American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History

4.3 1040
by Chris Kyle, Scott McEwen, Jim DeFelice, John Pruden

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He is the deadliest American sniper ever, called “the devil” by the enemies he hunted and “the legend” by his Navy SEAL brothers . . .

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career

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He is the deadliest American sniper ever, called “the devil” by the enemies he hunted and “the legend” by his Navy SEAL brothers . . .

From 1999 to 2009, U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle recorded the most career sniper kills in United States military history. The Pentagon has officially confirmed more than 150 of Kyles kills (the previous American record was 109), but it has declined to verify the astonishing total number for this book. Iraqi insurgents feared Kyle so much they named him al-Shaitan ("the devil") and placed a bounty on his head. Kyle earned legendary status among his fellow SEALs, Marines, and U.S. Army soldiers, whom he protected with deadly accuracy from rooftops and stealth positions. Gripping and unforgettable, Kyle's masterful account of his extraordinary battlefield experiences ranks as one of the great war memoirs of all time.

A native Texan who learned to shoot on childhood hunting trips with his father, Kyle was a champion saddle-bronc rider prior to joining the Navy. After 9/11, he was thrust onto the front lines of the War on Terror, and soon found his calling as a world-class sniper who performed best under fire. He recorded a personal-record 2,100-yard kill shot outside Baghdad; in Fallujah, Kyle braved heavy fire to rescue a group of Marines trapped on a street; in Ramadi, he stared down insurgents with his pistol in close combat. Kyle talks honestly about the pain of war—of twice being shot and experiencing the tragic deaths of two close friends.

American Sniper also honors Kyles fellow warriors, who raised hell on and off the battlefield. And in moving first-person accounts throughout, Kyles wife, Taya, speaks openly about the strains of war on their marriage and children, as well as on Chris.

Adrenaline-charged and deeply personal, American Sniper is a thrilling eyewitness account of war that only one man could tell.

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Editorial Reviews

In hardcover, this astonishing autobiography of the Navy SEAL who recorded the most career sniper kills in U.S. military history made the Barnes & Noble Bestseller list. With its moving accounts of battlefield bravery, American Sniper is bound to hit mass-market bestseller lists even more quickly.

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Evil in the Crosshairs

Late March 2003.

In the area of Nasiriya, Iraq I looked through the scope of the sniper rifle, scanning down the road of the tiny Iraqi town. Fifty yards away, a woman opened the door of a small house and stepped outside with her child. The rest of the street was deserted. The local Iraqis had gone inside, most of them scared. A few curious souls peeked out from behind curtains, waiting. They could hear the rumble of the approaching American unit. The Marines were flooding up the road, marching north to liberate the country from Saddam Hussein. It was my job to protect them. My platoon had taken over the building earlier in the day, sneaking into position to provide “overwatch”—prevent the enemy from ambushing the Marines as they came through. It didn’t seem like too difficult a task—if anything, I was glad the Marines were on my side. I’d seen the power of their weapons and I would’ve hated to have to fight them. The Iraq army didn’t stand a chance. And, in fact, they appeared to have abandoned the area already. The war had started roughly two weeks before. My platoon, “Charlie” (later “Cadillac”) of SEAL Team 3, helped kick it off during the early morning of March 20. We landed on al-Faw Peninsula and secured the oil terminal there so Saddam couldn’t set it ablaze as he had during the First Gulf War. Now we were tasked to assist the Marines as they marched north toward Baghdad.

I was a SEAL, a Navy commando trained in special operations. SEAL stands for “SEa, Air, Land,” and it pretty much describes the wide ranges of places we operate. In this case, we were far inland, much farther than SEALs traditionally operated, though as the war against terror continued, this would become common. I’d spent nearly three years training and learning how to become a warrior; I was ready for this fight, or at least as ready as anyone can be. The rifle I was holding was a .300 WinMag, a bolt-action, precision sniper weapon that belonged to my platoon chief. He’d been covering the street for a while and needed a break. He showed a great deal of confidence in me by choosing me to spot him and take the gun. I was still a new guy, a newbie or rookie in the Teams. By SEAL standards, I had yet to be fully tested. I was also not yet trained as a SEAL sniper. I wanted to be one in the worst way, but I had a long way to go. Giving me the rifle that morning was the chief’s way of testing me to see if I had the right stuff. We were on the roof of an old rundown building at the edge of a town the Marines were going to pass through. The wind kicked dirt and papers across the battered road below us. The place smelled like a sewer—the stench of Iraq was one thing I’d never get used to.

