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Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces [Hardcover]

Kevin Maurer
1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
RRP: 15.90
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Frequently Bought Together

Gentlemen Bastards: On the Ground in Afghanistan with America's Elite Special Forces + Lions of Kandahar: The Story of a Fight Against All Odds + The Only Thing Worth Dying For: How Eleven Green Berets Fought for a New Afghanistan (P.S.)
Price For All Three: 37.36

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Caliber (4 Sep 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425252698
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425252697
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.9 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 1.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 712,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Gentlemen Bastards The Green Berets--a legendary corps of soldiers whose exploits made military history. But now, their very identity and role as a fighting force may be forever changed... Until the war in Iraq, Special Forces were the military's counterinsurgency experts. Their specialty was going behind enemy lines and training insurgent forces. In Afghanistan, they toppled the Taliban by transforming Northern Al... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars don't bother 21 Dec 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
a very drab book with little to grab the imagination . repeatative and uninteresting in the way it's written . big fan of this sort of book and very disappointed with this one .
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3.9 out of 5 stars  83 reviews
81 of 82 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tells it like it is 24 Oct 2013
By Jack Murphy - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The mixed reviews of this book on Amazon are the unsurprising result of the author writing the truth. That many did not like it is reflective of America not understanding Special Forces or the Special Forces mission. Real life does not fit itself into a 3 1/2 minute music video or a 2 hour feature film designed to excite the audience. A real combat deployment involves long periods of boredom and frustration with the occasional moments of sheer terror. Kevin captures this in this book. The public has been somewhat propagandized by the over glorification of Special Operations and also by combat memoirs which focus on the highlights of a soldier's 20+ year career. That and some of those other books are filled with lies and exaggerations about combat exploits.

I thought the author did a good job in capturing the culture and mission of Special Forces. These guys are a unique animal within the Special Operations community. Although I served in Iraq with 5th SFG I found that the experiences described in this book mirrored my own experiences, word for word in some cases. Battling both the American and Indig bureaucracy, the frustration of dealing with backwards and often corrupt third world officials, shifting missions, confused commander's intent, and the general experience of being a legionnaire on the fringes of the Roman Empire, it is all here.

There are not many good books about SF, but this is one of them. War Story by Jim Morris is great, but that was the Vietnam War. Yellow Green Beret by Chester Wong is the only other modern SF non-fiction book I know of that really captures the experience. If you want to get really depressed, read Gentlemen Bastards alongside War Story. Iraq, Vietnam...Communist, Terrorist...these terms are interchangeable in oh so many ways. Some things never change.

Gentlemen Bastards is not sexy, cool, or action packed but it is real and it is honest. Kevin's recommendations and observations at the end of the book are uncomfortable and somewhat painful for many of us, but needed. Sometimes there is a difference between what we want to hear and what we need to hear. I highly recommend this book to civilians who want to learn about Special Forces.
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Solid read 13 Sep 2012
By Ddub - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read this book after reading the hi speed book "no easy day". I found it to be an awesome insight in the daily monotonous grind of war in Afghanistan. If you want to read some action packed guns a blazing material I suggest looking for a Tom Clancy book. However if you want to read about what happens most of the time in Afghanistan, then this is you read. It is not painful to read like stated in other reviews it is insightful and entertaining.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly enjoyable--Highly recommended! 20 Sep 2012
By Nathan Edmondson - Published on
Compelling and well-written, this is a true gem in a genre saturated with soldier accounts and by-the-numbers stories of battles and units, this is a refreshingly personal and honest look behind the scenes of a world misrepresented by the news. I'm an avid reader of military fiction and non-fiction and this is the best exploration of the Special Forces world I've come across, and it's very current. I found myself laughing out loud at some points, and truly amazed at a few revelations. Maurer makes great observations about the nature of journalistic integrity and how embedded journalist become part of the story--but in this case Maurer putting himself into the story is just the drink the reader has ordered. This is an excellent way to understand the relationship between the US Forces and the Afghan freedom fighters, and it's entertaining, to boot.

GENTLEMEN BASTARDS is accessible enough for the casual reader and, in my opinion, a must-have for the military enthusiast. I wish there were more accounts like this one on the shelves, because I found myself flipping through the pages so quickly I was out of the book before I was finished enjoying it.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fair, Accurate, Short 15 July 2013
By Dave - Published on
The premise of writing a modern day book detailing the actual life of a Special Forces soldier deployed in Afghanistan isn't anything new and there are quite a few books out there that are just that. While along for a portion of a deployment, the author tells it as he understands it, and does a good job detailing the difficulty the SF team faces: working through cultural differences, lack of supplies, coordinating with conventional Army land owners, and lack of freedom to operate as they desire. The book never really reaches a point where there's a positive upswing, a real "win", rather it just stumbles along the everyday life of the ODA as they try to make the best of things.

Whenever I am reading a book similar to this, I am looking for something to take away from it. What can I learn or gain from it? How is this different from other books, or what makes this stand out? Truthfully, this book gives little if your goal is to read about heroics, gun fights, and the horrors of war. No, this is a book about what the continued war in Afghanistan is from the perspective of a reporter trying to blend in on a Special Forces A team. I thought it comical how concerned the author was with looking the part, growing his beard out, and wearing a seasoned kit with pouches on it. I suppose in a way they seemed to take him in and give a glimpse into what being a member of the team is all about.

Overall, if you are looking for a book about Special Forces deployed to Afghanistan in 2010 on a "slow" deployment, but a very common one, read it. There's just not anything special to stand out besides the accounts of the individuals who were on the deployment serving their country.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Green Berets 26 May 2013
By JT Patten, thriller author - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Robin Moore's Green Berets was one of the first books I read about special forces in my youth. It has been over 20+ years since, and after reading Kevin Maurer's Gentlemen Bastards I have now seen a solid depiction of the men and the mindset of this unique special operations force. The book is not a high octane shoot 'em up, nor do I believe it was intended to be. SF was not created to be a pure direct action military resource as it has too often been stereotyped to be in the last decade. Maurer tells a story of his experiences in a small capture of the war in AFG to provide the reader a glimpse of Special Forces. His depiction is very accurate of the men, the mission, and the internal and external dynamics between SF Groups and SOF community. It is well written and tells a great story in a style of a quiet professional--humble, at times funny, and with balanced self-confidence. Maurer's time as an imbed served him well. This book is a must read for people who want a personal look inside the closed community and the differences and personalities there within. Moore would be proud.
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