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Hunting the Jackal: A Special Forces and CIA Soldier's Fifty Years on the Frontlines of the War Against Terrorism Mass Market Paperback – May 24 2005

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Avon; Reprint edition (May 24 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060564105
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060564100
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 91 g
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #374,155 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

This bloody, chest-thumping memoir showcases the Special Forces mindset at its most fanatical. Maimed in a firefight with the North Vietnamese, Waugh limped back to Vietnam, his shrapnel-riddled leg oozing pus, to volunteer for six more years in combat. When that war wound down, Waugh bounced around until he found a new lease on life as an "independent contractor" with the CIA. Happily ensconced in squalid, sweltering Khartoum in the early 1990s, he surveiled all-star terrorist Carlos the Jackal and kept tabs on up-and-comer Osama bin Laden, for whom he drew up assassination plans, only to have them nixed by "sanctimonious" higher-ups. Never one to fade away, Waugh, age 71, wangled his way into a Special Forces unit for the 2001 campaign in Afghanistan, where the younger soldiers "worshipped" him. There he relished the awesome accuracy of American smart bombs, but still pined for the excitement of the up close and personal throat-slitting and machine-gunning of his salad days in Vietnam. Waugh is a Special Forces zealot, reserving his bitterest ire not for Communists and terrorists but for squeamish civilian officials and conventional military brass who disdain special ops. He doggedly eschews introspection, proclaiming himself "a man of action, a man who functions" without "gazing into the distance, pondering the meaning of it all." Co-writer Keown, co-author of the Dennis Rodman memoir Bad as I Wanna Be, keeps the writing taut, pungent and full of coarse, often gross, thrills and lots of special ops and spycraft lore. But Waugh himself emerges as a one-dimensional, blustering character to whom the years seem to have bequeathed more fervor than wisdom. Photos not seen by PW.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

