Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army

Audiobook(CD - Unabridged, 12 CDs, 15 hours)

$32.95
View All Available Formats & Editions

Temporarily Out of Stock Online

Eligible for FREE SHIPPING

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Blackwater (Espanol): El Auge del Ejercito Mercenario Mas Poderoso del Mundo 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 90 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I will preface my comments by saying I am a moderate. I was hoping this book would be a good factual and well researched piece on Blackwater. However, what I got was a book which spent most of its pages slamming America, portraying our active military as blood thirsty killers, slamming the Bush administration as well as most religions. I expected some liberal leaning but this was so far left that it was out of sight. This is not to mention that the author used mostly hearsay as his basis of evidence. The other problem I had with the book was his quoting of Iraq comments as being totally factual while American statements as being all lies. This could have been a great book but comes off as a work of fiction because of the authors uncontrolled bias. Worse yet, it was poorly written in my opinion. The author use of certain labels was inconsistant with the meaning of the actual word he used.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I purchased this book for help in writing a persuasive argument about the use of private military contractors. I was dissatisifend when reading it because it is completely anti-Bush and anti-private military contractors. It rarely mentioned the argument of the opposing party. Some of the content in the book was almost completely irrelevant to the subject (or the expected subject, which was Blackwater) and talked about extreme Christian organizations and battles in Iraq that didn't have Blackwater in them. The frequent quotaions of war on terror and other subjects drove me crazy. However, Scahill did a good job at documenting his sources which allowed me to use some of those for research.

If you're somebody who is looking at this to help them write an infromative paper on Blackwater, I would reccomend borrowing it from a friend or getting it from the library. I recommended some books dealing with the same issue (Private military companies).
War dog: A biased view that favors the use of PMCs
Licensed to Kill: The best choice because it offers a completely neutral view on the subject. Pelton has had unique opportunities with Erik Prince & Blackwater.
Big Boy Rules: A short book on the subject that is slightly biased but offers some good information.
DocAG More than 1 year ago
This book doesn't even pretend to be objective. Scahill obviously has a serious hate-on for all private military contractors (Blackwater especially). This is the "in" thing right now. It's cool to hate on these guys, and Scahill's looking to make his mark as the coolest. So what if his research, while thorough, is biased and guided by his own axe to grind? Blackwater employees wouldn't even have given this guy the time of day, and Blackwater's CEO flat-out refused an interview with him. I'm sure it's because they saw through him and knew he was only there for a witch hunt. I'm not saying don't read this book. What I'm saying is look at more than just his viewpoint. I doubt that this guy's ever been in a combat zone, but he wants to critique every move made by those who work in them. I'd recommend you read Robert Young Pelton's book "Licensed to Kill: Hired Guns in the War on Terror". He actually rode along with Blackwater employees and got an interview with the CEO. He's as close as you'll come to an objective viewpoint.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an interesting situation that America is now put itself into. We have begun outsourcing our military. Many people that say this is 'left-leaning' journalism, will call anything that they do not like 'left-leaning'. It is much easier than actually pointing out that maybe there is a tie with neo-conservatives and private military. These are the same people that still think that Iraq was involved with September 11th. They have a set way of the way things ought to be...anything else is...well liberal. Not a great argument, just like saying that we should not listen to conservative editorialists like Krauthammer and Kristol because they are 'right-leaning'. If someone questions the government, you should be asking why...not calling them an anti-patriot. I think the author is questioning outsourcing of the military's operations. So if he has left-leaning beliefs then take it for what it is. If you wanted a Discovery Channel documentary of the coolness of Blackwater... this is a little more intellectual than that...and it might say things you do not want to hear.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Its seems the author was set from the beginning to slander Blackwater. He is as biased as all the reports of America being the cause of the worlds ills. He blames the U.S. for mass murder in Iraq using accounts from Al-Jazeera reporters and unnamed Iraqis for all his references. He also accuses Blackwater as being a Extreme right-wing Christian movement supported by right wing politicians and rich people. His 'sources' are mysterious and sometimes unnamed. Not one source from Blackwater or anyone who is working for this company are used. Dont waste your money unless you enjoy stale left wing anti American bias.
