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Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World's Most Elite Counterterrorism Units

4.08  ·  Rating Details ·  554 Ratings  ·  52 Reviews
Beverly Hills native Aaron Cohen was eighteen years old when he left behind his privileged American life with the single-minded ambition of joining Israel's top anti-terrorist commando unit. After fifteen months of grueling training, Cohen was offered the only post a non-Israeli can hold: a top-secret, highly controversial unit that dispatches operatives disguised as Arabs ...more
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Published June 9th 2008 by Tantor Media (first published 2005)
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Nov 01, 2011 Helen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An American take on what it is like to be an Israeli commando.

This is a great read for anyone wanting to know what goes into the making of a warrior. The kind of guys who seek to become special forces are not like the rest of us; they're smart, tough, fearless, tightly controlled yet highly aggressive, seeking action, tremendously competitive.

Aaron Cohen is a troubled American rich kid who learns to love the discipline of the military. From the book's gut-wrenching opening at the scene of the h
Sep 09, 2015 Jack rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: the-bookshelf
Brotherhood of Warriors - Aaron Cohen - Book Review - Jack Paul

This book is amazing. It gives you the insight of what being in an Israeli counter-terrorism unit is like. This book shows you the physical and mental stress this job can cause you. The book is written by someone who was in one of the counter-terrorism units. Israel has one of the most elite counter-terrorism units in the world and this book shows you what it is like to be in one of this units.

The book talks about Aaron Cohen's life
Sep 12, 2011 Chuck rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aaron Cohen's "A Brotherhood of Warriors" is a memoir of Cohen's service in the Israeli Special Forces. in the 1990's Cohen served in the Israeli Army's Syaret Duvdevan unit.

The Syaret Duvdevan is a counter-insurgency unit which operates in the occupied territories and targets Palestinian insurgents/terrorists. Unlike most United States Special forces, who are generalists, it is a unit with a very specialized area of expertise. The unit carries out operations, but is not responsible for gatheri
"Israeli-style tactics are the only proven method to successfully deal with terrorists on a tactical level." I couldn't put this book down the minute I started reading. The book is written from a pragmatist's point of view so there's no propaganda here (or I didn't perceive any). The author's life seems exciting and romantic at first, but ultimately he shows how the career of a warrior is de-humanizing and becomes an almost touching anti-war story. You don't have to worry if you don't know the c ...more
Elliotte Bagg
Nov 10, 2014 Elliotte Bagg rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lot of this book is similar to books I've read by Navy SEALs and their experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan, following the author's upbringing, the grueling training, the conflict the soldier participates in and the after effects of living this type of life. But this is set in Israel, and has a flavor you will not find among titles written by US soldiers. We may live in fear from 9/11, they live with terrorism as an every day reality that we cannot imagine. This book does a great job in describ ...more
Nov 04, 2012 Vanessa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very unique true story about an American Jew, who heads to Israel voluntarily to join the Israeli army. Focuses a lot of the mental side of the training but very interesting
Do not be baulked by this books unattractive cover, because it doesn't do justice to the story within.
This is the memoir of an American/Canadian/Jew (a mouthful I know) who leaves a silver spoon existence in Beverley Hills as a teen to join the Israeli Defence Force.
He knows what he wants long before he arrives in Israel. He wants to be a Special Forces soldier in one of Israel's leading counter terrorism units. The Duvdevan.
After some unforeseen hurdles, he makes it through one of the toughes
Gage Mcnally
Jan 23, 2011 Gage Mcnally rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I decided to read this book after hearing Arron on an interview over the radio.The book Brotherhood of Warriors by Aaron Cohen is a inspiring nonfiction memoir about Aaron joining one of the most elite Israel armed forces,the commandos.The book not only shows you the life they live on the battlefield but what they deal with in there time off.The book immediately starts off with a normal day and a huge attack on a local mall.This book also doesn't just show the rough tough times but the times the ...more
Jan 21, 2012 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was cool to hear about the intense training the author had to endure in order to join the elite Israeli special forces unit. He dedicated a great deal of the book to describing those events, and spent only a little bit of time on operations he went on after joining the unit. That's understandable though, as the unit is very secretive. The end of the book, where the author describes his company, sounds like he's trying to sell his services to the reader. Perhaps it would have been better if he ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Sergio rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un resoconto dettagliato e appassionante dell'addestramento e dell'operatività di un giovane ebreo americano in una unità d'elite dell'esercito israeliano impegnata nella lotta al terrorismo narrato in prima persona; le esperienze di un giovane alla ricerca della conoscenza di se stesso e del significato della propria vita attraverso prove fisiche, mentali e psichiche al limite della rottura, raccontate in un linguaggio e in un tono semplice, mai autocelebrativo, nella consapevolezza di essere r ...more
Tin Wee
About 2/3 of the book is about the author's moving to Israel and his training. Actual accounts of actual missions form about half the remaining book, and the remainder comprises his winding down and a critique of security mind-set in the US. I don't agree with the critique although I can see where he is coming from- the reason why Israel gets away with its security regime and the US (and many countries) can't, is because the threat environs are so different. Though disappointed that actual missi ...more
An intense and at times grueling read; the author describes an incredibly tough and brutal military experience without false modesty but also without excess machismo, and also describes its psychological and emotional effects, acknowledging freely that at times it nearly broke him, as it broke or nearly broke many others.
One of the best descriptions I've read of life in the highest level of elite forces, on a par with Delta Force and Seal Team Six.
Mar 15, 2010 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best books I have read in a long time. I am an ex spec ops guy so I expect I am a little bias though. This book was well written, very informative and kept my attention from page 1-288. If you are looking for a good easy read and you are not afraid to learn something then I highly advise you to give this a try. I am not usually into the Bio or non fiction thing, but this book has changed my mind, I now may give a few more a shot.......Very well done Aaron!
Jul 05, 2012 R. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not the best prose in the world, but the author certainly has the knowledge about the operations of the IDF's special forces in the Occupied Territories. Learning about Israel's counter-terroism from the pen of a former member of the special forces was thrilling and eye-opening. The concluding portion of the book in which the author contrasts counter-terrorism in Israel vs the United States is very sobering.
Aug 07, 2014 Paula rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In light of what's happening in Gaza right now, this was a timely read. While it was basically a story of Cohen's time in the IDF, it felt more like a 'short military history of Israel'. There was also the fairly typical summary of how his experiences have affected his view on how America should deal with security. Engaging, informative and not anti-Palestinian, per se, this was a well-written, well-read (I had the audio book) story.
Feb 25, 2015 Robb rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explains how Israel is so effective against terrorists.

