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Under Fire: A Night of Terror and Courage in Benghazi
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Under Fire: A Night of Terror and Courage in Benghazi

3.74  ·  Rating Details ·  321 Ratings  ·  45 Reviews
The New York Times bestselling inside account of the attack against the U.S. diplomatic and intelligence outposts in Benghazi, Libya

On the night of September 11, 2012, the American diplomatic mission at Benghazi, Libya, came under ferocious attack by a heavily armed group of Islamic terrorists. The prolonged firefight, and the attack hours later on a nearby CIAoutpost, res
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 3rd 2013 by St. Martin's Press
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(showing 1-30)
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Jul 31, 2014 Spencer rated it really liked it
Shelves: politics, history
Bought it on a Saturday and finished it Sunday morning. Couldn't put it down. This is the first journalistic comprehensive investigation of how the Benghazi events of 9/11/2012 and 9/12/2012 played out. We find out that the attack lasted 0720 hours, and that host-country restrictions and disorganization, fly-over clearances, flight clearances, logistics and geography made an "immediate" response less than immediate. We also learn that Woods and Doherty were not the only "shooters" that were ...more
Gail Welborn
Sep 04, 2013 Gail Welborn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviews
***a minute-by-minute account of the Benghazi attack***

Recognized security experts Burton and Katz, write what they believe happened in the Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi, the subtitle of Under Fire scheduled to release September 1. Their eyewitness and confidential source account describes the first 40 minutes of hell when “the attackers first burst through the gates of the American compound in Benghazi.”

Besides a “minute-by-minute narrative” of the prolonged fire fight that took the
Jan 10, 2014 Ray rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Islamist militant attack on the U.S. mission in Benghazi on September 11, 2012 had become such a politicized issue, so the opportunity to read the Fred Burton and Samuel Katz book "Under Fire, The Untold Story of the Attack in Benghazi" seemed like a good opportunity to gain an understanding of the true story of the attack. After all the claims and counter claims by the warring political parties in Washington, and talking heads in the media, I was relieved to finally have a non-political, de ...more
Lee Ann
Jan 05, 2014 Lee Ann rated it really liked it
I have been bothered by this awful episode of 2012 since it happened. I never bought any of the public responses by the administration and have followed the hearings. I was thrilled to find out the my old friend, Fred Burton, was writing about Benghazi. I enjoyed both of his other books and I trust his honesty and integrity. The book does a great and tediously necessary job of explaining the locations where the attacks happened. Like many people, I thought that the two locations were part of the ...more
Chris Ross
This is the second of three or four and possibly five books I have read and plan to read about Benghazi. This book differs markedly from Dark Forces by Kenneth R. Timmerman and was published one year earlier as well. It differs in that it tells the story of the DS (Diplomatic Security) Agents point-of-view and the challenges they face and have faced throughout their Department's history of securing principals (those they are to protect).

The authors do not delve or mention any of the controversy
Jun 16, 2014 Kevin rated it liked it
This was a good book that described the events that occurred at the US embassy in Benghazi, Libya. I enjoyed it, however I felt as if it glossed over the current administration’s actions (or better said lack thereof) and how that played a part in the outcome. There was barely mention of Obama or Clinton, and their role which is still today quite controversial.
Sep 27, 2013 Helen rated it liked it
A dense, but apparently, thoughtful and accurate depiction of the event. As much as I wanted the authors to decry the irresponsibility of the American government, this is not a political book. The authors kept to the facts and leave speculation to those who would judge the losses of consummate professionals who served their country well.
Susan Roon
Dec 17, 2013 Susan Roon rated it really liked it
Since the attack on Benghazi, I've been frustrated by the lack of information we've been given and mostly the lack of accountability for the deaths. Maybe this will bring to light how dangerous that area is and as Americans we should demand the truth from those responsible.
Bryan Jones
Oct 19, 2013 Bryan Jones rated it really liked it
Very good ... heart-rending & maddening. Wish there was a bit more on the situational awareness of events back in DC when this went down. Huge new appreciation and rspect for DS & their people.
Gregory Christensen
Dec 05, 2016 Gregory Christensen rated it liked it
After suffering through the tedious military "tech speak" and acronyms, the night of the attack on the two compounds in Benghazi is objectively and dispassionately told.

Due to the classified nature of the significant non-diplomatic presence in Libya it will be a long time (if ever) until the full story is known. By the accounts in this book, the CIA quietly let the State Department take the public fall for this tragedy.

