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Extended Audio Sample Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq Audiobook, by Thomas E. Ricks Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2,653 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Thomas E. Ricks Narrator: James Lurie Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2006 ISBN: 9781429585811
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Pulitzer Prize–winning Washington Post senior Pentagon correspondant Thomas E. Ricks’ Fiasco is masterful and explosive reckoning with the planning and execution of the American military invasion and occupation of Iraq, based on the unprecedented candor of key participants.

The American military is a tightly sealed community, and few outsiders have reason to know that a great many senior officers view the Iraq war with incredulity and dismay. But many officers have shared their anger with renowned military reporter Thomas E. Ricks, and in Fiasco, Ricks combines these astonishing on-the-record military accounts with his own extraordinary on-the-ground reportage to create a spellbinding account of an epic disaster.

As many in the military publicly acknowledge here for the first time, the guerrilla insurgency that exploded several months after Saddam's fall was not foreordained. In fact, to a shocking degree, it was created by the folly of the war's architects. But the officers who did raise their voices against the miscalculations, shortsightedness, and general failure of the war effort were generally crushed, their careers often ended. A willful blindness gripped political and military leaders, and dissent was not tolerated.

There are a number of heroes in Fiasco; inspiring leaders from the highest levels of the Army and Marine hierarchies to the men and women whose skill and bravery led to battlefield success in towns from Fallujah to Tall Afar, but again and again, strategic incoherence rendered tactical success meaningless. There was never any question that the U.S. military would topple Saddam Hussein, but as Fiasco shows, there was also never any real thought about what would come next. This blindness has ensured the Iraq war a place in history as nothing less than a fiasco.

Fair, vivid, and devastating, Fiasco is an audiobook whose tragic verdict feels definitive.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • One of the 2006 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A 2007 Arthur Ross Book Award Honorable Mention
  • Winner of the 2007 Ambassador Book Award for Current Affairs

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dominique Gomez | 2/19/2014

    " Read if you want to be angry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan | 2/17/2014

    " I just wish I had read this earlier. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Coinboy | 2/15/2014

    " Hubris, and how policy can be hijacked by a few determined individuals. Even Republicans who took heart in Bush/Cheney statements regarding international interventionism are now sickened by their amateurism. I've never believed this was blood for oil, because at least I could respect the pure greed that would represent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donna Kubiak | 2/1/2014

    " Along with R. Clark's and B. Woodwards books on this subject, I now feel like I have a pretty good idea about what happened after 9/11 and during the march to war in Iraq. This book has great details about the real snafu in the Bush administration as well as in the military field. All three books show that although our forces tried to win the war, there was no plan for attacking an insurgency or for helping the country after the attack. It saddens me that, after losing so many innocent lives during 9/11, the tragedy was compounded by so many innocent lives being lost during this unnecessary war. This book ends in 2006...I would like to think that the lessons starting to be learned in 2006 were put to use in the years since then. Rumsfield, Wolfowitz, Cheney, Bremer, Rice, Powell, and Tommy Franks should be held accountable for this sham. Bush, unfortunately, is protrayed as an out-of-touch commander in chief in all three books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 1/30/2014

    " The title says it all; and a devastatingly on-target book at the time. It had to be well-documented and sourced to fend off the neo-con criticism that would surely come its way. That "overreportage" got a little tiresome in the flow of the book, or it would have been 5-stars. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Norine | 1/26/2014

    " Ah. Should NOT have read this prior to deploying. All it did was make me angry! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Benjamin | 12/24/2013

    " Great account from the military's perspective. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 David Hunt | 11/15/2013

    " While providing a good overview of the events leading up to OIF, the point of view is too politicized (as evidenced by the title). However, we probably won't have a neutral treatment until at least a decade from now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laith | 10/19/2013

    " the book shows how willfully ignorant most of the bush administration and the army was in preparing to the war in iraq and how their poor planning helped create the insurgency. its stunning really. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greynomad | 10/16/2013

