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Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army Paperback – May 27 2008

3.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 560 pages
  • Publisher: Nation Books; First Trade Paper Edition edition (May 27 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 156858394X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568583945
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 3.5 x 21 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #31,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Scahill's liberal horror story is about the company that has deployed many of the private contractors who have assisted the U.S. military in Iraq and been responsible for more than its share of death and disorder. Scahill, a regular contributor to the Nation, amps up the scare language in his study of both Blackwater and the wealthy, ultra-conservative Prince family that founded the company, but luckily, Weiner does not. With his booming baritone reined tightly in check, Weiner coolly and calmly delivers the bad news. The parade of scaremongering may grow wearying, but Weiner maintains his composure throughout, offsetting Scahill (to a degree) by virtue of his unyielding temperateness.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

Review

"Virginian-Pilot""At Blackwater USA, Jeremy Scahill's is the face they love to hate... [He is] perhaps the private military company's most dogged critic."Bill Maher, host of HBO's "Real Time""[Scahill's] book is so scary and so illuminating.""The Guardian" (London)"Blackwater being rarely out of the news lately, this is a very useful survey of modern mercenaries - or, as they prefer to be called, 'private security contractors' in the 'peace and stability industry'...Scahill is a sharp investigative writer."Scarlett Johansson, actor"It should be mandatory reading. It's very interesting - and scary."

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This book will give you nightmares. The author provides an extremely thorough look at the Blackwater empire and the issue of combat contractors in whole. Thoroughly researched (although I recommend the reader consistently refer to the endnotes throughout), this work will make you consider the future of the United States' military-industrial complex and how far it will go. Extremely well-written, entertaining, intriguing, and conducive to critical thought, this comes very highly recommended for both the policy expert and civilian-on-the-sidelines alike.

I hope he publishes an updated version soon, as there have been many important developments since the pressing of this edition.
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Format: Paperback
It is a decent look at the rise of armed contractors used by the US military in Iraq, and how the change in the level of private contracting has increased exponentially since the 90's, but the book is only marginally about Blackwater, and more about the entire system that all PMCs used (or as the author argues, abused) to dramatically increase their business.
The book does present an obviously negative slant, and for the last several chapters, the author heavily cites Robert Young Pelton and PW Singer's works, so you are better off reading their material.
Only if you cant get enough of books about modern mercenaries
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Format: Paperback
An extremely well-written, eye opening book. Would highly recommend it. It's particularly unsettling that a lot of ordinary people have mutual funds invested in organizations that they would probably never knowlingly support.
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Format: Hardcover
A very informative, well researched book. Very easy to read,understand and digest. It's great deatail and connection of the dots is well laid out by the author. Quite ambitious plans,that the "powers at be in the U.S.A" will go to to enhance the influence of the "Empire" and yet mis-inform, or not inform, the U.S. and world public.
Highly recommend this book for it's content and the entertainment value as well.
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Format: Paperback
Reasonably interesting and informative, but could have used a better editor. The book feels disorganized, and frequently repeats itself. I noticed several instances where full quotes were re-used, suggesting poor editing or, at worst, deliberate padding. Not a bad read, but could have been better.
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Format: Paperback
Far more than just a "spin of the week," this book represents the only substantial investigation of the growth of government-sponsored mercenary armies. Blackwater may have made the biggest splash across the headlines, but it is worth noting that the book came out in hardcover before Blackwater was kicked out of Iraq. It would have been nice to see some comparative analysis of other mercenary companies as well, but for the moment, Scahill's analysis of Blackwater will have to stand on its own.

Scahill covers the rise of the Prince family, as well as the growth of the connection between the family and the neo-cons of the Republican party. I don't personally see the menace behind Prince's Christianity - I think this is where Scahill is stretching - but his analyses of specific incidents in Iraq and Afghanistan is detailed and informative. Scahill's book only shows the need for further reporting on the world of soldiers for hire.
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Format: Paperback
I found the book to be pretty thorough. Lots of information, lots of background, well researched. Scahill's opposition to the war in general is obvious, but it does not come off as blatantly biased as some reviewers felt it did. I enjoyed it a lot.
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Format: Paperback
There are few journalist left brave enough to speak out, Scahill is one that we ignore at our peril
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