The final portion that marks the sacrifice of Americans abroad, putting the
Mar 13, 2016 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults.
Recommended to Helen by: No-one.
This audio recording of the book was well-produced and well-read, although keeping track of the myriad acronyms without a page to refer to back to, was daunting.

The book describes the events of 9/11/12 in Benghazi and the following day in Khartoum, which was also attacked by a mob enraged by the crude anti-Islamic Youtube video that had gone viral.

In Benghazi, a CIA outpost was destroyed and the annex evacuated - thus the American diplomatic presence in the chaotic city ended - on the 11th ann
Dec 08, 2015 Tony rated it it was ok
This book wanted to be good, but it just wasn't. If it just told the story of what happened, then the book would've been fine. The author tried too hard by giving out way too much information that was not necessary. In addition, there were too many fall-back's explaining things, and going back in time, it was just annoying, and made it much harder to comprehend. They were just too many names, too many dates, too many three-letter organizations, and too much jumping around in time. When it came ...more
Michael T.
Mar 03, 2014 Michael T. rated it it was ok
It's hard to recommend a book that, in some ways, is so very, very poorly written. At least the first half of it is. It's almost as though, since one of the larger target audiences for this kind of book has to be the spy/ military thriller (Tom Clancy, etc.) reader, authors Burton and Katz tried (with horrendous results) to mimic this kind of book. As I say, however, the second half is much better than the first, as the authors finally and mercifully check their purple prose at the double bolted ...more
Feb 11, 2015 Mary rated it it was ok
Very hard to decide what rating to give this book. On the one hand, it is an extremely well-researched, minute-by-minute account of the September 11, 2012 attack on the American Special Mission in Benghazi, Libya. I appreciated that the authors chose to avoid politics and instead put the focus squarely on the events of that night--and the days leading up to and after it--and on the diplomats, diplomatic security agents and CIA personnel who served bravely and fought so tenaciously from what was ...more
Oct 29, 2016 Judy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, non-fiction
While I didn't understand all the specifics about the various types of firearms used by those trying to protect Ambassador Christopher Stevens and Sean Smith, his Information Officer from the heavily armed Islamic terrorist, I have a much better picture of what the four brave men went through before they died. Fred Burton and Samuel M. Katz give a detailed account of almost minute-by-minute how the attack happened. They also give a picture of what Libya and specifically Bengazi was like and how ...more
Mar 21, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it
Under Fire doesn't get into the politics of what was a bumbled if not semi-truthful public response by the Obama administration.

It's crystal-clear from Under Fire, that the attack was well-planned by professional jihadis with substantial experience.

In the hackneyed old phrase, yes - 'mistakes were made'. But more significant was the response that the US government uses to protect its diplomatic assets. Experienced, well-trained, well-equipped men went once more into the breach. A couple of them
Elizabeth Maurer
This is a must read, for anyone interested in US foreign policy or any concerned citizen.
This book provides a depth and context to the Libya situation that I did not have before.
I was initially interested in reading this book because I saw the movie 13 Hours and I wanted to learn what happened.
13 hours was a well acted movie, and I didn't know much about what happened in 2012. But the movie suffered with the limitations of that medium. It needed to have the story arch we are used to and clearly
Marcia Russell
Feb 12, 2014 Marcia Russell rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
This book shows the utter disregard for life that the current administration has shown toward our men and women serving our country in other countries. The book shows a very good account of the events that took place in Benghazi on 9/11/2012. However the wording was very technical and hard to follow at times. The story needs to be told and I am grateful that they wrote the book, though. I feel that there should have been more spoken about the lack of support that the embassy received before the ...more
Oct 29, 2015 John rated it liked it
Four stars for content, two stars for style. A lot of this book felt like it was written by a think-tank analyst who was unleashing his inner Robert Ludlum. There was some unbearably tortured and overwrought sentence structure in the action sequences.

Dense with acronyms (fortunately there is an acronym glossary), the book gave me what I was looking for, a detailed account of the attack on the American assets in Benghazi the night of September 11, 2012. It seems to confirm my initial impression t
Aug 10, 2016 Blessedmomfxs rated it it was ok
This book was mind-numbingly full of details that didn't have much to do with what happened in Benghazi. The attack on the compound doesn't even begin until chapter 10! There is, however, a plethora of acronyms (so many I thought my head would explode)...mostly for things that weren't remotely essential to the story of what happened that ill-fated night in Libya. For weapons aficionados, there is a lot of detail about weapons used by the DS (again, much unrelated to Benghazi) and other ...more
Noah W
Jun 20, 2014 Noah W rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
This book was written from a perspective designed to exonerate the DSS agents.

