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

Check Reviews and find answers for biographies of leaders, outstanding people and big historical figures. Before downloading your favorite book see our picks for the best biographies and memoirs of 2019. Read&Download 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi by MItchell Zuckoff,Annex Security Team Online


NOW A MAJOR MOTION
PICTURE

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 operators fought to repel the attackers
and protect the Americans stationed there. Those men went beyond the
call of duty, performing extraordinary acts of courage and heroism, to
avert tragedy on a much larger scale. This is their personal account,
never before told, of what happened during the thirteen hours of that
now-infamous attack.
13 HOURS sets the record straight on what
happened during a night that has been shrouded in mystery and
controversy. Written by New York Times bestselling author
Mitchell Zuckoff, this riveting book takes readers into the
action-packed story of heroes who laid their lives on the line for one
another, for their countrymen, and for their country.
13 HOURS
is a stunning, eye-opening, and intense book--but most importantly, it
is the truth. The story of what happened to these men--and what they
accomplished--is unforgettable.

Average Ratings and Reviews
review-bg

4.53

20079 Ratings

5

4

3

2

1


Ratings and Reviews From Market


client-img 4.8
3135
485
75
37
0
client-img 4.5
48
57
35
1
1
client-img 4.28
7192
6756
2142
3
1

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

4

Jan 17, 2016

Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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 . . .



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 bullets Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/

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 . . .



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 bullets flew, buildings burned and mortars rained. When lives were saved, lost, and forever changed.”



In case you aren’t familiar with the backstory (if you have no idea what this book is about do everyone in the U.S. a favor and refrain from voting in the next election – I don’t really care which way individuals swing, but people who know nothing about pretty in-your-face news events scare the crap out of me) it goes a lil’ something like this: Libya is an itty bitty country in Africa that has a deadly combo of a lot of money and a history of political strife. U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens so happened to be in Benghazi on a most historic anniversary – that of September 11th. Residing in a “secret” location called the Compound, Ambassador Stevens was surrounded by State Department staff . . . .

“Not combat Cos, they’re intel collectors. They’re fucking glorified desk jockeys, that’s what they are. They’re smart people, but smart doesn’t outsmart a bullet.”

The muscle? Local militiamen who (in theory) would make sure no harm came to the property or government officials residing there.

Down the road was another compound known as the “Annex” which housed private security personnel consisting of retired members of some of the military’s most elite special forces. When the poo hit the fan and the gates of the main Compound were flooded with dozens of armed men it was those men who risked their lives when the hired help (and pretty much everyone else) failed to save the day . . .




13 Hours was a remarkable story. Told by the people who were actually participating in the events, there’s no political posturing to be found. The style reads more of a “just the facts, ma’am” with the only conclusion being one that at this point in time seems so obvious . . .

“The attacks could have been prevented. That is, if only the State Department had taken appropriate steps to improve security at the Compound in response to numerous warnings during the months prior.”

I haven’t yet watched this movie because . . . well because generally I read my movies. I am intrigued, however, by the casting of Krasinsky of The Office fame in a dramatic action film. Word on the street was he was on the shortlist for Cap'n ‘Murica (which I would have been allllllll over because true to my nature I hate the current choice. Oh Chris Evans, your smarmy face is nearly as punchable as the Affleck and Damon). And while his newest endeavor has brought much joy to my Thursday evenings, I’m ready to see what else he can do . . .



My friend Mauoijenn read this one too, but no matter what I do the new “algorithm” continues to filter her off my feed so I have to cyberstalk her page once a week and play catch up. Will this tag work some magic that somehow brings her back???? If so, which one of you will next disappear????
...more
4

Apr 09, 2015

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.

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.

That doesn't, of course, mean that it's a bad book. On the contrary, it leaves a mark and it makes you think. You can see some bias, but it's not that Zuckoff is fervently defending his country against the big bad wolf - he is showing admiration and affection about the soldiers that fought in Benghazi that night. A country has nothing to do with it, there is no idealizing of the unworthy. On the contrary, the author is actually challenging some of the decisions that the American government made that night, which on the other hand makes me feel admiration to the author, as well as the Benghazi operatives. So much, in fact, that I'm actually willing to show trust, to a degree, whereas I usually have very mixed feelings about books depicting either side of a war, because I always expect too much bias and therefore changing up the events as the author sees fit. With 13 Hours I think it's possible to accept that the account of the soldiers is as realistic as it can be.

