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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Veru good single source
A very good single source on the war on terror, in both scope and clarity. Concisely encompasses many of the narratives of the last 10 years in military/security/terroism nexus, including The Looming Tower, Fiasco, The Gamble, and Obama's War. Easy to read and very well researched.

Poor intro chapter and slightly weaker on Afghan lose a star, but highly...
Published on 10 April 2011 by Patrick Bury

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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided Perspective
The Longest War

Peter Bergen is a well known journalist and television personality. He is regularly shown on CNN as the guru on terrorist organizations. So, when he publishes a book on the so called `war on terror' it makes sense to have a look at what he has to say. He is, after all, an opinion leader on the subject. Let me state from the outset though...
Published on 20 Jan. 2011 by David Hillstrom


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Veru good single source, 10 April 2011
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Patrick Bury "maverick" (Ireland) - See all my reviews
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A very good single source on the war on terror, in both scope and clarity. Concisely encompasses many of the narratives of the last 10 years in military/security/terroism nexus, including The Looming Tower, Fiasco, The Gamble, and Obama's War. Easy to read and very well researched.

Poor intro chapter and slightly weaker on Afghan lose a star, but highly recommended overall.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The longest war review, 27 Jan. 2011
I have read many novels regarding 9/11 and have never been satisfied with any of them. However while reading Peter L Bergen's book: The Longest War it makes you realise just how badly America has handled the war on terror. As David Hillstrom states in his review, `What we need is a book by a reputable author which exercises a fundamental critique of US policy from a fair and impartial perspective.' Trying to get anyone in today's world to give a `Fair and Impartial perspective,' is like trying to find a needle in a haystack, it simply doesn't exist. I agree with the quote from The Scotsman: `It's one of the most important accounts on the subject to appear in years.'
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The one book you'll need on the war on terror, 27 Jan. 2011
This review is from: Longest War (Kindle Edition)
If you want to read just one book on the war on terror, Peter Bergen's book is for you. It's highly informed, full of information from a variety of sources rather than just his own agenda and opinion and covers both sides of the story.

Peter Bergen is analytical and will help you understand the minds of the leaders on both sides.

The book har received great reviews in the New York Times and entered the bestsellerlists; I reckon deservedly so.
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10 of 17 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Misguided Perspective, 20 Jan. 2011
The Longest War

Peter Bergen is a well known journalist and television personality. He is regularly shown on CNN as the guru on terrorist organizations. So, when he publishes a book on the so called `war on terror' it makes sense to have a look at what he has to say. He is, after all, an opinion leader on the subject. Let me state from the outset though that I was not impressed with the product.

This book covers material from pre 9/11 to the present and provides background detail on how the 9/11 attacks were planned and how the U.S. government responded, first under George W. Bush and now Barack Obama. The broad outlines of the story are familiar to anyone who takes an interest in current and international affairs. Nothing new emerges from Mr Bergen's new book. I will grant that he provides a wealth of background information regarding discussions leading to major policy decisions. But this information is presented as informal, anecdotal stories in keeping with the current fashion in popular literature. At times one wonders whether the stories are factual or simply hearsay. The author does provide copious notes that amount to nearly a third of the book's volume. But a future historian wishing to use the material would need to dig deeper to separate out viable sources from the mere opinions of the cast of Mr Bergen's interviewees.

Aside, however, from my concerns over style and depth of insight, the real problem that I have with the book is that its perspective is firmly rooted within an American bias. Mr Bergen does offer a bit of criticism on the obvious issues, such as the invasion of Iraq under the banner of Bush's war on terror. But again, those of us who follow events already knew that Iraq had nothing to do with Al Qaeda; the decision to invade Iraq and to `change the regime' was made for other reasons. What we need is a book by a reputable author which exercises a fundamental critique of US policy from a fair and impartial perspective. And The Longest War is simply not that book. Any readers who may be looking for a moral compass to interpret the terrorist attacks followed by the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and again Afghanistan, will be disappointed. It is not satisfactory to criticize the decision to invade Iraq as an error of judgment. Thousand of innocent civilians were killed as a consequence. The US government under President Bush must bear responsibility for those deaths under any equitable application of international law. The Obama administration has now increased the practice of drone attacks on alleged militants in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. This policy has been copied from the Israeli practice within Palestine. There is no justification for such unilateral acts of violence in international law. But Mr Bergen clearly sides with the view that the threat from "Al Qaeda could (not) be dealt with by law enforcement alone." (Chapter 18)

As a brief footnote I should add, as another reviewer has done already, that the kindle addition of this book costs more than the hard copy. Personally I bit my tongue and bought the kindle version anyway for convenience. Poor decision: the file is not properly formatted and as a result the contents are not directly accessible on the kindle.

David Hillstrom
Author of The Bridge
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The Longest War: America and Al-Qaeda Since 9/11
The Longest War: America and Al-Qaeda Since 9/11 by Peter L. Bergen (Paperback - 10 Nov. 2011)
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