Nookrules1 More than 1 year ago
I couldn't even get through the preface. I really was expecting something completely different then a all Christian and Soliders are stupid scum book. If you have even the smallest conservative point of view about faith and the military do not trouble yourself with reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this was going give an insight of the business and history of a Blackwater. What it ends up being is a free for all bashing of America and the government. Don't waste your time, you can hear and see this for free on a Liberal radio station.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Scahill's book on the mercenary firm blackwater is very informative and an intersting topic as the 2008 presidential election nears. There is a cautioning overtone towards the mercenary firm in regards to the predictability of certian types of events that occur around the world including the Iraq War, conflicts in Africa, natural disasters and the use of such an institution in each instance.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Once you get over the author's bias toward the neo-con Right, the Blackwater danger is pointed out as a merc organization that plays without rules and is used by US military and our govt to carry out rogue and outlawed missions. Therein lies the danger of using mercenary armies.
ZenWishes More than 1 year ago
This book was very interesting and gave a great background to the whole mercenary end of our latest wars. What I learned made me angry and sad but it was good to know what is being done in our name in other countries. The only complaint that I had (and this may have been only because it was an ebook), but there were pages missing and duplicate pages. I got lost 2 or 3 times when the page numbers stayed right but the whole subject changed midstream. I was still able to get the entire gist of it I think. I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in what is going on out of our sight.
Driving-Listener More than 1 year ago
Very informative about the top defense contracting company that was in Iraq in the early stages of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Gives thorough details of incidents that occured in Iraq that made the company known in both negative and positive ways. Also tells the story of the founder of Blackwater, Erik Prince. I enjoyed it very much except for a few bland chapters that talked about Political backgrounds of some officials. Definitely worth reading if you don't know much about the business and private security side of US involvement in Iraq.
US-Military-Art-Guy More than 1 year ago
You need to be able to get through the author's rants against conservative members of the government, military, industry and religious institutions, but if successful, you will learn much about the current trend to privatize military and security functions, and the potential consequences of this trend. The body of the book runs 464 pages, and the words "neoconservative," "right-wing," "religious right" certainly appear more than 464 times. I have seen the author on TV a number of times, primarliy on Bill Maher's show, so this came as no surprise to me. The information on Blackwater, its affiliates, and competitors is truly eye-opening. Although I'd heard the term "civilian contractors" before relating to the Iraq War, I had no idea that many of them are mercenaries hired by our government to handle jobs, including personal security details, that were previously the responsibility of the military. It was also a surprise, and a disheartening one at that, to learn that these same "contractors" have been used right here in the U.S., most notably in New Orleans in the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The viewpoint of the author is obvious, and he makes virtually no effort to present a balanced study of the subject matter, but I found the book to be informative, interesting, and disturbing despite this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Scahill has writing a work of paramount importance as the US occupation of Iraq seems to be drawing to a close. The use of Private Security Contractors (Mercenaries) has gone largely unnoticed by the major news networks beyond the Nisour Square shootings. The implications, both ethical and security related of privatizing our military have gone largely unexplored. Scahill writes in a very approachable manner and beyond that his writing is very gripping. As other reviewers have pointed out the book does not report the pros to PMCs/PSCs (Private Military Companies/Private Security Companies), but it is a work of paramount important in its arguments against such companies. As a persuasive work it well deserves positive reviews. In the end Blackwater: The Rise of the World's Most Powerful Mercenary Army is an work of investigative journalism of the highest order. That explores the not only the questions around one company, or on industry, but that of how we fight our wars, and how we will continue to fight our wars.