There are a few frustrating things surrounding the 9/11/2012 events though.

1. What kind of animals are these people?* I know that nowadays it's not politically correct to judge other nations and etc. But... it's animals we are talking about. I hold a firm belief that there are many Muslim people on this planet who are just normal and sane. However, there are also way too many fanatics and psychopaths. I'm not Muslim and yet I'm aware that Jihad is not necessarily war against the world and it can easily be seen as war against the self. But it is convenient for these brainwashed freaks to use their religion as an excuse to massacre thousands and millions of people, including their own, and this is something for which I think death is too little of a punishment.

* All of this is as relevant today as it was three years ago, since as everyone is aware, the brutality in the Middle East has not ceased and has, in fact, become even more horrifying.

2. What exactly happened to Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens? Because in the book, as well as in Wikipedia, it says that he died from suffocation, was later taken to the hospital and after that retrieved "fully clothed" for the flight to Tripoli. However, in many articles reigns the statement that he was tortured and raped and on the pictures, one of which also shown in the book, you can see that his shirt is badly damaged and possibly torn, if not missing altogether in other pictures. So there is no way that his body arrived "fully clothed" at the airport. And here lies one of the things that bugs me about books that have to do with military history - there are inconsistencies.

3. Where was the White house in all of this?

At first it seemed to me that they really didn't give a flying f*ck what was going on in Benghazi that night. Why didn't the troops in Spain and Italy deploy? Why weren't any planes sent? There was no help close by? It would take nine hours, counting from the start of the attack, for help to get there? GUESS WHAT: these people were fending for their lives for 13 hours. And I'm positive that if it was a hotspot that you cared more about, you'd find a way to teleport whatever and whoever you needed. But what's the life of 30 people when there is Afghanistan's oil to fight about.

But then I started thinking:

Why wasn't the team allowed to leave the Annex? What were the commanders waiting for, were they really expecting the 17 February militia to take care of this, because it seems unlikely. UNLESS: was it very convenient that yet another drama unfold, right on 9/11, to show the already frightened Americans how bad the Libyans are and how important it is that America is constantly partaking in some military conflict.

Also, it is obvious that the Compound wasn't secure and there were not nearly enough men to protect it.

Why, you'd ask?

Because the government needed American victims, innocent American blood spilled. They were obviously expecting an attack, they were even warned. Later, of course, the story pushed especially by Clinton, was that this highly organized, planned and mapped-out attack was the result of a spur of the moment anger of a handful of Libyan shepherds who were outraged by some movie. Spare me. If I went in front of the White house and threw my lit cigarette in the garden, it would be announced as the result of heavily planned riot.

So what's convenient: We pretend that we don't know anything, we pretend that everything is all right, we pretend that there is no threat. We give up as many lives as necessary and we spin the tale about how our interest lies in protecting our people and not stealing the oil of North Africa and the Middle East.

Here is the recipe:

1 x Dead ambassador aka an official representative of the United States.

3 x (or as many as possible) Dead soldiers who were doing their duty, protecting their comrades, fighting for their beloved country

= thousands of freshly motivated soldiers to continue spilling blood, thinking that this was is actually to protect the lives of their families, who are in fact thousands of miles away and least touched by these wars;

= USA keeps on fighting the good oil wars, money keeps spilling in, power keeps growing, on top of that we are helping out the world because there clearly cannot be so many people, aye? ...more
5

Nov 20, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CJBu... 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 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CJBu... 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 and movie. Strongest recommendation for anyone interested in history, the warrior, current events!

5 Stars for 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi, the story of the six Annex Security Team members who ran to the sound of gunfire on 9/11/12 in Benghazi. This is a tightly-knit account of what happened from the first terrorists entering the Special Mission Compound, the attacks on the CIA Annex and concludes when all the Americans have flown out. It is mainly what the 6-man team did and what they saw. This is a combat story, not a political one. If you saw the TV special with 3 of the team members, you will still learn much more from the book. Read this one in a day.

