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13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  18,563 ratings  ·  1,551 reviews
The harrowing, true account from the brave men on the ground who fought back during the Battle of Benghazi.

13 Hours presents, for the first time ever, the true account of the events of September 11, 2012, when terrorists attacked the US State Department Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA station called the Annex in Benghazi, Libya. A team of six American security o
Hardcover, Large Print, 432 pages
Published September 30th 2014 by Twelve (first published September 9th 2014)
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Jake Danishevsky There is strong language involved. I do however feel that anyone can benefit from learning information in this book, so it is up to the discretion of …moreThere is strong language involved. I do however feel that anyone can benefit from learning information in this book, so it is up to the discretion of the parent to decide if the child would gain some benefit over the language. We listened to audio CD in the car, my second time listening and my 15 year old was in the car, because I wanted him to know the events that took place, minus the language. I figured that they hear this language from other sources and I rather he was in my company listening to something as important as this than some rap video that I don't know about. I hope this helps. (less)
Dillon I knew that this would get brought up haha. I think that this case including her needs to be brought up because for some reason the lady that got peop…moreI knew that this would get brought up haha. I think that this case including her needs to be brought up because for some reason the lady that got people killed is still able to run for president. (less)

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Start your review of 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi
“Several dozen men, chanting in Arabic and firing AK-47s into the air, swarmed through the pedestrian entrance at the Compound’s main gate. Eventually their numbers swelled to more than sixty. Some were bearded, some were clean-shaven. Some wore black T-shirts and camouflage pants, some wore jeans and white or brightly colored shirts. Some wore tactical military-style vests…Some carried walkie-talkies. Some were young and lean, others were portly and middle-aged. A few hid their faces with scarv ...more
Kelly (and the Book Boar)
Find all of my reviews at:

Know what today is? Iowa Caucus Day. I bet there’s nothing Hillary Clinton would like more than a walk down memory lane back to September 11, 2012 . . .

Palm Springs commercial photography

Just kidding. I don’t talk politics on social media. The great thing about 13 Hours is that IT didn’t talk politics either. Here, allow me to let the book speak for itself . . . .

“It is about what happened on the ground, in the streets, and on the rooftops of Benghazi, when bull
Jeannette Nikolova
Apr 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Read on the WondrousBooks blog.

To the point: this is a very powerful and captivating book. It's also highly informative about not only the events themselves, but prior to that, about Libya's state before and after the fall of Gaddafi.

The writing of the author is what you'd expect from a journalist: to the point and making an impression. I shy from saying that I enjoyed his style, because the events of 13 Hours are so horrifying that I can't say there is any place for enjoying anything in it.
Nov 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing Hope it does justice to the story.*

*The movie does great justice to the story. It is apolitical, just as the book was. It is a graphic account of the 13 hours from start to end of the attacks. Even though the movie (and book) are apolitical and do not mention/depict any political party or leader, you will walk out of the theater with a strong opinion of various organizations. You will understand why certain individuals and organizations are trashing book
L.A. Starks
Jan 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This book, the account of what happened in the Benghazi raids that killed Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other brave men, from the perspective of the men who fought for and saved so many American lives, deserves to be widely read and/or seen in its movie format.

It reads like a Vince Flynn or Brad Taylor novel but is true.

I especially recommend 13 Hours to members of the Orion and the Action/Adventure groups at Goodreads, as well as to the Good Thriller and the Mystery, Crime, and Thriller gr
Teresa A. Lukach
Every American Should Read This Book

These were heroic men of mythic proportion. Their exceptional valor, selfless devotion to duty and country, and extraordinary courage under fire stand in inverse proportion to the treacherous, self-serving, and cowardly actions - and inactions - of the government officials who put them at risk, then left them to die to preserve nothing more than their own petty power and political viability. That, under such circumstances, our Nation is still able to produce m
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: military
Also read this book before I am going to watch the movie and boy am I glad I read it. This is a great, yet tragic story and it is very well told by Mitchell Zuckoff. He really nails this book on the head with his "boots on the ground" story telling and he covers all the angles of the events unfolding during that fateful night in Benghazi. He leaves out all the politics and just tells the honest story of the brave men that was there. Mr. Zuckoff can be really proud of this book as he really does ...more
My boyfriend picked this book up from our local library as he stays up to date on all military news stuff, I on the other hand know who we are at war with and about big news stories, but other than that sadly not so much. But this book grabbed my attention,. I remember when this happened not too long ago and the controversy it still causes, so I was interested. This book was packed with minute to minute drama that unfolded on that fateful day. I really didn't know what I was expecting but this i ...more
First, this not a politically motivated "Benghazi expose", it's a narrative style story about the team of six American security operators (the operatives), and how they fought to repel the attackers and protect the Americans stationed in Benghazi. It's written by Mitchell Zuckoff, an author i knew that can write a gripping non-fiction narrative, so, just based on the author i decided to read this one. And, i was very glad i did so.

