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4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (383 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jake Tapper Narrator: Rob Shapiro Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN: 9781619692626
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The year was 2009, the month and day, October 3. Taliban fighters, almost 400 in number, attacked 53 U.S. troops stationed at Combat Outpost Keating, a small, dangerously located outpost lying at the base of three mountains a few miles from the Pakistan border.

In "The Outpost: An Untold Story of American Valor Audiobook," journalist Jake Tapper presents the tragic stories of these American fighting men, including many who lost their lives for no clear reason. Victims of the Taliban, they were also victims of the whims of leaders in our nation's capital.

Why were they there? Why did The Outpost exist in that location for that amount of time in the first place? Even the Pentagon agreed they should never have been located there from the start.

Still, overrun by enemy forces who outnumbered them eight times over, these brave men stood up against the forces of evil and once again, defined the meaning of American courage, American heroism, and American valor.

Many will never know home again, nor will their families hug or hold them once more; however, because of Tapper's important investigative work, their story will be told, and their memories will live on. Maybe, too, some future repetition of needless, senseless slaughter can be avoided.

Despite his telling his superior that the location where a base camp is to be built, the observations of one young intelligence officer are ignored as officers continue to build a camp where no camp should be built.

The Outpost itself becomes the chief protagonist in the story. The audiobook follows the lives of people who try to exist and survive there from 2006-2009. Story lines jump from heavy description of battles and attacks, interactions among leaders and the men they direct, and insights into the soldiers, their families and their lives back home.

The work gives an inside look into the workings of the military, up close and personal, without sugar coating. It exposes faults in the way military intelligence is gathered, interpreted, and acted upon. Sometimes, the blind do lead the blind; higher-ups do not stop and think; rules and procedures exist that do little more than set our soldiers up for failure -- failure that comes with a hefty price tag. Lives are lost for no reason, but generals keep their upper hand and go about the business of being generals.

About the author:

ABC News' senior White House correspondent Jake Tapper has led Emmy Award-winning news shows since being in that position. He has widely covered the elections of President Obama.

His work appears on "Good Morning, America," "Nightline" and "World News with Diane Sawyer" on a regular basis.

At 5:58 a.m. on the morning of October 3, 2009, Combat Outpost Keating was viciously attacked by Taliban insurgents. The 53 US troops, having been stationed at the bottom of three steep mountains, were severely outmanned by nearly four hundred Taliban fighters. Though the Americans ultimately prevailed, their casualties made it one of the war’s deadliest battles for US forces. And after more than three years in that dangerous and vulnerable valley a mere fourteen miles from the Pakistan border, the US abandoned and bombed the camp. A Pentagon investigation later concluded that there was no reason for Outpost Keating to have been there in the first place.

The Outpost is a tour de force of investigative journalism. Jake Tapper exposes the origins of this tragic and confounding story, exploring the history of the camp and detailing the stories of soldiers heroic and doomed, shadowed by the recklessness of their commanders in Washington, DC, and a war built on constantly shifting sands.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Tapper, the network's ambitious, telegenic Senior White House Correspondent, has made a name for himself as a tough questioner...ABC's tenacious reporter is already proving to be the new star of the White House press pack. The Daily Beast
  • “As Rudyard Kipling did in the nineteenth century, now, in his magnificent book, Jake Tapper takes us to an untamed part of Afghanistan at war. Journey to The Outpost to understand what our troops go through—and why they go through it.”

    James Bradley, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Flags of Our Fathers

  • Tapper's sassy style...gives the book a humorous angle that probably won't be found in most mainstream books about Election 2000....For those who are looking for an insider's view and tales, this is the book to buy. National Journal
  • Tapper, the network's ambitious, telegenic Senior White House Correspondent, has made a name for himself as a tough questioner...ABC's tenacious reporter is already proving to be the new star of the White House press pack. The Daily Beast
  • Tapper's sassy style...gives the book a humorous angle that probably won't be found in most mainstream books about Election 2000....For those who are looking for an insider's view and tales, this is the book to buy. National Journal
  • “Brilliant, dedicated reporting by a journalist who goes to ground to get the truth. A sad, real tale about this war, America, and the brave warriors who live—and die—at the point of the spear.”

    Bob Woodward, #1 New York Times bestselling author

  • The Outpost is a mind-boggling, all-too-true story of heroism, hubris, failed strategy, and heartbreaking sacrifice. If you want to understand how the war in Afghanistan went off the rails, you need to read this book.”

    Jon Krakauer, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Analyzing the consequences of decisions, large and small, is what makes Tapper’s book so important…For those wishing to understand the middle years of the war, they could do no better than to read The Outpost.”

