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Area 51: An Uncensored History of America's Top Secret Military Base [Hardcover]

Annie Jacobsen
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

17 May 2011
It is the most famous military installation in the world. And no credible insider has ever divulged the truth about his time inside of it. Until now. This is the first book based on interviews with scientists, pilots, and engineers - 58 in total - who provide an unprecedented look into the mysterious activities of a top-secret base, from the Cold War to today. With a jaw-dropping ending, it proves that facts are often more fantastic than fiction, especially when the distinction is almost impossible to make.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Orion; First Edition, First Impression edition (17 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1409141128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1409141129
  • Product Dimensions: 16.5 x 24.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 226,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'An extraordinary book ... Discovering what really happened at Roswell is the holy grail of conspiracy theorists ... What if there were not one but two conspiracies involving Cold War propaganda rather than visitors from another planet? ... Based on unprecedented interviews with personnel at Area 51 Jacobsen's argument may not be as outrageous as it sounds' (DAILY EXPRESS)

'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 is compellingly hard-hittting ... the book is noteworthy for its author's dogged devotion to her research ... it makes an indelible impression' (NEW YORK TIMES)

Book Description

The Explosive, Untold Story of the Cold War's Biggest Secret. The REAL X-Files.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
28 of 32 people found the following review helpful
By Bill D
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I wish I'd tried the free preview with the Kindle. Then I'd have known that the author's first primary source (of the 70 or so people she claims to have interviewed) was (in)famous conspiracy theory superstar Bob Lazar. She glosses over most of his claims and outright ignores his most outlandish ones while playing him up as an authoritative source on this most secretive of places.

I'd have also noticed some of the quite bizarre and jarring factual errors/typos (claiming the CIA had no idea what the USSR was up to "west of the Volga, let alone west of the Urals" when she surely meant "east" being the most egregious example).

At this point I abandoned it as a serious work of research (try Trevor Paglens excellent book Blank Spots on the Map: The Dark Geography of the Pentagon's Secret World if you want that). Instead I pressed on with it as a sort of techno/conspiracy thriller and actually it works really well in that genre - and as such I won't spoil the twist.

Fans of the X-Files might like this book (and people who think the X-Files is a documentary definitely will), just don't expect a serious academic work.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars UFOs exposed 26 May 2014
By Taiga
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
4 stars here. Inevitably, Area 51 drives conspiracy nuts crazy and anyone with more than half a mind knows that secret aircraft have to be developed somewhere and a secret airfield in the middle of the desert is a good place to do it ! SO it should be no surprise that someone has written a book to tell us that that is precisely what has been happening ! Year by year, the last "UFO wave" turns out to be the latest military stealth machine ... And I am sure this will get worse as unmanned aeroplanes are becoming more common and an unmanned plane can turn 90 degrees at MAch 7 without flattening the pilot because he's ensconced in a comfortable chair in an office somewhere and not in the plane at all ! A good read but rather disappointing as I was expecting to learn something about REAL UFOs and all I got was secret military developments !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read 2 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A really fascinating orgy of background information on events that 'old fogies' like me can remember. once started, hard to put down.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Annie Jacobsen's sensational "tell-all" book is nothing of the sort. Rife with factual errors, relying heavily on unnamed sources some of whom now have come forward to deny involvement with secret programs or the author, this should be relegated to at least the dubious, if not downright ridiculous. See Jon Stewart's interview where he rolls his eyes in disbelief of the cockamanny nonsense she spouts. Only for the gullible and easily distracted...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Area 51 book review 2 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Excellent book - covers in much more detail than any otherbook Recommend!!! Read this you will not regret it at all
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Area non factual 17 July 2011
Format:Hardcover
I truly wish i had read these reviews before i bought this book, this is not a history of area 51, it's a mish mash of views that towards the end of the book become insane add to that the factual mistakes and you have a OTT book that cannot be trusted as it seems the author cannot be bothered to get her facts right.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing 16 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Was really amazed by the stories mentioned , Once I started reading the book I could not stop until the end. Recommended for all.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on Area 51 25 Nov 2012
By Misha The Penguin VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is an interesting book written using a more pragmatic research based approach than many. As with other reviewers I was surprised to see Mr Lazar's name appear in the text, however if you read to the end of the book it does become clear why Ms Jacobsen included this part of Area 51s history. As with other books researching the UFO phenomenon, there are many unnamed sources and areas of grey that make you wonder whether this is true or disinformation. Piecing together other elements of research helps. Particularly the Roswell incident mentioned in the book. Ms Jacobsen's theory seems far fetched - but no more far fetched than thinking aliens were visiting - in fact the explanation here seems more plausible though lacking in corroboration. To expand on the theory (once you've read this) go to Body Snatchers in the Desert: The Horrible Truth at the Heart of the Roswell Story, which is a further exploration of this theory.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Best thing!
Brilliant book well written and factual!
The ordinary people of the world should read this and find out just what a lying bunch of scumbags the Americans are,
Published 1 month ago by Bruce Ditcher
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
all ok
Published 2 months ago by Ramade
4.0 out of 5 stars So, who said they were a great country.
Certainly exposes an odd and worrying state of affairs in the USA over very long time. Does not make me want to live there
Published 11 months ago by stan
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating right up until she goes mad.
CAUTION; SPOILERS. Now, at first glance this appears to be a scholarly history of spooky old Area 51, where conspiracy nuts claim downed saucers are reverse engineered and alien... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Richie J
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent informative book on Area 51!
This is a superbly written, well-structured and informative book on Area 51. Anyone who is remotely interested in the top secret military base that is located out in the middle of... Read more
Published 23 months ago by Shugster
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok, but not exceptional
Some glaring errors in here. But is an interesting read for all those intersted in conspiracy theories and secret stuff. Worth a read,but don't take it as gospel!
Published 24 months ago by Half Man, Half Book
2.0 out of 5 stars Utterly perplexing
I bought this as a holiday read, being unsure of the quality but with the view that I could take a forgiving attitude if it was truly mindless. Read more
Published on 5 Sep 2012 by Sceptical_but_interested
5.0 out of 5 stars The truth at last.
Annie Jacobsen is a nuts and bolts journalist who is more concerned with reporting facts rather than wild speculations. Read more
Published on 23 May 2012 by Ray Chappell
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