberations and strategies that culminated in the U.S. invasion of Iraq.

Beginning with his appointment as Director of Central Intelligence in 1997, Tenet unfolds the momentous events that led to 9/11 as he saw and experienced them: his declaration of war on al-Qa'ida; the CIA's covert operations inside Afghanistan; the worldwide operational plan to fight terrorists; his warnings of imminent attacks against American interests to White House officials in the summer of 2001; and the plan for a coordinated and devastating counterattack against al-Qa'ida laid down just six days after the attacks.

Tenet's compelling narrative then turns to the war in Iraq as he provides dramatic insight and background on the run-up to the invasion, including a firsthand account of the fallout from the inclusion of "sixteen words" in the president's 2003 State of the Union address, which claimed that Saddam Hussein had sought to purchase uranium from Africa; the true context of Tenet's own now-famous "slam dunk" comment regarding Saddam's WMD program; and the CIA's critical role in an administration predisposed to take the country to war. In doing so, he sets the record straight about CIA operations and shows readers that the truth is more complex than suggested in other versions of recent history offered thus far.

Through it all, Tenet paints an unflinching self-portrait of a man caught between the warring forces of the administration's decision-making process, the reams of frightening intelligence pouring in from around the world, and his own conscience. In At the Center of the Storm, George Tenet draws on his unmatched experience within the opaque mirrors of intelligence and provides crucial information previously undisclosed to offer a moving, revelatory profile of both a man and a nation in times of crisis.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Fascinating.”

    New York Times

  • “Very readable.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The drums have been sounding for the long-awaited book by former CIA director George Tenet.”

    Washington Post

  • “[A] remarkable, important…memoir.”

    Washington Post Book World

  • “Compelling.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Tenet’s new book…is delicious and edifying.”

    Associated Press

  • “Listeners ready to move beyond the headlines and into a wider world of nuanced complexity will be more than satisfied.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A USA Today Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nate | 2/4/2014

    " I tend to be a very non-government intervention person, but hearing about the work that Tenet did at the CIA made me more appreciative of the type of work that they must do and the political forces that often pervert their mission. Of course this is revisionist history, but Tenet comes off as a very contentious person who tried to do the best he could. A very interesting and informative read. Read by the author, which always helps. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taylor | 1/31/2014

    " Read this years back. It wasn't terribly earth-shattering, as I recall. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Khalid Khan | 1/25/2014

    " Why would you want to read about George Tenet? Because he was running CIA when 9/11 happened and when Bush decided to go looking for WMD's in Iraq. The book as everything else but that. You find out how Mubarak didn't like Yasir Arafat (not news to anyone who followed the middle east), small backdoor stuff that shows the personal human side of leaders, etc, etc. But when it come to 9/11 and WMD this book falls short - Tenet's written this more as an defense of what he did. This is a story that required a bold and revealing account - and that is totally missing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Summi | 1/20/2014

    " interesting...but if ure lookin for the masala on the CIA then its kinda disappointin..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ellis | 1/13/2014

    " It was interesting to get Tenet's point of veiw on what happened during his 7 years as CIA cheif. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Miriam | 1/13/2014

    " This book was one of my first real glimpses into the inner-workings of the CIA, and for that reason, was quite fascinating to me. I felt that Tenet gave quite a balanced and objective view of both the Clinton and Bush administrations...that included interesting insights on both. Worth the read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joe Mossa | 1/12/2014

    " a career of hard work and dedication destroyed by two words- 'slam dunk'. he was given the blame for helping bush to decide to invade iraq..sad. it s a good book but a bit tiring. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garret O'Boyle | 12/27/2013

    " Offered some good insight into the goings on in washington and some into the war on terror. It was dry at times but in the end i came away feeling that i learned sone stuff which is why i chose to read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Baden | 11/7/2013

    " Great Book. It is interesting to learn about CIA stuff during both Clinton and Bush 43 Administrations. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 James Campbell | 11/6/2013

    " pretty well written, probably ghost written actually. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 11/5/2013

    " Just started. Tenet was the CIA director at a particularly tumultuous time when many fingers were pointed at the intelligence apparatus for failing to counter the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Interesting so far... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shirley beverly | 10/25/2013

    " I found this fascinating but I do wish he would have just admitted that he did make a mistake and that he should have resigned earlier. I keep waiting for him to do this in the book. Do I believe what he wrote, well maybe, maybe not. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ezra | 10/21/2013

    " Basically, this book is an extension of Tenet's taking shared responsibility for being wrong about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. It was a tough call in which to be wrong. Such decisions are tough when there is murky, incomplete data. Politics in Washington scare me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Charles Chawalko | 7/26/2013

    " I am still in the process of reading it so expect further details... But from what I read, he does a judicious job analyzing his role and the environment around him in the years before and after 9/11... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 7/8/2013

    " Didnt finish it ... due back at the library. but what I read was very interesting. However he is much too nice about everyone. "I liked the palstinians, but i Liked the isralis too.. ect" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin Schleiter | 6/30/2013

    " Interesting inside look at the CIA before and after 9-11 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joe G | 12/24/2012

    " Great book. In time this will be considered a history book and guide to the 'karma" that existed pre and post 9/11. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hans | 6/10/2012

    " Easy read and offers a different perspective from the country's most secretive agency regarding 9/11 and the events leading up to it and it's aftermath "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tom Guise | 2/1/2012

    " Very facinating. Allowed me to really ponder the inner workings of our government. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Penny | 1/17/2012

    " interesting espcially when read on this side of the pond based on our interpretation of the US coverage/UK coverage "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Spencer | 9/22/2011

    " neither particularly well written nor balanced, but nonetheless interesting. provides a good counterpoint for Woodward's "Bush At War" series, which in the end will have the final word on Tenet's tenure at CIA. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 LJh* | 3/9/2011

    " Read this years back. It wasn't terribly earth-shattering, as I recall. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Summi | 6/19/2010

    " interesting...but if ure lookin for the masala on the CIA then its kinda disappointin..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristin | 1/20/2010

    " Interesting inside look at the CIA before and after 9-11 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gerald | 12/27/2009

    " What I learned from this book? There is a lot going on out there that I don't know about and that I am glad that there are those who are willing to take on the responsibilities to try to keep me, my loved ones and our country safe. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 7/13/2009

    " How to be a CIA Director 101. Just because he has an axe to grind (and it's clear that he does), doesn't mean that this isn't an interesting back story of how we got so screwed up in the Middle East. Read it with an open mind, but don't forget that he does have an agenda. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeremy | 3/2/2009

    " Just started. Tenet was the CIA director at a particularly tumultuous time when many fingers were pointed at the intelligence apparatus for failing to counter the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Interesting so far... "

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About the Author
Author George Tenet

George Tenet was the Director of Central Intelligence from 1997 to 2004. He holds a BSFS from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and an MIA from the School of International Affairs at Columbia University. He was appointed to the faculty of Georgetown University in 2004 and lives outside Washington, D.C., with his wife, author Stephanie Glakas-Tenet, and their son.

About the Narrator

Eric Conger is a stage actor, voice artist, and award-winning audiobook narrator. He has narrated more than 125 fiction and nonfiction audiobooks and was a four-time finalist for the Audie Award, both as a sole narrator in 2007 and 2008 and as part of a multicast reading in 2001 and 2012. He has earned six AudioFile Earphones Awards. His extensive voice-over work includes more than 5,000 narrations for commercial ventures. A graduate of Wesleyan University and the University of Paris, he also works as a writer and playwright. He has appeared in over fifty plays and has also translated plays of Molière and Feydeau for regional theaters.