All six members of the reaction team were contractors, well-trained, and former military. They left the Annex against “stand-down” orders from a senior member of the onsite team. The reaction team had listened to the gunfire and frantic radio calls from the diplomatic compound a short distance away. After waiting for over 30 minutes, they decided to go:

Jack considered Rone the best driver among them, so he felt comfortable with his old friend at the wheel of the lead car. Yet he worried that they’d be ambushed along the way. His eyes still weren’t focusing properly, but he kept his head on a swivel, scanning back and forth, left and right, for hostile fighters or anything that looked out of place. Tig did the same in the backseat.

Jack mentally ticked off a list of possible hazards: roadside bombs, rocket-propelled grenades, snipers. Jack’s conflicting emotions ran on a loop in his mind: Fuck them. How dare they attack us? On the other hand: I’ll probably never see my wife and kids again. But that’s the job: We don’t have a choice. There are Americans that need our help, and we would want somebody to do the same for us. We’ll never be able to live with ourselves if we don’t make the effort. Finally he came full circle on his enemy: Fuck them.

I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about the events but the book provides new (at least to me) information. There was a drone overhead, providing real-time ISR, shortly after the attack started. The local “17 February” militia did provide some assistance to the Americans and a couple of them were pretty brave. I thought they were either no-shows or ran away. Most did but some were good allies. Until this account, I had no idea what the other Americans were doing, where they were or how they survived in the attack that killed the ambassador and the communications expert.

It is scandalous that this story is only coming out 2 years after the event. These were brave men that ran into the fight and into the fire to save their fellow countrymen. One gave his life and another was badly wounded. Highest recommendation.
...more
5

Jan 22, 2016

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 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 groups. ...more
5

Oct 27, 2014

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 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 men such as these gives rise to the hope that we may one day again be a country worthy of their sacrifice. Every American should read this book and absorb its lessons. ...more
4

Dec 30, 2014

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 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 is not for the faint of heart. If you like military books or staying up on top of worldly events, this book is just for you. ...more
4

Oct 10, 2014

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 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 key to their being there. To those who died, America owes a huge debt of gratitude and honor. ...more
5

Jan 01, 2015

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 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 for as a political tool, so, usually when i heard about it, it went out of my "other ear". But, Zuckoff wrote Lost in Shangri-la: A True Story of Survival, Adventure, and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II which is one of my favorite non-fiction book, so his new books are automatically in my "to-read" list. I read this one in a couple of days, which is fast for me. It's is one of those unputdownable ones.

As the book name says, it's about the 13 hour period of a battle/incident, and it has a Black Hawk Down -vibe going on. Zuckoff writing comes from first hand account of the operatives on the ground, so reader is truly like a fly on a night vision goggles or drone lens, take your pick. Me, the ignorant fool, didn't know about the specifics of the incident, so it read like a gripping thriller, only it was a real thing. The Operatives came alive, and i felt danger with them, there's this "Once that first bullet goes past your head, politics and all that shit just goes right out the window." -thing about them, unlike some other books about the so-called heroes. No bullshit, just guys doing their job. I felt their anger about the leader types doing their hesitation thing, and putting everyone lives in danger.

Anyway, a great book. Recommended for those who want read a first hand account of this Benghazi incident, just that, bullshit accounts about the other things can be found somewhere else. And, this whole Benghazi thing, is now something more to me, not just a thing. ...more
4

Sep 23, 2014

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.
4

May 02, 2018

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 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 not intended to support or indict anyone. The ‘operators’—as they were called—wanted to tell their story for the sake of being understood on their own terms as well as to show the heroic actions of their comrades who died or were severely injured.

Personally, I think they succeeded in their goals. The movie closely follows the book, so far as I can recall. This won’t be the last book written on what happened in Benghazi, but it is an excellent place to start. ...more
5

Sep 26, 2014

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.
4

Mar 16, 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 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 plenty of great books out there and this one can be cut down to a movie that actually really takes you to the events and makes you feel part of it.

The book tries to explain how difficult it is to tell friend from foe, and does quite a good job of it to be honest, but there's something about actually seeing how difficult that is. I can't even imagine heading into such a conflict with your rule being, let them shoot first and then shoot back so we don't hurt the guys on our side. Insanity!

