Saturday, March 13, 2010

THE ONLY THING WORTH DYING FOR: REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

GIVEAWAY ENDED
THE ONLY THING
WORTH DYING FOR

How Eleven Green Berets Forged
a New Afghanistan
BY ERIC BLEHM

ABOUT THE BOOK:

Eric Blehm, author of the award-winning The Last Season, is back with another true adventure story, The Only Thing Worth Dying For. Set in the immediate aftermath of 9/11, The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. In the tradition of Black Hawk Down, The Only Thing Worth Dying For is, in the words of former Congressman Charlie Wilson (from Charlie Wilson’s War), “the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan.”

On a moonless night just weeks after September 11, 2001, U.S. Special Forces team ODA 574 infiltrates the mountains of southern Afghanistan with a seemingly impossible mission: to foment a tribal revolt and force the Taliban to surrender. Armed solely with the equipment they can carry on their backs, shockingly scant intelligence, and their mastery of guerrilla warfare, Captain Jason Amerine and his men have no choice but to trust their only ally, a little-known Pashtun statesman named Hamid Karzai who has returned from exile and is being hunted by the Taliban as he travels the countryside raising a militia.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the most important mission in the early days of the Global War on Terror, when the men on the ground knew little about the enemy—and their commanders in Washington knew even less. With unprecedented access to surviving members of ODA 574, key war planners, and Karzai himself, award-winning author Eric Blehm cuts through the noise of politicians and high-level military officials to narrate for the first time a story of uncommon bravery and terrible sacrifice, intimately exposing the realities of unconventional warfare and nation-building in Afghanistan that continue to shape the region today.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Eric Blehm is a bestselling author and award-winning journalist. Winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award (2006) for The Last Season, a gripping account of the disappearance of legendary National Park Service ranger Randy Morgenson, Blehm has distinguished himself as one of America’s most important new nonfiction writers. In 2009, The Last Season was named by Outside magazine as one of the ten “greatest adventure biographies ever written.” Blehm’s latest book, The Only Thing Worth Dying For (HarperCollins, January 2010), has been hailed by former congressman Charlie Wilson, of Charlie Wilson’s War, as a “must read” among books about the current war in Afghanistan.

In 1999, Blehm broke ground as the first journalist to accompany and keep pace with an elite Army Ranger unit on a training mission. His access into the Special Operations community and reportage set an important milestone for American war journalism two years before reporters began to gain widespread embedded status with the U.S. military in the War Against Terror. His coverage of the Ranger training, along with a reputation for following stories to remote and/or risky environments—snowboarding the rugged mountains of Iran, stalking native golden trout through California’s High Sierra backcountry, retracing lost miners’ routes in the deserts of Death Valley, jumping out of planes in New Zealand—led Blehm to the previously untold story of an elite team of eleven Green Berets who operated in the hinterland of Taliban-held Afghanistan just weeks after 9/11.

The Only Thing Worth Dying For is the fruit of three-plus years of investigation into the first Special Forces mission in the south of Afghanistan and the ensuing battles, which resulted in the fall of the Taliban and the rise of Hamid Karzai. By winning the trust of men from ODA 574, the Green Beret team tasked with the mission, Blehm has been able to reveal in extraordinary detail how these resourceful U.S. soldiers managed to foment a rebellion among the Pashtun and forge a new Afghanistan from behind enemy lines. It is telling of Blehm’s ethic that he met and received the blessing of family members of the men on the team who were killed in action before embarking upon the telling of this story.

In addition to writing books and articles that take readers into the depths of fascinating subcultures, Blehm is a recognized voice in the search-and-rescue community for his detailed reporting of the Morgenson investigation—one of the most extensive search-and-rescue operations in National Park Service history. He is also widely known for his participatory coverage of outdoor sports and topics in the realm of adventure travel. He has contributed to GQ, Outside, Men’s Journal, Backpacker, Climbing, Couloir, Hemispheres, and the Los Angeles Times. Eric Blehm lives in Southern California with his wife and two children.

MY REVIEW:

In THE ONLY THING WORTH DYING FOR, Author Eric Blehm follows the daring undertaking of Capt. Jason Amerine’s Special Forces Team Alpha 574. In November, 2001, they arrived by helicopter into Afghanistan with the assignment to assist the future Afghan President, Hamid Karzai. They were to help to control anti-Taliban insurgents that were at that time in the southern part of Afghanistan. Their objective was to train the disorganized and unruly Pashtun tribesmen into successful soldiers. The actual project turned out to be impossible with their worst enemies being other meddling Americans. The top commanders and CIA as well as a Marine Officers were among the people who got in the way. An Air Force spotter, in fact, mistakenly ordered an air strike on the Special Forces Team’s own position with deadly results.