I had already read the book American Sniper before reading this. In similar fashion this highly trained and motivated young man does what he does best and then has a difficult time adjusting back to ordinary life in the States. I always admire Israel for its effectiveness in combatting its Arab neighbors but here you get good explanations for why they are so aggressive.
Feb 11, 2009 Lynda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an excellent book! It must be the tomboy in me but, I loved it. I heard Aaron Cohen interviewed on the radio and just had to go out and get the book. It's a fascinating story, I could not put the book down. I think it is a must read for all Americans. If nothing else read the last few chapters. We have a lot to learn about dealing with terrorists. What a guy! The training the Israeli Special Ops guys go through is unbelievable.I highly recommend this book.
Dec 02, 2015 Mauro rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una buona lettura. Malgrado non sveli particolari segreti l'autore riesce a descrivere la determinazione del popolo israeliano nel difendere la propria terra. Mi è piaciuto molto il finale quando mette a confronto le differenti percezioni di sicurezza tra chi vive in Israele ed i popoli occidentali.
Jul 02, 2009 Doug rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Terrific book. The author does a great job giving context to the fighting. That being said it is about how he struggled to accomplish what he set out to do - become a soldier in one of the most elite units possible. The strength and courage, do not give up attitude, and personal commitment the author holds to himself is extremely motivating.
Mikel Rhodes
Sep 21, 2015 Mikel Rhodes rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A must read for every American, especially the politicians & policy makers!

This book makes more sense than anything I have yet to read concerning terrorism & how to counter terrorism. This book should be a must read for every politician & policy maker in this country and if any politician or policy maker objects then they should be fired and/or recalled.
Sep 22, 2013 Julie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Ages 13+
This was a really good book. It literally transported me into his fear and the danger. I only found this book because of a report for school, but I quickly didn't even care about that, I cared about the story. It talked about an important part of Cohen's life in the most elite army in Israel, Duvdevan (meaning cherry; just a nickname)
Jul 08, 2011 Vicky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
the author seems to have a kind of arrogant attitude in the beginning of the book, and he sounds like he's trying to turn the U.S. into the way Israel is in terms of preparedness for a terrorist attack. otherwise a good, interesting book. I like how he describes the training in detail, although i find it very brutal and sometimes abusive. but still a great read.
Aug 02, 2013 Foxglove rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Incredible book, highly recommended and heart breaking. It's a terrifying and sad look at the price Israel pays each day, the beautiful young men who are screwed up by having to become warriors. I'm impressed with the dedication of Aaron and consider him extremely heroic. I came away from this book more proud to be Israel, but also more determined to do what I can to help end the conflict.
Nov 29, 2012 Tayvonne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
READ THIS! One of the best special operations books I've read and the best one on Israeli special forces. I seriously want to read more on the other groups but I don't know where to start. This was as good as I could have wished because today's Sparta and my fascination with the nation is anywhere but over instead this just fed the flames.
Jan 22, 2009 Lorraine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
In depth look at how the IDF picks and trains Special Forces units. This can be a shocking view into the reality of fighting international terrorism but a must-read for all who recognize that doing so involves extraordinary insight and national resolve when it comes to protecting the innocent.
Dec 11, 2008 Tyler rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A very good book, a gripping read, and the chilling realization that it is A TRUE STORY. I enjoyed this book, and i highly reccomend it to anyone who wants to know more about Israel, the IDF, the First and Second Intifadas, etc.
Dustin Heap
Was expecting an account of his missions as a SF. I got a few but most of it was his story leading up to entry into the SF and then a whole bunch of SF best practices and almost a pitch on his company. Wasn't a fan.
another example of insightful recent history, that is limited in bias, except by auther, but hey, he lived it!

learn difference b/t hammas and fatah, and how isrealies know that we are a joke when it comes to homeland securityt

read my freinds!
Dec 25, 2014 Jason rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great book. Less about any specific operations and more about Israeli special ops training, protocol and overall mindset. Particularly interesting having recently read Lone Survivor which had a lot on the US Navy Seal training. I couldn't put this down.
Mar 26, 2016 Bennie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book. Gives a lot of insight into the Israeli special operations units, their training and the determination it takes to make the grade without giving away classified information. Aaron Cohen makes this a great read. The last chapter is spot on regarding political correctness
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