This kind of turned into a film review, but both will give you a sense of the events. The book does go slightly more into the politics, but mostly to say that it's not a political commentary. I know the political right goes into how much Obama/Clinton failed, but I'm not sure I get that from this book. 13 hours is a very short amount of time when no one is anywhere near your part of the world. There were definitely mistakes made, but they seemed more on the ground level, but who really knows anymore.

3.5 out of 5 stars (recommended) ...more
4

Jan 24, 2016

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 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 surviving operators on Fox News and believed what they were saying about those 13 hours. They were there. As far as the stand down order, that Tanto and Jack heard from "Bob", I can't say with certainty if that order came from the Section Chief or Washington, D.C. All I know is what the surviving operators say that had happened that awful night. If they had left earlier, Smith and Stephens still may be alive. Perhaps, Roan and Daugherty too.

It broke my heart when each operator realized that no gunship was coming. And I grew livid. Why wasn't any military assets in the area ready to deploy given the significance of the date? The IM message that Smith sent to his gaming buddy - "If we don't die tonight." sent chills down my spine.

I did learn a few new things about the Benghazi attacks, though. I didn't know that a truck from a friendly Libyan security force stopped directly across the street from the Mission and a "security officer" was taking pictures down into the Compound from a 4th floor window of the building across the street. The Mission GRS detail didn't find that odd. Nor did they accept Roan's offer of additional operators in the Mission the night of 9/11/12. The Ambassador's negative decisions on additional security fortifications for 9/11 also surprised me. Roan, who lost his life that night, had extended his stay in Benghazi for the Ambassador's visit, and was dumbfounded when all of his suggestions were shot down.

Another fact that I didn't know was that all of the Libyan security ran away from the Compound and the operators were trapped in different parts of the Compound. The 17 February Militia that State had hired to provide additional security for both the Compound and the Annex either turned tail or didn't even show up. Those few 17 February Militiamen who did show up performed heroically. Glen "Bub" Daugherty died because he climbed up on Building C rooftop to see his old friend Roan, rather than staying inside the building with the other Tripoli operators. Jack, Tanto, Oz thought the man walking around the perimeter of the fence near Zombieland was suspicious, but didn't fire at him because he wasn't shooting at them. The guy was in fact giving GPS locations of where the men were. The 4th bombardment got bot both Roan and Daugherty. The CIA weapons trained men stayed in Building C, never volunteering to go help DB, Tig, Oz, Tanto, Jack, and the TL from the Compound. That both shocked and pissed me off. Perhaps Roan and Bub might have made it if they had helped in the Annex attacks.

What really happened in Benghazi, Libya will be made public many years from now, since the Government keeps the Top Secret classification for decades, Only the President can declassify those documents. Obama won't, neither will Clinton if she's elected. I'd like to know the entire story of what happened that night, Washington's decisions and the rationale behind those decisions. I also want to know why no one was held accountable, except for the film maker still sitting in jail. I won't live to see those answers unfortunately. ...more
5

Dec 11, 2014

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 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.S. State Department Special Mission grounds and the nearby CIA facility that night, has put together an almost minute-by-minute account of what happened there. Three of the book’s contributors allow their real names to be used: John “Tig” Tiegen, Kris “Tanto” Paronto, and Mark “Oz” Geist. Two others contribute their stories under the cover of pseudonyms: Dave “D.B.” Benton and Jack Silva. All five of the men worked for Global Response Staff and were in Benghazi as guards for the CIA’s secret facility there. The five lost two other comrades to mortar attacks sustained during the night’s fighting: Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty.

Their story is both tragic and heroic. Against staggering odds, these men fought a battle in which they could never be certain which Libyan militiamen were the enemy and which were there to help them. Often they suspected that even the Libyan militia officers in charge of forces coming to their aid were playing both sides simultaneously in an effort to survive the night themselves. With a sense of relief and gratitude, they tell of Libyans who, on their own initiative, decided to defend the Americans and help rescue those still trapped on Mission grounds. It was too late to save Ambassador Christopher Stevens and computer expert Sean Smith, but through their combined efforts about a dozen other Americans were able to escape the city with the loss of only two more lives.

Certainly, things could have gone much worse for the Americans. But, according to the men on the ground, in reality, things should have gone better than they did. The five all agree that a twenty-minute delay, during which their team leader, a man referred to in the book only as “Bob,” talked on the phone and refused to let them leave the CIA compound to begin their rescue effort, likely cost Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith their lives.

