13 Hours

Read Yes
Length 320
Quick Review Six men put everything on the line to protect their fellow Americans during a brutal attack in Benghazi, Libya on the eleventh anniversary of 9/11.

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Zuckoff writes an enthralling account of the men who protected an American safe hold in Libya on Sept ember 11, 2012. I had a hard time putting the book down once I got into it. As an American who watches as little news as possible when the word Benghazi is mentioned, it has an air of sadness to it. Although, I never really knew the particulars of what happened. To be honest, I would be surprised if many do. It is thought of as a sad moment in a sea of depressing incidents we live in post 9/11.

Zuckoff focuses on the six men who put their lives on the line that night. He wants the book to be impartial telling the events as the Annex Security Team remembers them with no political implication. It would be hard to call the book completely impartial because there were more people present that night than just the members of the Annex Security Team. It would have been interesting to hear their accounts of the night as well.

It’s hard not to begin the book optimistically because, like Titanic, the ending is already common knowledge. If it isn’t to you, I won’t spoil the depression.

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Zuckoff makes it easy to get to know the Annex Security Team. He has an incredible ability to take himself out of the narrative allowing each man’s personality to bleed in when necessary while staying factual. Zuckoff spends a great deal of time describing people and places. The descriptions can drag a little over geography, but he includes diagrams making it possible to skim those sections to look at the pictures instead.

This is incredibly moving and a testament to the men who put their lives on the line to protect their country and their people. Their complexities come through in how they view the world, each other, and their superiors. It is always important to remember that heroes are people, and Zuckoff is able to portray this sentiment clearly throughout.

13 Hours is an important read for anyone who wants to be aware of recent history. Unfortunately, the events are not isolated, and similar attacks and atrocities happen all over the world to more or less media attention.

Memorable Quotes
“Oil had yet to be discovered, so no one wanted colonial responsibility for an impoverished, bombed-out Arab sandbox.”
“…telling each other that the United States had gotten its money’s worth for teaching  them how to be soldiers.”

Title: 13 Hours; The Inside Account of What Really Happened
Author: Mitchell Zuckoff and the Annex Security Team
Publisher: Twelve (Hachette Book Group)
Copyright: 2014
ISBN: 9781455582273

 

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