On a moonless night just weeks after September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Forces team ODA 574 infiltrates the mountains of southern Afghanistan with a seemingly impossible mission: to foment a tribal revolt and force the Taliban to surrender. Armed solely with the equipment they can carry on their backs, shockingly scant intelligence, and their mastery of guerrilla warfare, Captain Jason Amerine and his men have no choice but to trust their only ally: a little-known Pashtun statesman named Hamid Karzai who has returned from exile and is being hunted by the Taliban as he travels the countryside raising a militia.
The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the most important mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror, when the men on the ground knew little about the enemy - and their commanders in Washington knew even less. With unprecedented access to surviving members of ODA 574, key war planners, and Karzai himself, award-winning author Eric Blehm cuts through the noise of politicians and high-level military officials to narrate, for the first time, a story of uncommon bravery and terrible sacrifice, intimately exposing the realities of unconventional warfare and nation-building in Afghanistan that continue to shape the region today.
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Overwhelming true story in an extraordinary a-book
If you are interested a slight bit in military stories and in reality you must read this book. Very emotional and intense but also unbelievable informative and dramatic. It is life how it really is... surprising and tragic sometimes (without spoiling too much).
This is a real story not something someone made up for selling books. And it feels like the Author left nothing out. There is a lot of "behind the scenes stuff" what I really appreciate. And you will also get tons of military expressions and their meaning.
The reader P.J. Ochlan was just great. He interpreted each of the ODA 574 members just perfectly and each in a different way as much as all the other characters. He is insanely versatile giving each character an own personality. But the best job was on Hamid Karzai, it was like Ben Kingsley himself spoke the role. Just fantastic.
You always know who is talking without needing any more explanation.
This book got everything a great book needs. Packed with informations without being just for insiders. Some real funny and slapstick moments and some sad ones of course. But most important is it is exciting as a story can be. You can't stop listening!
Overall it has a real good attitude and it was also very moving and dramatic. The Author Eric Blehm creates a very close atmosphere to the team of ODA 574 and makes you beeing a part of it. It got its's heroic 'kick ass' moments which I very liked as well without being too much glorifying. Overall I am wondering why noone makes this a movie. That is very touching no doubt.
First of all it is a good story and the writing/reading is really great. Besides that it is a book from what you can learn a lot. About military terms and tactics as strategies and of course the US Special Forces in particular like their doctrine but also about loyalty, sacrifices and mastering situations you can't change anyway and keeping a clear head.
But nonetheless and that is the surprising part you will really learn fundamental things about 'how and why' it really was in Afghanistan without any hoaxes or conspiracy theories and also getting a domestic view about the local population and their varieties. It delivers good basic facts about the whole local situation so you will get a way better chance to make your own opinion with not just the western media information.
It really helped me to understand the coherences between the past, the people, the idea of this operation and the situation in Afghanistan far better.
Bottom line: It is a fabulous (audio) book for military insider AND for people who just like big time stories!