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The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson

The Men Who Stare at Goats (original 2004; edition 2006)

by Jon Ronson

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1,367555,607 (3.57)72
Title:The Men Who Stare at Goats
Authors:Jon Ronson
Info:Simon & Schuster (2006), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Men Who Stare at Goats by Jon Ronson (2004)



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English (52)  Swedish (2)  Italian (1)  All languages (55)
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
This is one of the first books in a long time I've finished within 48 hours of starting. Some of the stuff is almost too loopy to believe actually happened, but it's incredibly engrossing. ( )
  cloudshipsinger | Nov 9, 2015 |
Started reading March 12th, 2013.
Got this book with the Blu-ray of the film as a limited edition, it would have been nice to have a case for both, but is was just a normal blu-ray and a paperback.
I have not seen the film yet, in most cases I try to read the book before seeing the film.
Just a guess, but I hope it is as realistic as "Burn after reading".
Oh, well did not expect that, but all Names, Organisations, Places etc. checked out and are real.
The writing is not very gripping, sorry, took a long time to read that short book.
Lots of Names (as a retired computer geek I am better with numbers than names), not much story.
But the things described happened and some are well known (Waco, Heaven's Gate Massaker, Pics from abu ghraib).
As I see this book as an important and necessary read, for entertainment value or not, I rate this 4 stars.
A good thing would have been a Link-Section - or one link to a Website with Links to all available resources online, but most books I read do not even have a list of books to read further (Michael Slade's Special X-Series a notable exception).
This book will give you stuff to think about.
For the paranoid conspiracy nut this book will support some of your worst nightmares.
Cannot wait to see the film (Blu-ray at hand on top of one of my many stacks). ( )
  Ingo.Lembcke | Oct 27, 2015 |
Worth reading, but the weakest of Ronson's books I've read so far. More disorganized than the others and harder to follow the chronology of events. ( )
  sparemethecensor | Feb 25, 2015 |
Kirja Yhdysvaltojen armeijan salaisesta New Age-yksiköstä jossa kehitettiin uusia mitä ihmeellisempiä taistelutekniikoita. Esimerkiksi seinän läpi kävelyä on kirjanmukaan harjoiteltu. Kirja on välillä hauskaa ja välillä järkyttävää luettavaa. Mielestäni erittäin hyvä kirja. ( )
  Kuosmanen | Dec 16, 2014 |
The Men Who... starts out much like [Them: Adventures in Extremism] in poking fun at a certain small group of military planners who (partially) embraced a whole slew of New Age concepts in an effort to re-vitalize the armed services post Vietnam. But the story takes some very dark turns, linking to the botched raid at Waco, the war crimes at Abu Ghraib, and similar efforts to use unconventional means to break the wills of America's enemies. You may start by laughing at the idea of staring goats to death as a means to defend the United States; but by the end, you'll be wondering just how far those in power will go to achieve an objective. ( )
2 vote BruceCoulson | Jun 9, 2014 |
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For John Sergeant and also for General Stubblebine
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This is a true story.
History seems to show that whenever there is a great American crisis—the War on Terror, the trauma of Vietnam and its aftermath, the Cold War—its military intelligence is drawn to the idea of thought control. They come up with all manner of harebrained schemes to try out, and they all sound funny until the schemes are actually implemented. (chapter 13, "Some Illustrations", p.204)
It seemed that one of two scenarios was unfolding: Guy was either in the middle of a sensational sting operation, or a hapless young martial arts enthusiast who only wanted to join Guy's federation was about to be shipped off to Guantanamo Bay.  (Chapter 6, "Homeland Security", last paragraph - p.88)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0743270606, Paperback)

Just when you thought every possible conspiracy theory had been exhausted by The X-Files or The Da Vinci Code, along comes The Men Who Stare at Goats. The first line of the book is, "This is a true story." True or not, it is quite astonishing. Author Jon Ronson writes a column about family life for London's Guardian newspaper and has made several acclaimed documentaries. The Men Who Stare at Goats is his bizarre quest into "the most whacked-out corners of George W. Bush's War on Terror," as he puts it. Ronson is inspired when a man who claims to be a former U.S. military psychic spy tells the journalist he has been reactivated following the 9-11 attack. Ronson decides to investigate. His research leads him to the U.S. Army's strange forays into extra-sensory perception and telepathy, which apparently included efforts to kill barnyard animals with nothing more than thought. Ronson meets one ex-Army employee who claims to have killed a goat and his pet hamster by staring at them for prolonged periods of time. Like Ronson's original source, this man also says he has been reactivated for deployment to the Middle East.

Ronson's finely written book strikes a perfect balance between curiosity, incredulity, and humor. His characters are each more bizarre than the last, and Ronson does a wonderful job of depicting the colorful quirks they reveal in their often-comical meetings. Through a charming guile, he manages to elicit many strange and amazing revelations. Ronson meets a general who is frustrated in his frequent attempts to walk through walls. One source says the U.S. military has deployed psychic assassins to the Middle East to hunt down Al Qaeda suspects. Entertaining and disturbing. --Alex Roslin

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:42 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

"In 1979 a secret unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known accepted military practice -- and indeed, the laws of physics -- they believed that a soldier could adopt a cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and, perhaps most chillingly, kill goats just by staring at them. Entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries, they were the First Earth Battalion. And they really weren't joking. What's more, they're back and fighting the War on Terror. With firsthand access to the leading players in the story, Ronson traces the evolution of these bizarre activities over the past three decades and shows how they are alive today within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and in postwar Iraq. Why are they blasting Iraqi prisoners of war with the theme tune to Barney the Purple Dinosaur? Why have 100 debleated goats been secretly placed inside the Special Forces Command Center at Fort Bragg, North Carolina? How was the U.S. military associated with the mysterious mass suicide of a strange cult from San Diego? The Men Who Stare at Goats answers these and many more questions."--Publisher description.… (more)

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