In this all-action memoir, Waugh, with help from professional writer Keown, recalls a half-dozen episodes from Vietnam, Sudan, and Afghanistan. These were selected from a fund of combat and intelligence experiences in 60 countries that, according to Waugh, he otherwise can't talk about. Although Waugh expresses the warrior ethic that has motivated him, in general, he is not personally revealing beyond exhibiting mission-oriented drive in dispatching the enemy. Waugh describes battles he was involved in, some as a member of the Study and Observation Group, the subject of several recent histories (e.g., Secret Commandos by John Plaster [BKL My 1 04]). After surviving the Vietnam War with medals for valor and shrapnel in his body, Waugh was contracted by the CIA to conduct surveillance on infamous terrorists such as Osama bin Laden and Carlos the Jackal. Waugh recounts tailing them in the early 1990s (ruing that his proposals to kill them weren't accepted) and concludes with his participation--at age 71--with American special forces in Afghanistan. That's a record sure to awe students of special-operations warfare. Gilbert Taylor
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Harvard Law School professor Alan M. Dershowitz last April complained to Publishers Weekly about its negative review of his new book. Amazingly, the editor-in-chief agreed and had the book re-reviewed. Billy Waugh should have them do the same. HUNTING THE JACKAL is an incredible look into the world of secret warriors working around the clock to safeguard our freedom. He has hunted--and found--terrorists who top the Most Wanted lists. And here he writes about Carlos the Jackal and Osama bin Laden and others. He's done the dirty work in the world's hellholes (just the descriptions of which seem to upset book reviewers). It is not pretty work, and what they do and how they do it is not particularly appropriate for some polite conversations. But that is the point. This is a well-written book--better than most--that lays out the real underworld in a clean, engaging fashion. You're quickly taken along on an amazing life, and before you know it, you're at the last page, overwhelmed at what you've "witnessed" ... and wanting more. The best-selling author W.E.B. Griffin said it best: "Waugh is the warrior's warrior. From Special Forces missions in Vietnam to black ops work around the world, he has fought our worst enemies hellbent on harming America in ways unimagined. We sleep soundly, our freedoms defended, thanks to men like Waugh. This is his remarkable story -- read it and understand what too few do."
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Format: Hardcover
I used to subscribe to Publisher's Weekly, willing to put up with some of that publication's obvious left-leaning sympathies in order to get the most recent publishing news. But no more. I have just cancelled my subscription based on the incredibly biased and belittling review of American patriot Billy Waugh's book. I can only assume that the review was written by the same editor that reviews (negatively, of course) anything that is positive about America, our current President, conservatives, or the military. The author of this poison pill of a review chooses his adjectives as carefully as if he was attempting to craft fine literature. It is obvious that even a well-told tale of a life lived making sure that rags like PW can be published will never receive a fair review from the commissars at Reed Elsevier, Inc. Billy Waugh is not "a one dimensional, blustering character" and anyone who knows him will attest to that. What he is represents what the left so hates: a man who has devoted his entire life to the defense of this Nation, our Nation, his Nation . . . and you ought to be damn proud that he has.
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Format: Hardcover
Beginning in the cruel jungles of Vietnam and proceeding on a wild and tumultuous journey through Cambodia, Libya, the Sudan and Afghanistan, Billy Waugh, the extraordinary, larger-than-life Special Forces warrior and CIA Special Operations operative, drags us kicking and screaming with fear, apprehension and delight into his shadowy world.
His ultimate mission--leading a team to stop Carlos--reputedly the most vicious of terrorists in the latter part of the twentieth century.
This volume is a thrilling true account of the events which culminated in the capture of the heinous individual known as The Jackal who had for many years eluded all the major intelligence agencies of the world.
It will grab you and hold you, enthralled, excited and, at times, appalled-- to the very end.
I highly recommend it.
Read it.
You'll be glad you did.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.5 out of 5 stars 138 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars in the face of uncertainty, he said "Send me" Feb. 15 2015
By JT Patten, Best Selling Thriller Author, CT intelligence specialist - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I want to review this book fairly. Not because it is not outstanding (it is), but because Billy Waugh is such a humble man and mentor that a gushy praise would piss him off. I have had a chance to be mentored and assisted by Billy on a couple occasions over the years, and I have to say, I never knew half of this. Why, because he did what he needed to do at the time and it was both his job and his honor. Not many men could reach the bar he has set. So I say this book is worth a read for those who want to see what true 110% is. Billy would probably say you need to read the book as a service to those who have all paid the ultimate price that he had the honor for serving with. His story is a series of snapshots in time to show what a team of teams can do and what dedicated men with full resolve can achieve. We don't call them heroes, we call them soldiers. And in the case of Billy Waugh and his teams, we call them the Green Berets.
-J.T. P. sends
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational Nov. 7 2006
By Paul James Harper - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
72 years old in Afghanistan! I thought I was getting a bit old at 45 for Security work. Billy Waugh is one of America's quiet professionals. (This Reviewer is Australian.)I really liked the way the man could do his job and serve his country without disparaging people from other countries. The relationships he develops with indigenous personnel are testament to this. Far too many books by American authors do so much flag waving it gets up your nose a bit.I really enjoyed the bits in Khartoum. I just returned from there and lived in the same neighbourhood where Turabi, Osama and Carlos lived. I saw Turabi's house. The bit about driving at night was spot on. To the reviewer who said it wasn't possible to jog around Khartoum at night as a Westerner....1. Billy was under diplomatic cover. 2. In Khartoum there is next to no street crime. It is safe to walk around there any time day or night. Sharia law is good for one thing. I did it all the time. I even rode the local bus. It was safer than riding around with a target for Al Queda marked on your vehicle (ie. the logo of a well known Humanitarian Organisation.) I reckon AQ is unlikely to target the local bus when there were so many UN vehicles available.

Billy's book has been a real motivator for me to get really fit again.
5.0 out of 5 stars You think that your tough....? Aug. 15 2016
By Rich - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is one special of a guy.
After spending all that time with the SF and then to take up with well.....
your just going to have to read it to enjoy it.
I was in Nam 65 - 66 and had enough.
He is different.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story Aug. 21 2016
By azlee - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
An amazing man who lived an amazing life. I'm glad we have men such as him doing the uncommon feats that exist today and in the past so that they can keep us safe.

Our world is a better place because of them.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good fast read May 2 2005
By Michael Brochstein - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Mr. Waugh is certainly someone who has compiled a very impressive record defending our country and our country is the better for it. While I doubt that this book will win any major literary awards, it is still an interesting well written fast paced and entertaining story which I enjoyed. If this type of material or story interests you then you will not be dissappointed as Mr. Waugh is the real deal and few can relate a story such as his as there may not be any other people around who've written autobiographies of a career in the Special Forces (and doing similar but different work later on for the CIA) that spans half a century! If I ever were to cross paths with Mr. Waugh (not likely as he seems to spend all his time in dangerous places) then I would consider it an honor to meet him and thank him for defending my country. I heartily recommend it.