This whole Benghazi thing is covered with so much bullshit, just
Oct 10, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you want to know what actually happened in Benghazi with out the political spin, this is an excellent source of understanding. Told by and through the experiences of the men who were there, who were witnesses to the tragedy that befell these brave Americans. Those who fought and defended though woefully inadequate in their ability to do so, fought bravely and courageously for their fellow American in both the Annex and the Consulate. To these people honor and dedication to one another was the ...more
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
My politics lean Democrat. However, I've been curious, from the get go, about learning what happened on 9/12/12.

This book is well written. I finished it over just a couple of nights. The author has done a good job of not only laying out the facts, but doing so in a way that makes an exciting read.

I recommend this book.
Marvin Watts
Sep 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
These men are heroes. They died trying to save their fellow Americans while our politicians did nothing. For Hillary Clinton to say that a video caused the attack was outrageous.

As far as the book itself, it was very well written. The perspective of the operators helped to bring a very realistic and chilling account.
Although this isn't my usual reading fare and took me rather long to read, I appreciated the author’s non-partisan approach to a polarizing event in our nation’s recent history. The events of September 11-12, 2012 are relayed from the perspective of the Annex Security Team members, those called in to defend Ambassador Stevens, and therefore most immediately involved in the attack.

The information is drawn from the testimony of the survivors, supplemented with maps, photographs and testimony and
Mar 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, 2018
Two admissions that are toward the bottom of the list of admissions I'd thought I'd ever make.

1. I quite enjoyed a 2016 Michael Bay film.

2. Said film is possibly better than the book.

Having watched the movie, 13 Hours (directed by Michael Bay btw), first before listening to the book, I can pretty much say the movie actually faithfully followed the book. Almost scene for scene as far as my terrible memory goes.

For once, I'm actually just recommending the movie instead of the book. There are ple
3.5 stars. I liked the succinct context given in the earlier part of the book, about the historical regional political division of Libya and the then state of affairs in the aftermath of the Arab Spring. The following combat account is gripping, well-written, detailed, and kept me to my seat until late at night here. However, compared to some modern combat stories I read so far, the personal, individual accounts in between could be less cheesy, or maybe should be kept to a minimal. On that front ...more
Anne  (Booklady) Molinarolo
4.5 Stars

Benghazi has become both controversial and political. Never for one moment did I believe that the attack on the the Mission and Annex in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11/12 was a protest to an anti-Muslim video. But covering up what exactly happened in Benghazi created the ballooning controversy surrounding the attack. I suspect that whole narrative was used to cover up the fact that the CIA had a presence there. What they were doing there, I don't really want to know. I've seen 3 of the surviv
Sep 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: politics
Powerful narrative of the night of September 11, 2012 in Benghazi. I have been completely intrigued with this controversy (aka scandal) since its inception, constantly searching for truth. The author does an exceptional job telling the story and timeline of events from the point of views of the six main contractors enlisted to help protect the compound and annex in Benghazi. Anyone from any side of the aisle can appreciate the straight-forward approach and nonpartisan detail of what happened dur ...more
I enjoyed reading this action packed true story about the killing of our Ambassador to Libya. This book does not dwell on matters of U. S. foreign or security policy, or for that matter on Libya. Mitchell Zuckoff is a Boston University journalism professor. Zuckoff interviewed five CIA security contractors and the story is a minute-by-minute account of what they saw, thought and did on the night of September 11-12 in Benghazi.

The book drags at times; it takes more than twenty pages for the men t
Thirteen Hours is a first-hand account of what really happened at the U.S. State Department Special Mission Compound and the nearby CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya from the night of September 11, 2012 and into the late morning of September 12, 2012. It was during this thirteen-hour period of time that Libyan terrorists stormed the Compound and Annex multiple times with the resulting deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens.

The Americans located at either the Compound o
Sam Sattler
Dec 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war, muslim-culture
Truth is in short supply these days.

The entire truth about why American Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans died in Benghazi, Libya, on the night of September 11-12, 2012, for instance, may never be known - especially the part about decisions made in the White House as events unfolded. But if you want to know exactly what happened on the ground that night, 13 Hours in Benghazi is a book you need to read.

