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Download 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample 12 Strong: The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers Audiobook, by Doug Stanton Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (1,849 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Doug Stanton Narrator: Dennis Boutsikaris Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9780743580823
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“A thrilling action ride of a book” (The New York Times Book Review)—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.

Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.

During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

“A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” (USA TODAY). Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Horse Soldiers is a great read—a riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda. We’re hearing many of these stories for the first time—and from those who waged a war worthy of Rudyard Kipling, James Bond, and Davy Crockett.” 

    Tom Brokaw

  • “Doug Stanton’s Horse Soldiers is as gripping as the most intricately plotted thriller. It is a masterwork of thrilling military action, brilliant in-depth journalism, and powerful story telling. Finally Americans can know how just a few dozen courageous U.S. soldiers beat the Taliban under the most extreme and dangerous conditions imaginable. I could not put this book down.”

    Vince Flynn

  • “Spellbinding…action packed prose…The book reads more like a novel than a military history…the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the U.S. militarys finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war.” 

    USA Today

  • “In the spirit of Black Hawk Down and Flags of Our Fathers, Doug Stanton plunges into the heart of a single mission and returns with a stark understanding not only of what happened, but what was truly at stake. Through precise reportage and hauntingly rendered battle scenes, Stanton shows that we may ignore this ‘forgotten’ theater only at our own peril.” 

    Hampton Sides, author of Ghost Soldiers and Blood and Thunder 

  • New York Times bestseller
  • One of the 2009 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tammy-Anne | 2/16/2014

    " Amazing!!!! I had goosebumps the last 20 pages!!!!! The intelligence of these soldiers and mental strength is surreal as well as physical!!!! Well researched!!!! A must read!!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gary | 2/12/2014

    " Read within the past year. Not sure of date completed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Timmons | 2/6/2014

    " I found this book very interesting and very gruesome to read at the same time. To think people we're treating other people like the way the taliban were treating it's citizens of afghanistan. To think those few men, are not even thought of or even remembered now a days it immoral. If it weren't for this book we may have nevered have learned about a new age technology combined with old world travel defeated a country and save it's people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carmen | 2/3/2014

    " The true story of a small group of US Special Forces soldiers that go into Afghanistan after 9/11 to fight the Taliban on horseback. A lot of good info on Afghanistan and also on the Special Forces. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dad | 2/3/2014

    " Interesting to see how our soldiers performed in such a recent war. We are fortunate to have such outstanding men as those depicted in this book fighting for our counry. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shane Fritz | 1/30/2014

    " This is a book that we should all read. This is the true story of true patriotism and incredible bravery. Military policy doesn't always make sense. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeff | 1/6/2014

    " Recommendation from Matt Voigt, guy we interviewed on May 13, 2011. Interesting read about Special Forces soldiers that literally rode to battle on horses. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tasha | 1/6/2014

    " A VERY good read! A multi-layered and edge-of-your-seat read. Highly, highly recommend. My favorite read so far in 2011. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Drea | 12/23/2013

    " I had never read a book like this before...after seeing the author on Jon Stewart, I was interested. What an incredible true story of the men and women in our country that risk EVERYTHING to make us safe and secure. I wanted to read more... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Todd | 12/12/2013

    " Very well written history of the first group of special forces soldiers to enter Afghanistan after the 9/11 and fight the Taliban. Incredible story of true heroes. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 4/14/2013

    " Amazing story of warfare in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. The author did extensive research about these soldiers from Ft. Campbell. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily Peterson | 2/4/2013

    " A great read that takes you back to the days right after 9/11, when the first American soldiers went into Afghanistan. I really liked it, and it helped teach me a lot about Afghanistan, but it got kind of dense at points. I'm not usually big on war books, but I'd recommend this one. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hugh Carson | 1/2/2013

    " Story of 1st Special Forces A Team who linked up with Gary Schoen, 1st CIA Team into Afghanistan in Oct 2001 after 9./11. linked up with Northern Alliance General Dostum, and literally fought on horseback with his troops - fascinating!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 11/11/2012

    " This was an excellent book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chris Smith | 10/16/2012

    " Lots of books about war and Afghanistan, but this is the best. Loved it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phil | 8/28/2012

    " Interesting story but not entranced "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kirk Bower | 8/13/2012

    " Outstanding! Details the travels of the first Special Forces into Afghanistan. Very intense. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robbie Patterson | 4/6/2012

    " This book is about extraordinary men who happened to be soldiers. Until this book, I did not even know about these special forces who were faced with impossible odds. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dara032 | 12/19/2011

    " Really enjoyed reading this - it felt like a Tom Clancy novel but is a true story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Patty | 4/12/2010

    " Invasion of Afghanistan after 9-11. I got lost in all the place and people names. Good firsthand account if you want to plow through it. "

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About the Author

Doug Stanton is the author of the New York Times bestseller In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors. A former contributing editor at Esquire, Sports Afield, and Outside, he is now a contributing editor at Men’s Journal and has written extensively on travel, sport, entertainment, and history, during which time he has nearly drowned in Cape Horn waters, survived a mugging by jungle revolutionaries, played basketball with George Clooney, and took an acting lesson from Harrison Ford. Stanton graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and Hampshire College in Massachusetts and received an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He and his wife, the investigative reporter Anne Stanton, have three children.

About the Narrator

Dennis Boutsikaris has won two Obie Awards, one for his performance in Sight Unseen, and played Mozart in Amadeus on Broadway. Among his films are W., Batteries Not Included, The Dream Team, and Boys on the Side. He is a recipient of both Audie and Earphones Awards and has read over 140 audiobooks.