Blehm did a great amount of research and gives very detailed accounts of what happened to this particular Special Forces Team. He even was able to give details of some of their personal lives so the reader can better understand the amazing dedication these men have to their job and themselves. He is able to show how these trained men could deal with anything that came along even if it wasn’t expected as a result of their commitment and exhaustive preparation. The book is complimented with over 15 pages of photographs. Full of action and tension, THE ONLY THING WORTH DYING FOR is an important book that reads like a fascinating narrative with real life well presented characters so that every generation can read this book and try to begin to understand what being at war is really like. We should thank people like the group that just produced the Academy Award movie THE HURT LOCKER and books like this one -- Eric Blehm’s THE ONLY THING WORTH DYING FOR because they give those of us who live in freedom, a look at the men and women who are daily working to assure us that we will remain free and be able to live our lives safely.


GIVEAWAY

THANKS TO KYLE AND GOOD PEOPLE
AT HARPER COLLINS PUBLISHING,
I HAVE 3 COPIES OF THIS AMAZING

BOOK TO GIVE AWAY. HERE IS WHAT
YOU NEED TO DO TO WIN A COPY!



--U.S. RESIDENTS ONLY
--NO P. O. BOXES
---INCLUDE YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS
IN CASE YOU WIN!
--ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SEPARATE TO
COUNT AS MORE THAN ONE!

HOW TO ENTER:

+1 ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU INTERESTING YOU FOUND OUT ABOUT AUTHOR ERIC BLEHM ON THE HARPER COLLINS WEBSITE HERE

+1 MORE ENTRY: COMMENT ON SOMETHING YOU FOUND INTERESTING ABOUT THIS BOOK FROM THE REVIEW OR DESCRIPTION ABOVE

+1 MORE ENTRY: BLOG OR TWEET ABOUT THIS GIVEAWAY AND LEAVE A LINK I CAN FOLLOW IN THE ENTRY

GIVEAWAY ENDS AT
6 PM, EST,
MARCH 24!


GOOD LUCK

50 comments:

Renee said...

I love that his favorite piece of clothing is his "mini-van, mega-fun" T-shirt.... shows he's a family guy

reneesuz82@msn(d0t)com

Linda Kish said...

Drink of choice..cold water from a mountain stream. That sounds great.



lkish77123 at gmail dot com

Linda Kish said...

This book sounds well-written and thorough.



lkish77123 at gmail dot com

traveler said...

This unique novel sounds intriguing. thanks for this giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

Martha Lawson said...

This book sounds really fascinating! I'd love to win a a copy!!

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Martha Lawson said...

My least favorite food is…
any recipe that's ruined in order to make it "healthy - I agree wholeheartedly!!!

I am a follower.

mlawson17 at hotmail dot com

Bethie said...

I didn't know that Eric Blehm also wrote the Last Season.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

Bethie said...

I found it nice that with all that he has accomplished, Eric Blehm lists his children as his greatest accomplishment.

lizzi0915 at aol dot com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I thought it was very funny when he said that his desert island book would be "Swiss Family Robinson" - the quintessential guide to success while stranded!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I find it interesting that he wrote The Last Season. I didn't know that and want to read it!

nbmars AT yahoo DOT com

nfmgirl said...

hee hee

His ideal day includes playing with the kids, and an evening away from the kids.

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

nfmgirl said...

Blogged:
http://cerebralgirl.blogspot.com/2010/03/book-giveaways-in-blogworld-03-13-10.html

nfmgirl AT gmail DOT com

Jane said...

It was interesting to learn that Eric is known for covering outdoor sports and travel and has written for various magazines.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Jane said...

I was surprised to learn that the project to train Pushtan tribesmen was met with obstacles from fellow Americans.

janie1215 AT excite DOT com

Cindy said...

I really liked this author's website. He sounds like a great guy. I loved that his happiest place to be is anywhere with his family.

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

Cindy said...

This sounds like an interesting book! I liked reading the review and it was refreshing to read that the author cuts through the politics and high ranking military officials to show the true story of bravery and sacrifice in fighting the war in Afghanistan.

My husband, an Army veteran, worked with the Special Forces in Vietnam. This sounds like a book that he would like to read too.

Great review!

Cindy
Socmom213@aol.com

Benita said...

When asked about his idea of a dream vacation, Mr. Blehm said, "Any vacation at this point." I truly understand, and the comment is funny.