    " with the bush administration does this not surprise anyone................... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Agent_M | 9/29/2013

    " Great read,especially for those who have been living under a rock for the last decade. Mr. Ricks does an excellent job chronicling US involvement in the Middle East and the subsequent occupation of Iraq following 9/11. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 9/29/2013

    " The title is strident, but appropriate. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jarrod | 7/9/2013

    " Excellent reporting, but if you have been paying attention the past 6 years there is little in the book that should surprise you. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jimmy | 6/3/2013

    " Makes an excellent companion piece to read with Cobra II. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Brian | 5/9/2013

    " This book should make any American sick to their stomach regardless of party affiliation. To see how just a handful of people could lead a nation into war is very distrubing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Brimmer | 2/23/2013

    " My son, SSGT Nathan Brimmer, is right; somebody needs to go to jail. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Reese | 12/20/2012

    " This is book one in a two part series. If you only read one book about how we got involved in the Iraq war, and where we are going, then this one should be it. Very well researched and documented. Do not read it without reading the second book, "The Gamble". "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Willie | 3/8/2012

    " For anyone who wants a detailed understanding of the war in Iraq. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John McNeilly | 12/9/2011

    " A thoroughly damning indictment of the Bush administration's foolish, ideologically fueled rush to war and the terrible consequences suffered by the Iraqi people and our military forces. Absolutely enraging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daniel | 9/4/2011

    " This was a fascinating book that really gives you good insights into the almost criminal lack of planning by the Bush administration for the war in Iraq. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 6/21/2011

    " A great look at the lead up to and the early years of the Iraq war. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Hank | 5/14/2011

    " This is a fascinating book not so much because of its condemnation of the conduct of the Iraq war (the incompetence is obvious to anyone who reads the news), but because of the details about individuals who have had a part to play. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cohee4 | 3/28/2011

    " All about the surge. Interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Marlene | 12/11/2010

    " This book was more insightful than Fiasco, for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christopher | 9/7/2010

    " More of a tick-tock than Fiasco, thus lacking in some of its insightful nature. There are still tons of illuminating details nonetheless, and Ricks generally manages to keep his rampant man-crush on Petraeus from stealing center-stage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 9/6/2010

    " This is the follow up to Fiasco and is as engrossing as the first book. Because it covers a shorter period of time it feels like less happens, but at the same time I think the writing is a bit stronger and more coherent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 8/17/2010

    " Very interesting account of the surge in Iraq, but I still don't agree with his conclusion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jonathan | 7/16/2010

    " Sorry, but this was just too depressing, even thought I think Ricks was pretty optomistic about how it will turn out, thinking that lessons were learned about "nation building". I got about 1/2 thru the book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mark | 4/28/2010

    " This is a follow on to Ricks' Fiasco about the invasion of Iran. This is how Patreaus formulated and implemented his strategy for winning over the populace of Iraq, how and why it worked, and why it was not tried years before. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bcoltin | 4/12/2010

    " Good insight but it seemed repetitive and could have been more concise. "

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About the Author

Thomas E. Ricks, New York Times bestselling author, is an adviser on national security at the New America Foundation, where he participates in its “Future of War” project. He was previously a fellow at the Center for a New American Security and is a contributing editor of Foreign Policy magazine, for which he writes the prizewinning blog The Best Defense. A member of two Pulitzer Prize-winning teams, he covered US military activities in Somalia, Haiti, Korea, Bosnia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Kuwait, Turkey, Afghanistan, and Iraq. He is the author of several books, including The Generals, The Gamble, and the number one New York Times bestseller Fiasco, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

About the Narrator

James Lurie has worked for the biggest companies in the news, entertainment, and advertising businesses. He has an eclectic background; he has been a musician, a writer, and a doctoral candidate in Chinese history. He has been an audiobook narrator and even been the voice of a talking gasoline pump. As an actor he has had recurring roles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Law & Order, Picket Fences, and As the World Turns, to name but a few, and he won a Dramalogue Award in Los Angeles for his stage work.