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What People are saying about this

Charles W. Sasser
“The raw and unforgettable narrative of the making of our country’s record-holding sniper, Chris Kyle’s memoir is a powerful book, both in terms of combat action and human drama. Chief Kyle is a true American warrior down to the bone, the Carlos Hathcock of a new generation.”
Marcus Luttrell
“In the community of elite warriors, one man has risen above our ranks and distinguished himself as unique. Chris Kyle is that man. A master sniper, Chris has done and seen things that will be talked about for generations to come.”
Richard Marcinko
American Sniper is the inside story of what it’s like to be in war. A brave warrior and patriot, Chris Kyle writes frankly about the missions, personal challenges, and hard choices that are part of daily life of an elite SEAL Sniper. It’s a classic!”

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American Sniper: The Autobiography of the Most Lethal Sniper in U.S. Military History 4.3 out of 5 based on 9 ratings. 1040 reviews.
vacshop More than 1 year ago
If you enjoyed Marcus Luttrell's 'Lone Survivor' you must read this book. Chris Kyle reminds us of just how much American fighters can accomplish with the right amount of training, hard work, attitude and appreciation of the freedoms that we all used to hold dear. Does his super-sized ego show? Can you feel his frustration at the higher-ups, lawyers and politicians in charge? Does he feel like he could have accomplished even more under better leadership? Yes, yes and Yes. In my opinion, Chris and his fellow SEALs have earned the right to these opinions. I've always thought that there's nothing wrong with a little arrogance, as long as you have the talent and accomplishments to back it up. To paraphrase one of my favorite presidents: "Most of us go to bed at night and wonder what we accomplished all day, SEALs don't have that problem." From cover to cover, this book will always rank at the top of my list of best non-fiction books. I, too am amazed at the review by Snail59. As a 57 year old, 12 year US Navy veteran, I have never in my life heard anything but praise from any sailor, airman, or marine as far as the SEALs are concerned. I just can't grasp where you are coming from. WARNING to all Progressives and ultra-liberals: DO NOT BORROW, BUY or PREVIEW THIS BOOK! You will experience increased blood pressure, severe headaches, occasional bouts of nausea and broken bones from fist pounding on hard surfaces.
MarkJ18 More than 1 year ago
This book is a must read for anyone who wants to find out what we are up against in the Mideast. Chris Kyle is a true American hero whose exploits are recounted in a down to earth and self-deprecating way. His courage, conditioning, toughness, fortitude and coolness under fire are absolutely humbling. An incredible story, not to be missed. Our nation owes a debt of gratitude to Chris Kyle and all of the amazing men he served with in the elite group of warriors known as the U.S. Navy SEAL's. They know freedom isn't free and have chosen to put their lives at risk to defend it for the rest of us.
CameliaMironSkiba More than 1 year ago
The other night, watching the show ‘Stars Earn Stripes’, my son recognized Chris Kyle, the author of “The American Sniper”, a biography he read for a school assignment. Curious about it, I picked up the book and browsed through it. Needless to say, I finished it in 1 and 1/2 days. I come from a country where patriotism used to be forced down our throat on a daily basis, a continuous lie the communists told us for generations. The result of it? We all hated it. After moving to the US I always wondered what drives Americans to stand when the national anthem is played before each game. What unseen force tells them to fly their flag, high on a mast, for the world to see it, for the wind to dance with it. What drives them to enroll in the military, leaving all they love and their family and make the ultimate sacrifice. Chris Kyle’s autobiography answers to all these questions and more. As Chris explains it, it's God, country and family. It's being selfless and the need to protect all that you inherit from your forefathers, believe in, all that you have, and all that you are. American Sniper is Chris Kyle’s account on the Iraq war where he’s deployed 4 times. To most people one time is more than enough. You serve your country, do your duty the best you can and then return home. But not for Chris. He needed to be there among his fellow countrymen, covering them, taking fire for them and protecting them with his life if it meant that was the last thing he'd do. What media presented (and I should say manipulated) about the war in Iraq is by far different than Chris’ view on it. We American's didn't go there to, as Chris says, “bring democracy to Iraq”. We went there to protect fellow countrymen, fight for our country not Iraq. It's a war that politicians deemed necessary, not our soldiers. They only followed orders. As a kid Chris had always dreamt to join the military. A dream he'd fulfilled, lived and finally shared memories of it by writing this biography. It's written from Chris’ point of view, concise and detailed, a progressive narration of war seen through a soldier's eyes. From time to time his wife Taya pitched in, giving us an insight of what a family goes through while their loved ones is at war, the constant fear, the anguish, the frustrations. The biography tells untold stories of unknown heroes. It doesn't sugarcoat, doesn't use fancy words and artistic scenes. There's nothing artistic about the war. Like you and I doing our job, that’s what Chris did: his job. People might or might not agree with his cold-blooded attitude toward the people he killed. But before you throw that stone let me ask you something: if you disagree with Chris why didn't you stand to protect this country? God Bless America!