As it is, their story reads like thriller fiction, and Zuckoff presents it in that style. None of the men involved seem particularly concerned about the politics of their situation other than in how political indecision may have contributed to the delay of the start of their rescue mission. They seem as equally unconcerned about what appears to many to be a White House orchestrated attempt to keep the truth from the American public by blaming an offensive YouTube video for inciting the attack. Readers seeking those bits of truth will have to find it in another book. 13 Hours in Benghazi will tell you what happened in Benghazi that night – but not why it happened.
...more
5

Sep 16, 2014

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 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 during those 13 hours. The facts are laid out.

But facts can be stubborn things. The discrepancies between what is told here and what we were told by our elected leaders in the aftermath of this horrific event are quite astounding. The blame of the attack going to an internet video bashing Muslims is just as absurd now as it was the days and weeks following that night. How our current administration and former secretary of state can brush it off as bad intelligence is disgustingly low. They continue to deny that anyone told those men to "stand down", yet it is blatantly obvious from this account that these good soldiers furiously waited and waited to be given the green light to go save our men. I'm so glad they finally blew off their "leaders" and went anyway. They sadly reflect, however, that those precious wasted 20 minutes could have easily saved the lives of Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith. It is painfully apparent that our elected officials did not do enough. How infuriating that our military and defense is held back by so much bureaucracy. Something needs to change.

This book fills in so many gaps and helps one understand how that night unfolded. It completely humanizes the contractors involved, as well as a few others, and I really appreciated getting to know them a little better. It's also a little upsetting realizing what could have and SHOULD have been done to protect our ambassador and the other Americans in Libya. We failed them. Washington failed them, and continues to fail them with their lies, distortions, and cover-ups. The deaths of Chris Stevens, Sean Smith, Tyrone Woods, and Glen Dohorty could have been prevented. I still feel angry at this loss and the careless way it has been handled since. These men deserve much better.

Reading this book gave me a greater appreciation for these brave men and my respect for them has only grown tenfold. They are heroes. I weep for the widows and children left behind, as well as parents and siblings who still don't have answers. May God bless them. ...more
3

Mar 16, 2019

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 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, the movie is actually a bit better. Both are apolitical and try to be as neutral as possible, honoring the operators and victims, which I appreciated as well. ...more
3

Jan 30, 2017

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 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 attacks (it wasn't), and whether government officials tried to play CYA afterwards (come on, these are politicians we're talking about) - isn't discussed much until the Epilogue and avoids blaming anyone outright. The book appears to be well researched and the perspectives of the GRS survivors gives added details that might not have been available in the news accounts. However, the GRS staffers almost certainly told the story they wanted to be told, which begs the question of whether a more neutral point of view would have been preferable. Also, Zuckoff gives a pretty dry chronological reading of the events in which many characters are difficult to distinguish from one another and the narrative often drags unforgivably. ...more
5

Oct 11, 2014

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 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 or the Annex were Ambassador Stevens, a computer specialist, various members of the Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), and six CIA Contract Security Operators. This latter group consisted of ex-Navy SEALs and ex-Army Rangers. In addition to the DS agents and CIA Operators, there were agreements with two Libyan militia groups to provide supplemental security when and if needed. The trustworthiness of these Libyan militia members was very suspect, at best.

About nine months prior to this period Ambassador Stevens had been the Special Envoy to Libya assigned to the Benghazi Mission. Since that time the ambassador position had become vacant and Chris Stevens was appointed as the new ambassador assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya. He had just arrived in Benghazi on September 10, 2012 for a few days visit to meet with the mayor and city council as well as to renew prior acquaintances from his days as the Special Envoy.

The U.S. State Department had very recently issued a travel warning for Libya, cautioning that political violence could erupt in the country at any time and any place. In spite of this warning the State Department had turned down repeated requests for additional security, including extending the presence of a Site Security Team (SST) which consisted of 16 active duty military special operators.

