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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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1,515584,880 (3.57)80
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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» See also 80 mentions

English (55)  Swedish (2)  Italian (1)  All (58)
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
Not all conspiracy stories are true, in fact, most of them certainly aren't, but that doesn't mean there aren't some strange things happening in intelligence, the military and the CIA/FBI. There will always be "visionaries" with harebrained ideas, and if they are far enough up in the command chain they will attempt to implement them. This book is about some of these sorts of things, including remote viewing, killing goats by staring at them and subliminal messaging. Never mind that these things are un-scientific, or should I say, pseudo-scientific, there are still people who think they just might have merit, so they give them a go. Ronson does his best to find the facts and his approach is respectful, yet entertaining. ( )
  bness2 | May 23, 2017 |
The premise for this journalistic read almost promises to lead to a place of humour: crack army dudes unsuccessfully staring at goats to try to make them drop dead. However, the narrative leads to altogether darker places. The 'Psychic Ops' described meander into stories associated with Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay, for example, and while the prose is lightly written, this cannot altogether hide the seriousness of the subject matter. The final chapters, on CIA experimentation with hallucinogenic drugs on non-acquiescent subjects, seem somewhat tangential, as if the main story had already finished. However, in light of information that has been made public since 2004, when 'The Men Who Stare at Goats' was first published, the book deserved to be visited, or re-visited, through the eyes of the world post-Snowden and post-torture report. ( )
1 vote Kanikoski | Nov 4, 2016 |
Tragicamente vero!
  cloentrelibros | Aug 23, 2016 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 55 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ronson, Jonprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ahlström, LarsTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Chu, KaiJacket Designsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Esch, JeanTraductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jaeggi, MartinÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mangan, SeanNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ringen, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
גרשון גירוןTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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