AppleBrandon More than 1 year ago
If you're read and enjoyed Love Survivor by Marcus Luttrell - then American Sniper is a must read. Chris paints a very transparent picture of what it was like to be a SEAL, sniper, and new father while being deployed in the war. He holds no punches back. This book was extremely hard to put down. As for "the vet" that gave this book ONE star and trashed Chris's book... Have some respect. You asked "what did he do?" ...I'd say laying down his life to protect our amazing country is something. If having the highest kill count as a sniper in US history wasn't enough... Some people amaze me.
Hershy More than 1 year ago
This is an easy read of the most fascinating story that I even read. Chris is a real-life super hero and his stories will be told again and again forever. I am not a big reader, but I could not put this book down and finished it is almost one sitting. This is a must read.
Ken_H58 More than 1 year ago
An engrossing insider's account of how the battles for the towns and villages of Iraq that we've all read about were fought. Despite the serious nature of its subject, the book is filled with humor and pathos with descriptions of Chris Kyle's feelings for his fellow warriors who he is assigned to protect from ambush in the Iraqui streets. Comments of his wife Taya vividly illustrate the sacrifices our military has made, not only in terms of the dangers they face, but the repeated separations from family and loved ones. Highly recommended.
Marine_77 More than 1 year ago
This is not a polished account that has been handed from editor to editor. This is the first hand account of what it was like being part of a highly trained, well equipped and motivated team of professional war fighters. Chris Kyle tells the story as a humble man would, with no extra dramatics. Here is a man who went to war based on his personal belief in God and the upbringing he received as a boy and young man from his family. I don't see this as primarily a book about our most lethal sniper. I see this as a book about a patriot who chose to serve his fellow countrymen and in so doing, happened to kill more enemy than any other sniper has had opportunity to kill. This story is as much about the other SEALs and Marines he served with as it is about Chris. As a US Marine myself, I appreciate knowing there were men like Chris on overwatch. The thoughts shared by his wife Taya are profound and insightful into the stresses of military marriage.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
...and it shows. But with that in mind, it's a pretty insightful book. He not only talks about what he did in the Middle East, but also how his job affected his marriage and his relationship with his kids. Even his wife spoke (wrote) her mind from time to time. While her input is at odd moments and rarely matches what Chris Kyle is talking about at the same time, it's still welcome to see her side of a story. The writing itself is pretty hacked. Short sentences and short paragraphs. Towards the end of the book, more and more Navy/Military terms are used and - even as a vet myself - it started getting difficult to remember what acronym meant what. But again - it's not Mr. Kyle's job to write and he did an amazing job getting his story across.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Truely a realistic snapshot at the state of mind of one of our most decorated warriors. An absolute must read for the truly patriotic reader. EVERMORE thankful for you Chris and your family
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The story is a military original and allows one to get a peek at what the mindset of a warrior must be. The overall book is an A+. Certain aspects could be elaborated on, but it doesnt affect the meaning and power what the author is trying to get across. ---
KCANON More than 1 year ago
This book is not only about Chris Kyle and his career in the Military, but it also give you a glimpse of what life is like at home for the wives and husbands left behind.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great autobiography about a truly inspirational man, soldier, friend and husband. Great insight to both his life as a solider but also as everyday American.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy reading sniper and special operations books and I realize that the authors aren't writers they're warriors but I expected more from the this book. This guy is one tough man and I respect what he did for his country but he could have gone into more detail about training and missions. Maybe he went into all the detail that he was allowed, who knows. The book is worth reading and I will read it again. Just my two cents.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
For a 70 year old lady reading this book was not only a gift, but have the respect of everyone in uniform that is caught in this war. Thank you for serving, is words that should be told to all of our service men and women. Chris Kyle was awesome and has left us way too soon. I cried when I heard his wife's voice telling her beloved husband goodby. Taya, you are a lady of courage and strength to all of us. Every American should read this book. God Bless you Taya, and your family, and know that Chris will always be looking down and protecting you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When I picked up the book at the airport, I did not realize who the writer was until the sales person mentioned that he had passed a few days prior.  Not usually interested in autobiographies, my interest was increased.  Once started, it was difficult to put it down; but I had to!  I finished this book within two days - basically, reading it in two cross country flights.  