Just after 10:00 P.M. on 11th anniversary of the “9/11” attacks on the World Trade Centers and Pentagon, an unknown number of attackers, perhaps 20 or 30, struck the Compound. They found diesel fuel containers and sloshed it around in the primary residence then set it afire. This was the very building were Ambassador Stevens, computer specialist Sean Smith, and DS Agent Scott Wickland had sought refuge from the attack in the specially fortified “safe-haven” room. As it turned out this safe haven became an oven in which Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith died from smoke inhalation.

When they first heard the frantic requests for assistance from the Compound, the CIA Contract Security Operators “jocked up,” i.e., dressed in theie fighting gear and getting their weapons and ammunition assembled. They were ready to depart for the one-half mile trip to the Compound to provide additional help to fight the terrorists. When they were in the vehicles and ready to go, they were told to “stand down” by the CIA officer at the Annex while he contacted the local “friendly” Libyan militia. He didn’t want to have to reveal the identity of the CIA personnel assigned there. Finally, after about 20 minutes of delay the Operators on their own initiative left for the Compound. When they finally arrived, the terrorists had disbursed. The Operators spent much of the time right after their arrival trying to rescue Stevens and Smith from the still burning building. They made multiple trips into the building but could only stay a few minutes each because of the intense heat and acrid smoke. They located Smith’s body but could not find the Ambassador. They felt sure that the terrorists would regroup and return so they departed for the Annex as soon as they could.

As soon as they arrived at the Annex, they went to their assigned defensive positions and awaited the inevitable attack there. They didn’t have to wait very long for the first of several attacks. The terrorists used mortars with deadly accuracy during a second attack, killing two of the Operators. Supplemental help arrived from Tripoli. Soon they were able to round up a group of friendly Libyan militia members and were able to leave the Annex for the airport and finally they were able to depart Benghazi, having suffered the deaths of three and possibly four of their group. The ambassador was still considered “missing” at this point. His body was found a little later by a friendly Libyan and taken to the hospital. He had died of smoke inhalation. Arrangements were made to get his body shipped home to the United States.

So much has been written and/or discussed by various individuals and the “talking heads” on television about this terrible incident. Almost all of it was slanted toward what was politically in the best interest of the person or persons making the comments. “Thirteen Hours” is an on-the-scene, objective account from those present and integrally involved in what actually took place without any “political spin” to deflect blame. This account was extremely well written. I very highly recommend it to all who want to know the real facts of these horrible terrorist attacks.

[Book 33 of 2013 Target 50 (Jan-5; Feb-2; Mar-4; Apr-1; May 4; Jun-2; Jul-4; Aug-1; Sep-5; Oct-5)]
...more
3

Aug 19, 2015

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 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 firsthand, eyewitness account of the Battle of Benghazi from the guys who actually participated in it is a valuable resource, to say the least. Zuckoff's narrative is not only clear, concise, & well-paced, but it is also even-handed and fair when it comes to the political overtones associated with the event. The book accomplishes what it sets out to do, which is to give an apolitical account of what took place, regardless of what anyone thinks in regards to the why. Zuckoff presents both sides and acknowledges that the battle ended up becoming a hot-button political issue, but he does so in a way that an author of this kind of work should: by the end, you can't tell if he leans left or right, pro- or anti-administration on the issue.

If anybody out there is even remotely interested in reading this book to find out what happened over there, you most definitely should. You will not be disappointed.

My only criticism (and the reason for the 3-star-and-not-more review), is something not unique to 13 Hours. It is a trend I've noticed with many of the accounts I've read of modern warfare. Namely, it is that the writing seems to be deliberately (and often needlessly) simplistic. There are things in this book that don't diminish the emotional impact or historical import of the battle itself, but just come off a bit (a bit!) cheesy simply because of the way about which they are written.

I am by no means a published author and I'm not trying to make ticky-tack criticisms of Mitchell Zuckoff, but I can't help but wonder if there is some sort of mass appeal/lowest common denominator marketing ideal determining how many of these modern war books get written. I've read a handful that didn't succumb to this trend (Black Hawk Down is a great example), but too many of them seem to sell their subject matter a bit short because of what seems to be an undue concern with regards to accessibility.

All-in-all, though, a fine book and one definitely worth reading. ...more
4

Feb 01, 2016

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 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 to travel on foot to the diplomatic compound from the end of an access road to the entry gate, nothing happens. All the men are former military having served in Iraq, Afghanistan or the Balkans; they also did not speak the local language. They report they had no interest in local Libyan problems or that of the U.S. agencies or departments they were protecting. When the action began, it had my rapt attention.