Pirandello More than 1 year ago
"Jeremy Scahill actually doesn't know anything about Blackwater." So says Martin Strong Vice President Blackwater Worldwide. With the greatest respect to Mr Strong, if he is right, it is a pretty facile comment on 550 pages of detailed research and information. Unless, or until Mr Strong or anyone else from Blackwater elaborates on this blanket rejection, we must conclude that what Jeremy Scahill tells us is correct. Blackwater is at once a compelling and frightening read. It is a detailed exposé of the private security industry generally and Blackwater in particular. It introduces us to the founders and their associations with the people and policies of the last US administration. It describes in minute detail how this cozy relationship enabled Blackwater to become an adjunct of American foreign policy. Knowing Scahill's background, one might have expected a scathing attack -? but no, all his arguments are reasoned and nonjudgmental. Indeed, his portrayal of Eric Prince the company founder is complimentary. He tells us that Mr. Prince came from a very wealthy and successful family, but chose to join the military. While in the military, he excelled as a Navy Seal, and would have remained as such but gave it up to support his ailing wife and their children. The first Mrs. Prince died in tragic circumstances shortly after. Not content to bask in considerable family wealth, Prince emulated his successful father by starting a business. The business he chose was one of which he had expert knowledge. He identified a need for military and law enforcement training and established a state of the art training facility at North Carolina. It is then that sinister opportunities presented themselves in the form of the Iraq war. Blackwater were not alone in exploiting this opportunity ? they were just better at it than others were. The Bush administration identified a benefit in employing civilian contractors in a variety of functions previously carried out by the military. From a certain perspective it worked very well and like Topsy it grow'd until the number of civilian contractors almost equaled the military. Using civilian contractors checks many boxes. There are considerable financial benefits to companies and individuals. There are benefits for government with fewer political problems than there might be with serving military. Activities can be pursued beyond the public glare. However, in all this there is one thing missing ? military discipline and legal restraint. Scahill describes how Blackwater was able to slip between the rock of military discipline and the hard place of the law. In a time of left of center politics, a rightwing mercenary army numbering around 30,000, is ominous indeed. This is a truly excellent book, and should be read by everyone who wants to really know what is happening on the ground in Iraq, and elsewhere ? including mainland USA.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The rise of Blackwater USA is truly nefarious and odious to the unique style of American republican democracy, as the Framers saw it. The author does an excellent job cataloging the evil and profiteering motives of Blackwater USA, where the shadowy and brilliant Erik Prince, the dark visionary that he is, saw opportunity in the mercenary business in Sudan, Iraq, Congo, and even in New Orleans. This is ridiculous that lawmakers allocate more and more money to these killers. Idiotic fools and greedy Cretans that they are. We are going down a hill that is filled with ice and snow blown by terrorism and Chinese surpluses.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is an excellent collection of research. There is so much going on that we average citizens do not have information cbout. Very informative and worthwhile reading.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Since the publication of Scahill's book, events in Iraq have drawn more attention to Blackwater and the dangers of further privatizing our military. This book doesn't just provide an expose on Blackwater's rise to power and its alarming connections to our government. Instead of just reporting on the names and dates, Scahill goes further and explores just *why* institutions like Blackwater constitute such a dire threat to our government. Without any of the checks and balances associated with using our U.S. military and without any allegiance to treaties, standards, or accountability to the American people, these armies for hire represent the ability for money to buy unchecked power in ways we had previously thought could not happen in the U.S. Very scary stuff and a must-read for that reason alone. But if Blackwater reads like a horror novel at times, it is a well-written one....fast-paced and always fascinating. I was up later than I should have been on quite a few work nights because I couldn't bear to put the book down.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Some previous reviewers did not get that the overall point of the book was not just about Blackwater but the dangerous consequences of privatizing both domestic and foreign military functions. The exposure of Backwater¿s extremist religious and political connections is a window on the danger this type of relationship is to our Republic. The Chapter on Falluja should be read while watching the documentary 'My Country, My Country.' As an officer, I was sworn to an oath for three decades not to a God, not to a president, not to a party but to the constitution, and never said, 'So help me God' as Prince has his employees do. That is un-American.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is certainly easy to tell who read the book and who didn't, or are there other questionable motives? I'm happy to report there are 27 on the waiting list at our library for this book. I gave mine away, but intend to buy another. Now that the truth of Backwater's over-reaching is hitting the front pages, perhaps this excellent book will become another 'Blowback' with more truth to follow.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I first saw Scahill on Book TV, then purchased this extremely important and well-documented book. A sample of Blackwater's unaccountable operations was displayed in Katrina's aftermath. Anyone interested in learning of the obscene waste in this illegal war will benefit from reading this work. I sent my copy to my Representative.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This compelling, well researched investigation of the world's largest paramilitary force is as gripping as it is informative. The book details the rise of Blackwater, the notorious mercenary force of 'civilian contractors' operating in Iraq. A must read for those concerned about the global-war-on-terror-gone-amuck.
