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American Soldier

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,128 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
American Soldier
Hardcover, 590 pages
Published July 1st 2004 by Easton Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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Cordell
Jul 03, 2008 Cordell rated it really liked it
Very interesting book. I enjoyed this explanation of the lead up to the invasion of AFG and Iraq. At least from his point of view and in the way he tells it, the lead up to war jumped through all the right hoops before actually committing. I think if you read this book your takeaway would be that it was inevitable unless you are all bluff.

A couple of other observations. One, he was clearly a good general and officer but he suffers from something that all of us suffer from and that is relying on
...more
Thomas Hill
Dec 10, 2015 Thomas Hill rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story, is about the life of the United States Army General, Tommy Franks, and how he ascended from the rank of Second Lieutenant all the way up to being the Commander In Chief of the United States Central Command. As an autobiography, Tommy Ray Franks is the main character in this book. However, many of the significant characters include, Cathryn Jane Carley Franks, General Norman Schwarzkopf, King Abdullah II of Jordan, Crown Prince Abdullah II of Saudi Arabia, President Hosni Mubarak of ...more
Jerome
Feb 16, 2012 Jerome rated it really liked it
Very interesting, very easy read. Franks is very earthy, lacing his talk with profanity and seeming like a parade ground master sergeant; you certainly can't confuse him for an intellectual, more of an innovator.He attended high school with Laura Bush and served in Vietnam. he later became head of the Third Army. Most of it covers Franks' tenure as the commander of CENTCOM during the start of both the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In these invasions, Franks repudiated the Powell doctrine with sp ...more
Erik
Oct 25, 2008 Erik rated it really liked it
Good autobiography on a respectable man and his rise in the Army. But as importantly, it reminded me what we have forgotten or overlooked: that during the 1990's Sadam Hussein was an increasingly flagrant and belligerent international menace, and high-ranking people--including then-President Clinton--were beginning to draw up plans for his ouster, by invasion if necessary. All this a few years before 9/11.
James Pritchert
Nov 21, 2016 James Pritchert rated it it was amazing
This book is excellent pure and simple. I was amazed at all of the similarities between us and I immediately formed a bond with the author. It appears that in our youth, we booth took similar paths to the Army and of course he succeeded enormously while I turned a patriotic but more mediocre performance. That notwithstanding, I highly enjoyed the story of his life and how he went about orchestrating the overthrow of Sadam Hussein. This story include some wonderful insights into General Franks pe ...more
Dan Walker
A very interesting book (I listened to the audiobook), particularly when reviewing Franks' experiences in Vietnam, where he earned 3 purple hearts. Most of the book covers Franks' leadership of US Central Command during the invasions of both Afghanistan and Iraq. In these invasions Franks repudiated the Colin Powell doctrine from the first Iraq War of striking with massive force. Instead, Franks relied on speed while delivering precise, overwhelming firepower. Advanced technology, able to overco ...more
Jonathan McLeod
Feb 12, 2013 Jonathan McLeod rated it it was amazing
Shelves: history-politics
I enjoyed reading American Soldier. In his memoir, Franks shared a very candid inspection of his life: the good, the bad, and the ugly. I was surprised to discover a flag officer willing to admit many of the unremarkable points in his career; such as his dismal marks in college or that he enlisted while hung over. Though there were moments I felt I was being sold a used car, like when Franks shared his opinions on certain supervisors; many of his revelations certainly made him more personable.

