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Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces (Commanders)

3.76  ·  Rating Details ·  1,154 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
Now, Carl Stiner --- the second commander of SOCOM, the U.S. Special Operations Command --- and Tom Clancy trace the transformation of the Special Forces from the small core of outsiders of the 1950s, through the cauldron of Vietnam, to the rebirth of the SF in the late 1980s and 1990s, and on into the new century as the bearer of the largest, most mixed, and most complex ...more
Paperback, 548 pages
Published February 4th 2003 by Berkley (first published February 4th 2002)
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Mar 08, 2012 Jerome rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fairly interesting but unfocused,superficial, and poorly researched. This book apparently has three authors, that should give you fair warning.
Supposedly a history of US special operations forces, this book is pretty much a dry biography of Carl Stiner, and not very substantive. It is also splattered with huge maps, bulleted lists and what appear to be massive interview excerpts.
Some portions are poorly researched;he calls CAS "combat air support" while the correct term is "close air support." H
Bookworm Amir
Oct 17, 2011 Bookworm Amir rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too detailed later.

It really runs more like General Carl Stiner's personal autobiography in more ways that once.

Yes eh talks about the military but most of the time there are no special forces talk (such as when talking about Lebanon - I was expecting him to give a more deeper account of what happened on that day when the Marines got bombed), but no, it was just a story about him and some politics of Lebanon.

The beginning of the book was alright, it talked about the history of the Special Forces
Tom Schulte
This book ends basically on the eve of the The War in Afghanistan, so it may seem out of date. However, as a work of history it is interesting and enlightening. Clancy and insider Steiner take us through the history of U.S. special forces from inforomal, one-off Jedburgh teams of WW II to increasing formalization reaching an acme in the Vietnam War with Rangers and Green Berets. Marginalized and continued to be seen as adjuncts to regular infnatry, etc., these units lose ffectiveness, prepararat ...more
Katie Cross
This book was all right, but very unfocused.

Supposedly it was about the Special Forces, but it should probably be re-titled as a loose biography on Carl Stiner. His time in the SF teams/groups was limited once he promoted out, and from there, it's more of a detailed, historical narrative on several major battles since then.

Overall, I was not impressed. This book in no way achieved the objective it claimed over Special Forces. Maybe if the aim was altered to something more like an overall SOF foc
Robert Enzenauer
Sep 13, 2015 Robert Enzenauer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book tells the story of US Army Special Forces through the voice of the author, GEN (retired) Carl Stiner, who traces the formation of the Special Forces from the decades of the 1950s through his initiation into SF in 1964 and follows his remarkable career over more than 3 decades, including the Achille Lauro hostage rescue, the invasion of Panama, and operations Deseret Shield and Desert Storm, culminating as the second commander of SOCOM, the US Special Operations Command, from 1990 to 19 ...more
Oct 19, 2015 Will rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Insomniacs
Shelves: non-fiction
Clancy's non-fiction account of the origins and development of the US Special Forces up to 9/11. General Carl Stiner, USA, Retired, past Commander of USSOCOM, collaborates with Clancy to give a first hand account of the creation, development and evolution of Special Forces, including the non-combat aspects about which is known little by the general public.
Interestingly, Clancy traces the assimilation of 'civic affairs' into Special Operations as a creation of Mao Se Tung, whose soldiers approach
Apr 08, 2011 Blain rated it it was ok
This is one of those cases where I wish I could give half a star for 2 1/2 but that not being the case it gets two. As a historical record this book is fine as a historical narrative it leaves much to be desired. In a well justified effort to pay homage to the people who lay much on the line for the protection of the USA Clancy mentions those people he can when he can, but shows no editing skills, mentioning almost anyone and everyone who may even enter the room for a moment, leaving the reader ...more
Nov 21, 2010 J.D. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Supposedly a book about the Special Forces, this is really more a military biography of General Carl Stiner. Stiner's spent a lot of time commanding SF, but also a lot of time in the "regular" Army, and there are long stretches of the book that concern his non-SF experiences, particularly in Vietnam, Lebanon and Panama. Still, he's led an interesting career, and there are some good insights into how military command and operations function and the things commanders have to think about, both in a ...more
Mar 04, 2013 Dan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shadow Warriors is the best Tom Clancy book I've read yet. It provides amazing input into how the Special Forces we have today came to be the way they are. It also has a lot of personal information on the inside of the Special Forces- provided by Carl Stiner. It starts with the very first Special operation in World War II and tells stories up through history like Panama, Lebanon, and the Gulf War. You won't get a this well written book about Special Forces anywhere else.
Quaid Matthews
I thought it was very interesting book, but it was a slow read most of the time. I always enjoy reading a good Tom Clancy book to learn about war, he just gets it when it comes to describing war zones. His details are also very graphic. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about the special forces of our country and what they do.
Rambo Yearone
I dont like Clancy's pen when he writes about real special forces.
He makes them look like invincible, fearless war machines ... And there's nothing more far from reality.
Ever special forces soldiers know that feeling invincible is the faster way ... To find a sudden death.
Anyway, I read this book to write about special forces, and found it really useful.
David Ward
Shadow Warriors: Inside the Special Forces by Tom Clancy with General Carl Stiner (G.P.Putnam’s Sons 1998)(356.16). (Carl Stiner is from Knoxville)! Tom Clancy traces the arc of the Special Forces from a small band of outsiders in Vietnam to the incredible fast-striking special assignment seeking force it has become. My rating: 4.5/10, finished 1999.
Nov 14, 2008 Jarred rated it really liked it
Tom Clancy's Shadow Warriors: Inside The Special Forces is a really good action book, for all yall Tom clancy fans out there. The is about 53 Americans that were being held captive, and a special team of agents (know as the shadow warriors) go to a different country to find the hostages, and make sure that the enemy does not use this special type of oil that could be used to destory America.
Dec 23, 2009 Craig rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was very honest, in that the generals and other officers in it admitted their mistakes. However, I found myself a bit bored reading it... aside from some of the training and combat sequences, there was a lot of emphasis on planning and politics that could have probably been better shown rather than told.
May 09, 2007 Johnny rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: military and history
This non fiction account of the birth and growth of the "black ops" folks is an eyeopener for anyone.

