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

Annie Jacobsen
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
RRP: 24.76
Price: 22.38 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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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.
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio; Unabridged edition (17 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1609410890
  • ISBN-13: 978-1609410896
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.5 x 5.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,074,655 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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."--Bloomberg "Andrew Dunn " --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

The explosive, untold story of the Cold War's biggest secret. The REAL X-Files. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
27 of 31 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
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating right up until she goes mad. 6 Dec 2012
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 bodies dissected.
But Annie's having none of that - she doesn't believe aliens are involved, and takes us through the fascinating history of this area and the various high tech armoury birthed there. There's also plenty of jaw dropping accounts of deadly A bomb tests that were ill advised at best but potentially planet- destroying at worst.
So far, so good; but any good work is undone by the last chapter where Annie loses the plot in a major way - SPOILER COMING - apparently, a UFO did crash at Roswell, but it was sent there by Stalin, and piloted by genetically engineered handicapped children who just looked like aliens.
Stalin got the technology from - guess who - the nazis, who had incredibly advanced tech but completely forgot to deploy it in any way to help them win the war; oh those crazy National Socialists.
So, in order to scare the Americans into thinking there were aliens, Stalin sends his most precious piece of technology straight into US hands where it can be studied and replicated. He also fills it full of children, making him officially a techno-liability-child-abuser.
WHY Stalin would hand over this tech, and WHY he thought he'd scare the US with his creepy alien children plan isn't really explained to any satisfaction, going, as it does, against any concept of logic or sense.
But Annie tells us that it's so, and that people who believe in UFO's are a bit sad, while she, who believes in Stalin's great Saucer/Handicap plot, is completely on the money. A shame, then, because the rest of the book really is fascinating, if true. But by the time you've read that last chapter, you do find the ground shifting beneath your feet somewhat.
Mind you, Stalin was insane so Oops she nearly had me there for a moment.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
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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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Area non factual 17 July 2011
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 Five Stars 13 July 2014
By Ramade
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
all ok
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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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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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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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
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 10 months ago by stan
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Amazing
Was really amazed by the stories mentioned , Once I started reading the book I could not stop until the end. Recommended for all.
Published 18 months ago by D. C. Ranasinghe
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting take on Area 51
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,... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Misha The Penguin
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 22 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 22 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 23 months ago 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Area 51: an uncensored history of america's top secret military base
I have always been interested in Area 51 and UFO's, this book provided new detail's and gave an indepth look in to what go's on there. Read more
Published on 17 April 2012 by Richard
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