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Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base Hardcover – May 17 2011

3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (May 17 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316132942
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316132947
  • Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 5.1 x 24.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 680 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #94,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

Review

"Cauldron-stirring. [AREA 51] is not science fiction. It is an assertive account, revelatory ... Ms. Jacobsen has put together a set of strong allegations about Area 51's covert history ... Her research into the world of 'overhead,' the aerial espionage that needed to be developed in extreme secrecy, is compellingly hard-hittting ... the book is noteworthy for its author's dogged devotion to her research."―The New York Times

"A compelling narrative of 50 years of covert operations by the CIA, the U.S. military, and the mysterious "Atomic Energy Commission".... Her meticulous research makes for a fascinating read, as it intersperses the accounts of secret government projects with anecdotes from the people who made those projects happen."―Rachel Larimore, Slate

"An informative history...about the creativity, political acumen and courage of the high-flying Cold Warriors who sought to protect the free world in the decades after World War II."―Andrew Dunn, Bloomberg

"Jacobsen's take veers from the standard conspiracy narrative in just about every imaginable respect."Earl Swift, Popular Mechanics

"What Jacobsen believes happened in the New Mexican desert is more frightening than UFO conspiracies..."―Elizabeth Bair, Dallas Observer

About the Author

Annie Jacobsen was a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
Pharaohs of the Sky
While Annie Jacobsen's "Area 51" is an excellent account of what transpires at the world's most secretive base--there is plenty of Cold War espionage talk here--clearly the publisher has an agenda: to attract an audience of another kind. One should be honest: when many think of Area 51, they think immediately of the 1947 Roswell UFO crash and the belief that evidence of that crash is hidden in this famous base. Indeed, the first review at the top of the back side says, "...Just the term 'Area 51' sets UFO theorists trembling with excitement.

There's only one problem, and it's a big one: of the 521 pages that comprise "Area 51," literally about 6 are devoted to UFOs. In fact, that's probably being generous; UFOs and Roswell are mentioned throughout, but that's about it--they are mentioned only, until late in the book when a few pages are devoted to the story of UFOs and Area 51. And it's too bad: Jacobsen offers one of the more compelling descriptions of the Roswell crash and its aftermath I've ever read...albeit briefly. Indeed, as I read, I continuously waited for the copies pages/chapter (s) I was expecting on the subject of the review on the back page, until it began to dawn on me that no real in-depth description would be forthcoming. The back cover review is highly misleading, and its placement--when there are dozens more on the inside the publisher could just as easily have used instead--led me to nothing short of disappointment.

As I said, the book is great in terms of telling us all about Area 51, unless you're looking for aliens. If that's the case, look elsewhere.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ms. Jacobson really seems to have done her homework on this book. A very enlightening read about how the what was done in Area 51 and how the top secret organizations that operated there came to be. It can be slow reading because there are so many names and facts involved but those tend to make every thing written in this book entirely creditable.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book, as a work of research and writing, was wonderful. The physical book listed as "New", however, was a little damaged. There was a bizarre slice in the bottom of the spine (through the dust jacket and the actual binding both) almost but not quite trimming about 1/8 to 1/4 off the bottom straight across. I separated the 2 slices the rest of the way off and kept the book, but this was a little disappointing.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book is mostly a history of the airplanes that were developed at area 51, it is a very interesting read if you like military history. there is very little in the side of "aliens" besides what is mention at the wiki article of the book. I like it.
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Format: Hardcover
I agree with the first reviewer, Foster, VS: I'm sorry I wasted time and money on this book. It's not just Jacobsen's breathless, sophomoric, 'Gosh-I-bet-you-didn't-know-that!' style that's irritating, there are, as Mr. Foster says, factual errors as well. I can't add much to what he has to say, because I doubt I am as well-informed on Area 51 literature as he is, but at least a couple of Jacobsen's arguments struck me as based on incomplete, biased or ignored information. One, on P. 72, is where she characterizes Capt. J. Edward Ruppelt (not 'Lt. E. J. Ruppelt' in her rendering) as an air Force stooge sent to rebuff ufologists and keep them away from the USAF's own UFO-related research in Project Blue book. In fact, Ruppelt was a much more complex personality than portrayed here and was genuinely concerned with developing objective, scientific criteria for evaluating UFO sightings - a fact that left him deeply disappointed with the dismissive attitude of the 1953 CIA-backed Robertson Panel - referred to by Jacobsen on P. 207, but without any cross-reference to Ruppelt. She also claims, on P.376, that 'Stalin had spies inside the Los Alamos nuclear laboratory who had been providing him with bomb blueprints and other information since 1941,' implying that the Soviets had methodically planted agents there, whereas David Greenglass, Klaus Fuchs and Theodore Hall acted at least partly on their own volition, approaching Soviet representatives as much as they were themselves approached - Stalin just got lucky. These and other misrepresentations make 'Area 51' a pretty frustrating read - and, as Mr. Foster points out, the final hypothesis (because that's all it is) about the debris at Roswell being a Russian flying-saucer containing the bodies of child-pilots developed by Nazi eugenicist Josef Megele is total nonsense.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Very very interesting. It greatly clarified a few mysteries that I had been thinking about for a very long time. Well written to keep the reader in suspense until the end.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The tilte of the book caputured my attention. The book itself was boring and read more like a history lesson.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Good info, just don't get carried away with it.
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