    Time

  • “[Jake Tapper] has woven an intricate account about battlefield bravery hamstrung by military bureaucracy…[His] voice is understated, not polemical—just a good reporter letting the facts speak for themselves.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Mr. Tapper lays bare the poor decision making that shattered dozens of American lives in the pursuit of an ill-conceived goal.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Meticulously researched, excellently written, and a must-read…It may prove one of the most important [books] of the year.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A heartbreaking chronicle of the rotation of soldiers asked to oversee an underfunded, often thankless mission.”

    Huffington Post

  • “One of the most important [books] of the year. Jake Tapper’s book is meticulously researched, excellently written, and a must-read for everyone who does more than just mouth the phrase, ‘I support the troops.’”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “The seminal work of documentary journalism to emerge out of the post–9/11 war in Afghanistan.”

    Business Standard

  • “[A] fascinating history…Tapper delivers a blow by blow account of [the soldiers’] actions, their personal stories, and the tortured, often incomprehensible command decisions that kept them fighting despite inadequate support and an ally, Pakistan, that actively encouraged the enemy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[An] incredible account of how this outpost was horribly jeopardized.”

    Booklist

  • “This is a narrative, not a polemic, and Tapper patiently lays out the history of what happened at Keating in a gripping, forceful style…This unadorned, powerful accountchallenges the purposes and wisdom of America’s ongoing military presence [in Afghanistan]…A timely indictment of a thoughtless waste of young American lives.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2012 Los Angeles Times Book Prize Nominee for Current Interest

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 BettyAnn | 2/7/2014

    " Very intense story bringing to me a glimpse into the amazing experience our troops face as well as the people in the mountains of Afghanistan. So worth the time spent reading. Your breath will stop and your heart will ache. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eraach | 2/2/2014

    " This book has opened my eyes wider to the horrors of war. Americans need to have a better understanding of our role in Afghanistan and realize the sacrifices our troops are facing. Jake Tapper gives the opportunity for just that in this book. When Bush and Rumsfeld cut the number of troops in Afghanistan in order to crush Iraq, our troops were left with less air support which in actuality means less medivac flights for our wounded and with too few troops to defend our outposts. This is a tribute to not only the fallen but to those humble souls who came out of COP Keating forever changed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ben Fuller | 2/1/2014

    " Closest thing to being there. Any citizen who votes to put fellow citizens in harms way should read this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dan Schoenekase | 1/30/2014

    " Just superb. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Frank Beckendorf | 1/27/2014

    " This is an excellent assessment of what the higher military echelon made our soldiers in Afghanistan do to assist an inept ANA. The forced orders that resulted in unnecessary American deaths and wounds is revealed here that proves that some of these higher ups should be court martialed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Curt | 1/21/2014

    " A really well written and researched look at what American troops go through in Afghanistan and in dealing with the government that is supposed to lead them. As an ex airborne and cav soldier I want to express my respect for their sacrifice, thank you gentlemen. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Groh | 1/17/2014

    " Definitely worth reading if you want to understand the reality on the ground in the outland of rural Afghanistan. Some compelling ideas about the nature of COIN operations, not to mention the harrowing combat experienced by those soldiers that manned the outpost. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 C Miller | 1/16/2014

    " Heartbreaking and awe inspiring. The description of the final battle at COP Keating nearly brought me to tears. I don't know that I've ever been so viscerally involved in a narrative as this. Wonderful writing about wonderful men and women at the far ends of the earth. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Chandler Moore | 1/10/2014

    " Brilliant, clear account of military blundership express in Afghanistan. Subtitled: "Don't put a base at the bottom of a hill." "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jay Gerak | 12/10/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyed this account by Jake Tapper. It is amazing to me that in the desire to stop the Taliban and its fellow-travelers, the US Military elected to put US soldiers in such a vulnerable position. The bravery and courage exhibited by our fighting men and women never cease to amaze me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emmett | 10/11/2013

    " Great book that gives a small glimpse into the military's decision-making mind and how it affects the boots on the ground. The decision to maintain a presence in a worthless piece of land for such a long time and shed so much blood, then abandon it is so typical of those in charge. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shaun | 9/22/2013

    " Great book, but very very sad "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erica | 6/27/2013

    " This book is not always pleasant to read but something that we all should be aware of. Even more interesting is that I interviewed someone who was in this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cecilia | 5/14/2013

    " This book was amazing. The writing was seat-of-your pants style and the action was non-stop. This book does an excellent job of showing the dirtiness of war and the braveness of the men who fight for us while we make little to no sacrifices here. Well done, Jake Tapper!! "

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About the Narrator

Rob Shapiro can be heard narrating audiobooks such as the bestseller The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood; Frank: The Voice; and the fantasy noir Low Town. He performed several seasons of radio comedy on Minneapolis Public Radio and voiced the titular lion in Leo the Lion. Shapiro is a musician and composer with his critically acclaimed band Populuxe. He is also a business consultant and software system designer.