While we have all heard of the Green berets, we often don't understand the full scope of their work, which is less bullets and more about beans.

What was most interesting was the creation of "talking points" during the Gulf War. Sound familiar Fox News fans?
Darren Sapp
Apr 01, 2013 Darren Sapp rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While Tom Clancy has achieved success for fiction, this work of non-fiction is deserving of the same kudos. This is a very good overview of the special operations idea but is fairly specific to army special forces mainly due to co-author and former special operations general, Carl Stiner. Delta Force and Green Beret fans will love it.
Santiago Romero
One of the most complete and entertaining insights of the Special Forces world.

Usually these books are too technical, or too dense for the average civilian. Clancy makes it readable and incredibly entertaining, providing all sorts of details.

He really knows what he is writing about.
Dio Aufa Handoyo
SF journey from formation by Bill Yarborough to integration with USSOCOM, with heavy focus on Gen. Carl Stiner's experiences. Not very streamlined, but still an interesting nonfiction to learn about SF roles in Panama and the Gulf War. Wish it's possible to give it 3 1/2 stars.
I picked this up to learn a bit more about Special Forces, in light of the Bin Laden raid. This is a pretty good introduction to Special Operations/Forces, with enough history and exmples to make it an interesting read.
Brian Rast
May 29, 2008 Brian Rast rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
You thought he just wrote fiction. This is non-fiction that presents what's clandestine ops really are about. You need to understand why this is important in this age, if you don't know already. Good read.
Colleen Crocker
Jul 23, 2009 Colleen Crocker rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My dad is mentioned briefly in this book, and I can't help but love it because it's true and good account of the lives of SF ops and keep his memory alive. It makes me so proud of his work.
Nov 17, 2012 Adam rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Factual reading. Interesting details. Not a life changer. If you are into military history and especially special ops its worth a look.
John Moss
Oct 13, 2011 John Moss rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book opened a whole new world of unconventional warfare and military history to me. A really great book on special forces from WWII and beyond.
Brad Waldmsith
Nov 07, 2013 Brad Waldmsith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm currently re-reading this book. It's one of my favorite non-fiction books that Tom Clancy ever wrote.
Jan 11, 2008 Albert rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All my ideas about special forces turned out to be wrong. Very informative although the story is told from a historical perspective. Do not expect too much technical details.
Mar 07, 2009 Dave rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This non-fiction book gives a very good history of the various special operations units of the US Armed Forces. There is also a good narrative of actual operations and what went wrong or right.
A great insight into the operations of Army Special Forces. Gave me understanding that their operations were much more than guts and glory. Much politics and planning go into each operation.
Sep 05, 2009 Dan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a cool Tom Clancy because it is non-fiction and all about the history/job of the US special forces. They are bad-a.
Joseph rated it liked it
Feb 20, 2009
Customhitcher rated it it was amazing
Dec 04, 2015
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Tom Clancy was an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College. As a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history, his dream of writing a novel came true with his first effort, The Hunt for Red October (1984).

He since wrote more than a dozen novels, which have a blend of realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. Ten of the novels, including The Teeth of
More about Tom Clancy...

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