The book is a crisply written, gripping narrative of the events of the battle in the compound. The men Zuckoff interviewed said this is only an account of what happened that night and has nothing to do with any governmental or political controversy over the event. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible and a hardback book. The author narrated the book.
...more
4

Apr 07, 2015

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 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 be years before we know the full story and all that was behind the events of those nights, but this book is a great place to begin to understand precisely what happened at the point of action that night, but if you’re searching for the answers as to why, this book only really addresses those related to security in hostile countries. I enjoyed the book, though, and recommend it to those looking to get a better picture of the events of that night.
...more
4

Oct 19, 2016

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: 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: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi” precisely because of the political bullshit surrounding the tragedy. My reasoning was that very few “objective” authors could pull off a completely unbiased reportage of the event.

I was wrong.

Zuckoff’s book succeeds in being as objective as possible, making a sincere effort to remove the politics from the story and focusing solely on the people on the ground whose lives were directly affected. Much like Mark Bowden’s 1999 classic book “Black Hawk Down”, “13 Hours” is an intense, minute-to-minute account of soldiers and civilians trying to stay alive, fighting not for causes or political reasons but to save the lives of fellow Americans.

Zuckoff interviewed the surviving members of the Annex Security Team, the contractors hired to protect the diplomatic compound and the Americans working within it. These men were part of a CIA-owned company known as Global Response Staff (GRS), comprised of former Special Forces operatives acting as glorified bodyguards.

There was much confusion on that night when Islamic terrorists belonging to the terrorist group known as Ansar al-Sharia attacked the compound.

The Libyan militia known as the February 17th Martyrs Brigade hired as local support to protect the compound suspiciously left their posts prior to the attack, leaving the compound wide open.

What happened next is still in dispute considering members of the compound and the Annex team were all separated at the time, but each Annex team member managed to piece together a timeline of events. Firefights ensued and a rescue attempt was made to find survivors of the diplomatic compound. In the end, after 13 intense brutal hours, four Americans were dead, including two members of the Annex team.

Despite several intelligence reports that stated that an attack on an embassy or diplomatic compound in Tripoli or Benghazi was planned, Ambassador Christopher Stevens decided to go to Benghazi anyway. By all accounts, Stevens was one of those rare ambassadors who truly cared about building lasting and peaceful relationships in the countries to which he was assigned. He was fifty-two years old.

Likewise, Sean Smith was a well-liked State Department communications officer, a computer nerd who loved video games. He was married with two young children. He was thirty-four years old.

Tyrone “Rone” Woods was a former Navy Seal who retired to become a nurse and paramedic before being hired by GRS. Rone was looking forward to getting back home to his wife and children, as he had announced that Benghazi would be his last mission with GRS. He was retiring for good. He was forty-one years old.

Glen “Bub” Doherty was also a former Navy Seal and a close friend of Rone’s. He was attached to the Tripoli GRS team and had just arrived that day to Benghazi. He was forty-two years old.

Zuckoff talks about the controversies surrounding the Benghazi attack: the talking points about an anti-Islamist Youtube video; the supposed protests; the apparent lack of added security for the compound; the lack of air strikes; the “stand down” orders that, according to the CIA, were never given, despite testimony to the contrary by every member of the GRS.

He mentions them but, thankfully, does not dwell on them. Not because they aren’t important issues that need to be addressed but because they are not part of the story he was trying to tell. ...more
5

Sep 22, 2014

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.
4

Sep 11, 2017

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 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 liked how this was a story about these men, what they did, and why. War is not a favorite topic to read about for me, fiction or nonfiction, but this was definitely worth the time. ...more
5

Oct 09, 2014

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 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 and preserved the honor of this great nation when others surrendered it. ...more

Best Books from your Favorite Authors & Publishers

compare-icon compare-icon
Thousands of books

Take your time and choose the perfect book.

review-icon review-icon
Read Reviews

Read ratings and reviews to make sure you are on the right path.

vendor-icon vendor-icon
Multiple Stores

Check price from multiple stores for a better shopping experience.

gift-icon

Enjoy Result