I
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Chip Hunter
Dec 31, 2016 Chip Hunter rated it it was amazing
Besides outlining the spectacular and honorable life a spectacular and honorable American, this book clearly illustrates the amount of work that our guys have put into the wars in Afganistan and Iraq. Both have truly been great success stories the likes of which have never been witnessed before in history. The incredible speed and accuracy of our armed forces have resulted in two wars with never before seen domination of the enemy and unheard of low levels of civilian casualties. This book makes ...more
osama rabie
Jan 17, 2014 osama rabie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
ده من اهم الكتب السياسية و العسكرية اللي ممكن تقرأها,و نقدر نقسمه علي كذا جزء
اولا الجزء العسكري
التغيرات اللي حصلت في الولايات المتحدة و عقيدتها القتالية من خلال 4 حروب خاضهم تومي ابتداء بفيتنام و الاستراتيجية العسكرية المبنية علي القصف المدفعي و العدد الضخم من الجنود مرورا بعاصفة الصحراء اللي ابتدي يبقي فيها شوية تقنيات حديثة و كان اول ظهور او استخدام للابرامز و استخدام التوما هوك لتدمير تجمعات الجنود و الرادارات و مراكز القيادة و السيطرة,بعدها حرب افغانستان و اول ظهور لطائرات البريديتور و تقدم
...more
Relstuart
Jan 17, 2013 Relstuart rated it liked it
Very interesting to read about how the attack in Afganistan and Iraq was planned and executed. Includes behind the scenes discssions with the President and Rumsfeld during and after 9/11. Also interesting to note the differences in how we have changed the way our military command structure works with CENTCOM commanding all services in a geographical area rather than the different branches of the services controlling their assets as we did in WWII, Korea, and Vietnam. It seems like the practice w ...more
Lisa
Feb 05, 2016 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mindy
Jun 17, 2007 Mindy rated it liked it
I am about 1/2 the way through this book. I don't know if I will finish it or not. I read it for my book report for OCS. It is interesting to me mostly because he started out as an enlisted soldier (like me), he was selected for MI (like me), he worked in a field similar to mine, he was in the honor guard (I was color guard for a year at dli), and he went to OCS, and did well, and eventually became a general. His few stories about OCS make me laugh (we don't have that kind of harsh treatment her ...more
Derrick
Apr 13, 2008 Derrick rated it really liked it
Shelves: biography
An extremely easy book to read. I actually had to do a report on him when I was in ROTC. The first half of the book is his career and how he got started. It seemed as though he just stumbled up the chain and had a lot of lucky breaks. The second half is his time as commander during the war. Like I said the book was easy to read, and I would suggest it for anyone in the military. It was written in a military format, in that every chapter or section he summarized everything he was going to talk ab ...more
Donald Ball
Aug 15, 2013 Donald Ball rated it it was amazing
After hearing this man speak and reading this book, I wish he'd run for President of the US. During my stint in the US Navy, I learned the difference between an officer and a leader. You obey an officer because you have to. You obey a leader because you want to. The reader will learn what it takes to be a leader and it goes far beyond a loud commanding and unfaltering voice. It takes those quiet moments when he reflects on the decisions he must make, knowing full well whatever it is, others may ...more
James Garrett
Jan 05, 2015 James Garrett rated it it was amazing
I think the American public should read this book in order to understand the process, complexities, and the politics that General Franks coped with during his tenure as the CENTCOM commander of our military forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. War is not like that portrayed by the Hollywood elite or those who supported the war on terror in the beginning and then spoke out being against it later. Gen Franks highlights things that were new to me and really puts the focus where it belongs, the will and ...more
Isaiah Strick
Apr 05, 2016 Isaiah Strick rated it it was amazing
This book was inspirational for sure. It gives you a whole nother level of respect for people. This books teaches you about combat strategies, it shows you the process of Tommys progress and shows how important some peoples roles are in the military. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to learn about warfare in the middle east or hunting down Bin Laden or even the life of Tommy Franks. ...more
Bigmg
Jun 30, 2009 Bigmg rated it it was amazing
Great story of a man who found his way in the Army. Close to getting kicked out of college and no idea what to do in life, he joins the Army.
With astonishing drive and intelligence now unleashed he transformed much of what the military thinks and does.
The epilogue on middle east affairs isn't necessary, but he feels very strongly about that part of the world. And, really, I don't know many other thinkers who could do better.
Overall, this is a very inspiring book.
Mark McNulty
May 19, 2013 Mark McNulty rated it it was amazing
This was one of the best memoirs I have read in recent years. Tommy Franks tells his story with honesty and clarity. It had me laughing, got me deep in thought, made me angry, made me proud, and taught me a lot about our military all at the same time. I took away so much more than that from this book. It is a joy to read and a learning experience in so many ways. I do not think you will ever regret reading this, even at its large size.
Pat Jones
Feb 11, 2009 Pat Jones rated it it was amazing
The book "American Soldier" is General Tommy Franks biography, incuding his strategy about Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF) and Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF). The book gives you an insight into the "ramp up to war" thinking of the Bush administration. Although the administration could have done a better job, President Bush didn't have much of a choice about the strategy in Afghanistan and Iraq. I understand Bush's thinking better now.
Rich Humes
Dec 03, 2015 Rich Humes rated it liked it
Interesting book, everyone interested in history and/or politics should pick it up.

