Reviews for My Share of the Task : A Memoir


Book News Reviews
In this memoir, McChrystal, a retired four-star general in the US Army who teaches at Yale U.'s Institute for Global Affairs, traces his military career. He graduated from West Point in 1976, joined the army after Vietnam, and led the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) from 2003 to 2008. Focusing on historical events and leadership aspects, he describes the leaders he served with; how the JSOC found and removed terrorists like the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Masub al-Zarqawi, and helped capture Saddam Hussein; and how he commanded the NATO coalition in Afghanistan from 2009-2010. Annotation ©2013 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

----------------------
Kirkus Reviews 2013 March #2
A steely jawed if by-the-numbers memoir of military life--one that, readers may recall, ended in political imbroglio. McChrystal, a military brat like so many career officers, came close to being the class goat early in his years of service. Though he takes pains to distinguish between demerits born of "shenanigans" and those born of violations of honor, he admits that "low academic, disciplinary, and physical training scores" at West Point threatened to end his career before it began--though his transgressions were nothing compared to the shock against the honor system that the Vietnam-era inflation of body counts entailed. He survived, made significant improvements and fulfilled his goal of joining the Rangers, then began his steady rise through the ranks. His elevation to high command came with the Iraq War, which he recounts with acronym-studded yet illuminating detail, as when he writes that even though there was considerable division among the insurgent groups in the wake of Saddam Hussein's fall, they still fought "within [al-Qaida leader] Zarqawi's strategic framework." McChrystal is cautious when writing of both allies and enemies alike, though he notes approvingly that among the British forces' leadership was a clear opponent of the war "whose unvarnished critiques of the Coalition's campaign could be uncomfortable but necessary antidotes to the too-often insular world of military high command." It was, of course, a series of reported critiques of his commander-in-chief that ended McChrystal's term; he writes of this without rancor while insisting that the Rolling Stone reporter got it wrong. Less revealing than it might have been, though, between the lines, McChrystal offers plenty of evidence of the fraud and folly of Afghanistan. Likely to be a must-read on the Metro line to the Pentagon. Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2013 February #3

Retired four-star general McChrystal provides a candid look back across his nearly four decade-long career, musing on leadership and immersing the reader in wartime missions. Raised in an Army family, he began as a West Point cadet, followed that with Ranger school, and, after ascending the Army ranks, was deployed for Pentagon postings in Iraq and Afghanistan. McChrystal describes his experiences and senior-level leadership challenges (he was Joint Special Operations Command counterterrorism task force commander in Iraq and NATO commander in Afghanistan), offers thoughtful, historical context and objectives for Iraq and Afghanistan, and details his relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Aided by maps and photographs, his clear, intelligent narrative balances a vast amount of information and detailed explanation, as in his firsthand, seat-of-the-pants account of tracking, surveilling, and eliminating Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. There were personal and military failings: he discusses his "antics" at West Point; the Pat Tillman friendly fire controversy; Abu Ghraib and abuse of Iraqi detainees ("There were lapses in discipline, but they were never tolerated. Never a wink and a nod."); media leaks; and the Rolling Stone article that led to his resignation. Engaging and humble throughout, McChrystal raises the bar for his peers. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

----------------------
Publishers Weekly Annex Reviews

Retired four-star general McChrystal provides a candid look back across his nearly four decade-long career, musing on leadership and immersing the reader in wartime missions. Raised in an Army family, he began as a West Point cadet, followed that with Ranger school, and, after ascending the Army ranks, was deployed for Pentagon postings in Iraq and Afghanistan. McChrystal describes his experiences and senior-level leadership challenges (he was Joint Special Operations Command counterterrorism task force commander in Iraq and NATO commander in Afghanistan), offers thoughtful, historical context and objectives for Iraq and Afghanistan, and details his relationship with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Aided by maps and photographs, his clear, intelligent narrative balances a vast amount of information and detailed explanation, as in his firsthand, seat-of-the-pants account of tracking, surveilling, and eliminating Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq. There were personal and military failings: he discusses his "antics" at West Point; the Pat Tillman friendly fire controversy; Abu Ghraib and abuse of Iraqi detainees ("There were lapses in discipline, but they were never tolerated. Never a wink and a nod."); media leaks; and the Rolling Stone article that led to his resignation. Engaging and humble throughout, McChrystal raises the bar for his peers. (Feb.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2013 PWxyz LLC

----------------------