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Benita said...

What I found interesting is, "THE ONLY THING WORTH DYING FOR is an important book that reads like a fascinating narrative with real life well presented characters so that every generation can read this book and try to begin to understand what being at war is really like."

bgcchs(at)yahoo(dot)com

Lacey said...

I like that his favorite pet or animal is Simba, did he named it or his kids, kinda makes me wonder if its a cat.

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Lacey said...

http://twitter.com/HtxAstrosFan/status/10549400640

tweet

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Lacey said...

I like that the book has a lot of research in it and also personal stories, sounds like the book is very readable.

Lacey914 at sbcglobal dot net

Glenn said...

That Eric dreams about sleeping - sounds like he has a good sense of humor. Thanks for the giveaway.

glenn_pessano AT yahoo DOT com

bison61 said...

My first crush was...
Trixie from Speed Racer. funny! The book The last Season also sounds good

tiramisu392 (at) yahoo.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I've always been interested in special forces and think this would be a really fascinating read. Thanks!

misusedinnocence@aol.com

Misusedinnocence said...

I think it's cool that he considers his kids his greatest accomplishment. I can relate to that. ;)

misusedinnocence@aol.com

rubynreba said...

His best and worst qualities are the same - bull-doggedness.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

rubynreba said...

Former Congressman Charlie Wilson said that this is the one book you must read if you have any hope of understanding what our fine American soldiers are up against in Afghanistan.
pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

Jolee said...

...That he has "A Walk in the Woods" on his night stand. joleehamlin@comcast.net

Jolee said...

learned that their ally/guide was being hunted by the Taliban. Gulp. joleehamlin@comcast.net

LoveMyCoffee said...

He's a family man and he can't live without watching the TV show Deadly Catch

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

LoveMyCoffee said...

I would love to read the book. Being able to see the photographs in the book, and the events that happen while working towards our freedom would be fascinating.

Dutchlvr1(at)aol(dot)com

catss99 said...

I think it's great that he spent three years emeshed in the group in order to get the information for his book.
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

I thought it was interesting that he said he has to answer emails from his friends before he starts writing because I do the same thing!
amanda
catss99@yahoo.com

catss99 said...

tweet
http://twitter.com/catss99/status/10849340681
catss99@yahoo.com

amweeks said...

I love the photo of Eric Blehm meeting the president of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai, in September 2008!

annmarieweeks at verizon dot net

amweeks said...

It's horrible that Americans were the ones getting in the way of getting their assignment done!

annmarieweeks at verizon dot net

amweeks said...

I tweeted! http://twitter.com/amweeks/status/10879875161

annmarieweeks at verizon dot net

QLady48 said...

I was surprised to learn that Eric is married with kids!! I had heard of him as an adventure writer and just assumed he was single.
Thanks, Sue


suehusseinATAOLDOTCOM

QLady48 said...

I thought it was interesting how Eric was able to be among the group to do his research. This book sounds so good. I rarely read non-fiction but this should be a must read for all of us. Thanks, Sue



suehusseinATAOLDOTCOM

ossmcalc said...

I learned that the television show that he can't live without is Deadliest Catch.

thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

QLady48 said...

I tweeted about this contest at Twitter.



http://twitter.com/QLady48/status/10938117343



suehusseinATAOLDOTCOM

ossmcalc said...

The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. It is still hard to believe that with all that our men and women serving there are up against that they are still able to help elect the next President of Afghanistan.

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

The Only Thing Worth Dying For chronicles the untold story of the team of Green Berets that conquered the Taliban and helped bring Hamid Karzai to power in Afghanistan. It is amazing to me how one group of 11 soldiers could help to bring this man to power in Afghanistan during the time following 9/11.

Thank you,


Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

ossmcalc said...

I tweeted about this giveaway http://twitter.com/ossmcalc/status/10940907135

Thank you,

Christine
womackcm@sbcglobal.net

Sarah E said...

I found it interesting that the book No Picnic on Mount Kenya is on the author's nightstand.

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

In the book review, I found it interesting that the worst enemies of the project were meddling Americans!

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Sarah E said...

I tweeted:

http://twitter.com/saemmerson/status/10971673222

saemmerson at yahoo dot com

Sarah E

Nancye said...

I found out that Eric's favorite shoes are no shoes! A man after my own heart.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

Tweet! Tweet!

http://twitter.com/NancyeDavis/status/10999880200

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

Nancye said...

This book is about the author's experience when he travelled with an Army Ranger unit on a training mission.

nancyecdavis AT bellsouth DOT net

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