Mitchell Zuckoff, with the help of five of the men who defended the U.
Aug 19, 2015 rated it liked it
Before the 3-star review throws anyone off too much, let me be clear right up front: this is a GOOD book. The narrative is quickly-paced, Zuckoff does a remarkable job of keeping all of the disparate pieces of information together in a way that doesn't allow the reader to get lost or confused (not an easy thing to do when it comes to real-life warfare narratives), and, bottom line, 13 Hours is a relatively quick and very enjoyable read.

What's more is that this is an IMPORTANT book. The firsthan
RJ from the LBC
This book provides an inside look at the September 11, 2012 attacks on the US State Department Compound and nearby CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya. Author Zuckoff gives co-author credits to the five surviving members of the CIA's Global Response Staff (GRS) who fought the attackers and attempted to rescue US Ambassador Christopher Stevens. The fallout from the attacks - regarding whether the Compound was adequately prepared for defense (it wasn't), whether adequate support was provided during the a ...more
Apr 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book seeks to be as apolitical as possible (given the controversy surrounding this episode), simply recounting the events of 9/11/2012, when the Embassy of the United States of America at Benghazi, Libya, was attacked, and the ambassador and several others were killed and others seriously wounded. It does examine a few factors as to why, but it generally avoids pointing the finger of blame, as the survivors who were behind the book primarily wanted to explain the sequence of events.
It could
Scott Rhee
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
The tragedy in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012 that left four Americans dead has been politicized to the point where many people (myself included) are sick and tired of hearing about it. It’s easy to forget---amidst all the accusations of cover-ups, conspiracies, bad judgments, mistakes, and political jockeying---that real lives were affected that day, that good men lost their lives and families and loved ones lost fathers, brothers, sons.

I didn’t want to read Mitchell Zuckoff’s “13 Hours:
Took me a long time to listen to this, as my commute has gotten WAY shorter than it used to be.

Zuckoff's telling of the Battle of Benghazi is action-packed, heart-wrenching, and about as apolitical as it's possible to be when describing a tragedy that could have been largely avoided. Indeed, while he correctly notes that response to Benghazi largely breaks down along Liberal/Democrat-Conservative/Republican lines, he otherwise avoids post mortem comments other than to note in his brief epilogue
Sep 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I definitely had to be in right mood to get through this. This entire book is about a 13 hour block of time that has been colored by many political figures in many different ways. But the author, Mitchell Zuckoff, pulled this story off without any of that wiggling its way in. I enjoyed his journalistic approach to this. I've read 2 other books by him and enjoyed them as well.

I think what touched me the most, was the dedication of these men who went in and fought this battle. They were heroes. I
Sep 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Well told and written.

This book is written transporting you to the 13 hours as if you are there watching...readers become so involved in the account of what happened, making the events that occurred so real still that one reading can see, feel, and even almost smell all that is being described. The back story given is informative as well as the brief history of Libya in the beginning of the book. Thank you to the authors and to those involved in saving and bringing Americans home.
Lr Berenda
Oct 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book not only puts you in the middle of a chaotic location and situation, it brings the fear and exhilaration of a firefight that still has my hands trembling. The book documents events leading to a terrifying ordeal. It captures the fortitude of these heroic individuals who exploited their faith and skill to survive while preserving the lives of others. The most amazing aspect is how Mr. Zuckoff captures the spirit of these men, who didn't perform their duty; they assumed the duty of others ...more
May 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This objective and well written book is a shocking, infuriating, and tragic account of the events that occurred at the US State Department Special Mission Compound and the CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya on September 11-12, 2012 as told to the author by the surviving members of the contract operator team who were there to help protect the Americans. It is a moving, unforgettable and riveting first hand account of the attack that is a must read for people interested in current affairs.
Feb 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: non-fiction
13 Hours was an American book through and through. Take that as you will but in my opinion it's a very accurate description. It put me off but if you're all about guns and flags and Trump and SUVs and cheap oil then fuck yeah, free the hell out of that mothafucka!

As a pacifist non-American and more importantly a person who hadn't heard of or at least couldn't remember hearing of the Benghazi incident I was probably not the right target group for this book. The event itself and some of the histor
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Mitchell Zuckoff is a professor of journalism at Boston University. He is the author of Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II. His previous books are: Robert Altman: The Oral Biography, one of's "Best Books of 2009"; Ponzi's Scheme: The True Story of a Financial Legend, a New York Times Editors' Choice book; and Ch ...more

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