Reviewing the format: the author (or editors) decided to "censor" the book with black highlights whenever "sensitive" information appeared.
The result: The particular Glock or Sig Sauer models and calibers are censored at the beginning of the book. However, toward the end of the book the editors got lazy and reveal that Sig Sauer P226 and Glock 19 with 9mm rounds are the primary sidearms used by DSS.

Even if they had sta
Nov 24, 2015 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An insightful read of the events as they unfolded on sovereign American soil in a foreign country, and, begs the questions as to why the interim Libyan provincial government, nor the governments of other nations with a presence in Benghazi, offered no assistance. Reading Clinton's remarks, after the fact, in comparison to what DS Libya desk and CIA Libya desk knew, almost immediately, is disappointing from the woman who wants the American public to believe in her as a CIC. I think some of the ...more
Dec 10, 2013 Jonathan rated it liked it
Not really having followed the ins and outs of this issue I came across this book at the library and decided to find out what "Benghazi" was all about. The fast paced thriller style narrative wore a bit thin for me after a while. However the book is an exhaustive moment by moment account of what happened in Libya and Washington and thus serves to undermine the conspiracy narrative cooked up by the Republicans. Perhaps wisely the authors avoid the politics and aftermath and thereby avoid opening ...more
Marie Carmean
Jan 10, 2016 Marie Carmean rated it liked it
Very concise...well researched and well written. An excellent account of the Benghazi tragedy. A little hard to follow the participants however because the heroes when this book was written were still operatives and not willing to have their names used, plus all the agencies have so many similar abbreviations. Of course, since this book came out, 13 Weeks has been written by the participants in the rescue and a movie has been made. I would also like to read 13 weeks to get the perspective of ...more
Dave Hoff
Sep 22, 2013 Dave Hoff rated it liked it
Author must have access to the guys at the Ambassador's quarters & the CIA Annex to get the blow (bullet) by blow of the baddies in the firefight & heavy mortar attacks. Too bad congress can't have the same access. Also the continuous videos of the whole operation that went to the President, Hillary & Tripoli. Some brave men on the ground, brave men wanting to assist & cowards at the highest levels, whose lies are sickening. Amazing more of the good guys not killed. 3 stars ...more
Fredrick Danysh
Aug 23, 2016 Fredrick Danysh rated it it was ok
Written by a former member of the United Staes's Diplomatic Security Service, Under Fire attempts to explain the actions of the American agents charged with the protection of diplomatic personnel in Benghazi in 2012. Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans were killed by terrorists on September 11 of that year. The work addresses local actions and pretty much avoids higher level decisions. There are many redactions throughout the work.
Nov 13, 2014 Tbone rated it really liked it
This was a great and interesting book around an incident in which there is alot of controversy. It definitely paints our administration of our goverment (Clinton and obama) in a rather positive light and basically says there is no cover up going on here.

However, the book was highly entertaining as you walked step by step through a mass terrorist attack and i learned a ton about a branch of law enforcement of our country i never knew existed. Great Book
Dec 30, 2013 Doyle rated it really liked it
Shelves: terrorism
Mr. Burton and Mr. Katz have done an excellent job of summarizing the events that unfolded on this controversial topic. The most enlightening part was the informational groundwork laid for the events leading up to this event. I have a new found respect for the various agencies involved in the action to include: DSS, GSR, and JSOC.
Nov 12, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
Fascinating and well done in its attempt to be factual and explain more about the State Dept security organization without getting too much into the politicization. (Wish it would have a revision to help with some edits/writing. Just a few little things that could be changed to help it flow better/be easier to follow in places.)
Don Weidinger
Aug 31, 2014 Don Weidinger rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
eateries as safe havens, who dares win, Britain left after ambassador attack, 30Kcivilians killed in 6months after fall of govt, red cross and Iran left, cross of Chicago and Sicily terror, state security risks never eliminated only mitigated, Americans leave loud footprint, 940pm call to Tripoli under attack 35 men generator gas used to burn 2330 annex 115am died closet.
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