Guest More than 1 year ago
want to address a few of the other reveiws that say this book is 'Anti- American'. I think the one major point of the book is that some of current practices that our political leaders have taken up, may be much more 'Anti-American'. This book brings some of those practices to light for the average person. Many of us did not even know that some of the private security forces that are protecting us (from ourselves and others)have such close theological and financial ties to one specific group of political leaders. I think it has made me want to be MORE involved in bettering this country. It may have some biased passages but also some very thought provoking passages. Remember why this country is great- that we have the ability to have our opinions and voice them regardless of what they are!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent book! It gives a detailed rundown of how a private security firm is up to (dirty) business in Iraq. Jeremy Scahill has been all over the tv recently. He went head to head with O'rally and cleaned his clock. I'm a reformed conservative. I've repented, and feel remorseful that I ever spent time associated with that crowd. All that's for another time. I just want to say I love this book. I highly recommend it to all. Know what's really going on in your country and around the world. Read this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Jeremy Scahill's book on Blackwater, USA is compelling and shocking, as it exposes an important truth about the role of private security companies, both nationally and internationally.
EPClark 9 months ago
With Erik Prince's recent op-ed in the NYT arguing in favor of largely turning the US presence in Afghanistan over to private military contractors, now seems like a good time to review Jeremy Scahill's "Blackwater," a detailed expose of Blackwater's (now merged with Triple Canopy and known as Academi) actions during the first decade of its existence, from 1997 to 2007. Scahill makes no pretense at "objectivity," in that he is openly on a mission to reveal what he sees as Blackwater's misdeeds and makes no attempt to "see their side of the story," so to speak, although he does present copious amounts of information about Blackwater and the Prince family, and has numerous interviews with people connected to Blackwater in one capacity or another. If you are pro-Blackwater or pro-private contractors, you are likely to find Scahill's firmly staked position irritating. If, however, you are on the fence or just don't know very much about Blackwater and the world of private contracting, which is the modern version of what used to be known with euphemistic romanticism as soldiers of fortune, this is an eye-opening read about the profound changes the US military and the way it conducts operations have undergone in the past 20 years. During the Gulf War of 1991, Scahill tells us, the ratio of private contractors to regular troops was 1 in 60. During the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rate rose to something like 1 in 3. Following the downsizing of the military in the 1990s under Clinton, and the aggressive privatization of everything, especially military actions, promoted by Cheney and Rumsfield during the W administration, the US found itself outsourcing a considerable portion of its military activities to private for-profit firms like Blackwater, CACI, DynCorp, and Triple Canopy, who provided services ranging from security for high-ranking US officials to rendition and interrogation of high-value prisoners, frequently at "black" sites in countries with abysmal human rights records. Scahill discusses the problems surrounding the involvement of these mercenaries in national or international conflicts, which often center around the fact that they are largely exempt from both military and civilian law. Using mercenaries, including large numbers of non-citizens, rather than regular soldiers who are citizens of the country they represent, also frees a government from heeding the public will: citizens are much less bothered by the deaths of foreign mercenaries than they are by the deaths of "their" soldiers, especially draftees. Which gets us to what may be the biggest concern that Scahill has about these companies, a concern that I and many others share. In his op-ed, Prince argues, as he has argued elsewhere, that private contractors are more efficient and more cost-effective, and can get the job done much more quickly for a fraction of the price. But that ignores a critical point about war, which is that it is not just a job. War is not--or should not be--business: it is the response of last resort to desperate circumstances, and should be carried out only by will of the people, and by the very people whose will has sanctioned this grave step. Profit(eer)ing off of war can only lead to more war, conducted by people whose main stake in the game is to prolong the conflict and killing as long as possible.