While Mr. Kyle may not have been a professional writer (as criticized by some below), I  am glad for the glimpse into his extraordinary  life.   As a note, after reading this, I Googled a few stories on him and found an interview he with Pastor Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Texas.  In it, he mentioned that he had donated the proceeds of the book to both Americas Mighty Warriors and the families of fallen brothers in war.  Truly admirable.  Growing up a military brat, I had the privilege to travel and see different countries and cultures.  Even as a child, I realized how lucky I was to be an "American".  I also realized that being in the military or a family member of a person serving in the armed forces was not always easy. I have a deep respect for our military and what they endure daily (especially those deployed to war)  to ensure that all those who live in the United States of America are able to continue to enjoy the freedom and liberties that other cultures do not have and that we the people have come to forgot are not free.   Thank you and RIP Mr. Kyle.  Additionally, for any that might read this, I want to say thank you to all those currently enlisted  who continue to work hard to protect us so we may sleep in peace. AAB   
TonyHubble More than 1 year ago
Chris Kyle has written a book that should be required reading for anyone serving or wanting to serve in today’s military. If you want to know how the insurgency was beaten in Iraq read this book. Plainly written, brutally honest, heartfelt and devoid of a political agenda. Chief Kyle bares his soul and invites us even into the most private moments of his marriage to include passages written by his wife. He humbly downplays his accomplishments and gives due credit to his fellow warriors. He embodies the epitome of the American warrior spirit. My favorite quote in the book is by his fellow SEAL and buddy Ryan, “Despite what your mama told you, violence does solve problems.” If you own a Kindle Fire or Nook Color you must order the Enhanced version of the book to get the embedded videos of Chris, in his own words. Bravo Zulu Chief! Thank you for your invaluable service to this nation.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Both the film and the book will remind you of the cost of your liberty and humble you in the presence of a real hero. Moore, Rogan, Baldwin, and Ventura have big mouths, bigger lies, and the first amendment to protect them from any real danger; thank a veteran, esp. like Chris Kyle. David | Author
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
People you need to have more respect for our soliders alive dead active or a veteran. The author probaly didnt want the book to be long all you know is that s/he wanted it to be inspiring. This rate and revie goes to anyone that has rated and reviewd this book low or has said something negative about this book. If you havent had someone close die in such tradagy you shouldnt say nothing bad of the sort. You have no idea how this family feels and what they have to get through each day without their husband and father. So all i say is watch what you say some people WiLL get really pissed off. Thank you for your service. And everyone in that family is in my thoughts and prayers again thanks for your service to any military personal!!!!
LongrifleTB More than 1 year ago
Awesome...Thanks for your service Chris !!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The type of book that once you start reading you cannot put it down. Great story about a great warrior and the people in our military.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Fantastic book by an american hero dont get me wrong ALL of our military are heros but some have a story to tell. I reccomend this book to all . Avery good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I met Chris in Iraq in 2004. I had always expected to see him again. Now it will be in heaven. He had a manner of respect for others that is all too rare these days. His book gave me insight into myself and also how to write a book I've been working on. This is a must read. Please help his family and reward yourself to a fantastic true story of a 100% pure American hero. He paints an accurate picture of that war, of the stresses as well as mindless leadership that came by way of greed and control from our political cesspool of madness. A cesspool that tied the hands and cost the lives of too many good US warriors . Get this book. It's the next best thing to being there!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
You will not be forgotten! I read your book cover to cover. It was honest. Almost too honest. The violence of war, the politics, and the family hardship are honestly shared from your heart. I respect that. Thank you for your honesty! Greg Rice Viet Nam Vet
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I read every page. This book taught me a great deal about the lives of some of the people on the front lines in Iraq. I can only offer my review as a vet who served in the same campaign, and others during my 20 year USAF career. I didn't find the author wrote to serve a tremendous ego, and to hail his exploits as the best sniper in American history. I discovered a comrade in arms with the courage to bare his own feelings about the horror of war and love for his family. And his powerful sense of patriotism and love for his fellow man that drove him to serve 4 consectutive tours in Iraq.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
On Sunday, February 3, Chris Kyle was murdered in a shooting range. He was with his friend and another man. The other man shot Chris and his friend and ran off. The police caught the murderer. We will never forget your service Chris Kyle. May you rest in peace and may your memory live on.