I almost wish he'd written two books. One about Vietnam and another about the "War on Terror".

Regardless of my opinions on the Iraq War, it's neat to lift the veil and see what the high level planning looked like.

Easy read but some parts seem a little clichéd, like a G.I. Joe comic.
Beth W
Feb 26, 2008 Beth W rated it really liked it
A little slow getting started but ultimately a necessary piece to how we ended up where we are now with Iraq. Cool timing for me to be reading through books I bought and never read. This was published some time ago when no one--let alone Franks--would have foreseen the completely quagmire.... (Except, apparently, Obama.) (Who I support, by the way.) Interesting look back in time.
Holly
Aug 22, 2008 Holly rated it it was amazing
I thought this was an incredible book - only my third MH read and thought it was well written and entertaining. I read this shortly after I read jawbreaker...everyone that reads this should read that as well - my the difference sides of the story you get when two different people tell it! He's a little too lovey dovey with Mr. Bush for me..but otherwise, very good.
Joseph Howard
Sep 12, 2012 Joseph Howard rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Those who are interested in American history, military history, and politics.
Very insightful and will cause you to realize that if General Franks had been given the chance to enter, conduct the war, and leave...Iraq would have been an overwhelming success...probably within 2 to 3 years, max! General Franks is a true American hero, and I highly suggest this book for any military history buff. The man "tells it like it is", plain and simple!
Greg Snyder
Dec 29, 2014 Greg Snyder rated it really liked it
I enjoyed reading this book. General Tommy Franks led our troops into both Afghanistan and Iraq. I do not believe in the politics that led us into Iraq but he did his job as the commander of CENTCOM. He retired shortly after Paul Bremer became the ambassador of Iraq and completely screwed up the direction the US was going. If you like military books I highly recommend you read it.
Mark Rhodes
Jan 03, 2011 Mark Rhodes rated it it was amazing
General Franks is a straight shooter and gives you a good look at the plans of the Iraq and Afgan wars, the behind the scenes conversations that took place.

He also gives you a look into the life of General Franks from a small boy to the General he is today.

Slow in some spots but overall a good read.
Connie
Mar 22, 2010 Connie added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Connie by: Galen
Shelves: couldn-t_finish
I made it to page 349 and just cannot go on.

I really enjoyed reading about his life and how he got to the rank of commander in chief. But the details of the warfare were bogging me down. I hadn't picked it up in quite a while and was feeling dread in finishing it, so it's over.

I think the grenades in mason jars were very clever, how times have changed.
Katrina
Nov 29, 2014 Katrina rated it really liked it
Actually this was an audiobook that I listened to but actually enjoyed it. The life story Tommy Franks is gripping and interesting. He navigated amid politics, and personal challenges and carved a career for himself that seems to have ended on a good note. I always like to hear peoples stories and this is a good one.
Gail Alexander
Jul 04, 2009 Gail Alexander rated it really liked it
This is a great book about a great American. And to boot, he's a "good ole Midland boy." I learned that not only is General Franks a brilliant tactician, he is a Godly man whose faith is extremely important to him. I recommend this book to anybody who has any interest at all in military history or the war on terror.
Ethan
Jun 24, 2008 Ethan rated it it was amazing
This auto-biography was incredible. I was there for some of the stuff he talked about, way down the chain and on the ground, of course, but it all rang true. It's well written, informative, and just plain good. Incredible even.
Justin Wright
Sep 07, 2013 Justin Wright rated it it was ok
Great insight into what made the COCOM tick during some of America's toughest conflicts over the last 5 decades. I enjoyed Gen Franks sincere account of the synergies and in-fighting within the National Command Authority during the operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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