Saturday, January 3, 2009

Brotherhood of Warriors or Benjamin Franklin

Brotherhood of Warriors: Behind Enemy Lines with a Commando in One of the World's Most Elite Counterterrorism Units

Author: Aaron Cohen

At the age of eighteen, Aaron Cohen left Beverly Hills to prove himself in the crucible of the armed forces. He was determined to be a part of Israel's most elite security cadre, akin to the American Green Berets and Navy SEALs. After fifteen months of grueling training designed to break down each individual man and to rebuild him as a warrior, Cohen was offered the only post a non-Israeli can hold in the special forces. In 1996 he joined a top-secret, highly controversial unit that dispatches operatives disguised as Arabs into the Palestinian-controlled West Bank to abduct terrorist leaders and bring them to Israel for interrogation and trial.

Between 1996 and 1998, Aaron Cohen would learn Hebrew and Arabic; become an expert in urban counterterror warfare, the martial art of Krav Maga, and undercover operations; and participate in dozens of life-or-death missions. He would infiltrate a Hamas wedding to seize a wanted terrorist and pose as an American journalist to set a trap for one of the financiers behind the Dizengoff Massacre, taking him down in a brutal, hand-to-hand struggle. A propulsive, gripping read, Cohen's story is a rare, fly-on-the-wall view into the shadowy world of "black ops" that redefines invincible strength, true danger, and inviolable security.

Kirkus Reviews

Canadian-born and California-raised Cohen describes his work with the Israeli group Sayeret Duvdevan in this you-are-there debut memoir. The author went on his first mission as a member of this elite counterterrorism unit in March 1996. The investigation of an explosion at Tel Aviv's Dizengoff Mall was the first of many bloody crime scenes ("battlefield scenes," he calls them) Cohen had to deal with, but that was the life he chose when he moved to Israel to protect his people. He brings us into the shadowy world of Sayeret Duvdevan, offering details of his missions and his training, throwing in some contemporary and historical context, introducing us to his comrades-in-arms and delivering numerous gory anecdotes. At times Cohen comes off as stridently militant. "I recognize that what I've written here may sound unduly harsh, pro-militaristic, even anti-Arab in places," he writes in an epilogue, "but I am writing this not as a propagandist but as a pragmatist." This acknowledgement doesn't make his attitude any less jarring, though it's obviously hard to be objective in such violently graphic descriptions: slipping in a pool of blood at the scene of a suicide bombing, looking at a soldier who's had one leg blown off and will probably bleed to death before medical help arrives. Cohen's book contains an inherent contradiction. He paints himself as a lover of his God, his family and his country, an idealist who wants to do the right thing, but he displays throughout a streak of fanaticism that is clearly a prerequisite for membership in the Sayeret Duvdevan. Readers in less-extreme circumstances may find his attitude difficult to appreciate. Relentlessly bleak and extremely depressing. Agent:Richard Abate/ICM

New interesting textbook: Global Health Leadership and Management or From Stumbling Blocks to Stepping Stones

Benjamin Franklin: Young Printer (Childhood of Famous Americans Series)

Author: Augusta Stevenson

One of the most popular series ever published for young American's, these classics have been praised alike by parents, teachers, and librarians. With these lively, inspiring, fictionalized biographies - easily read by children of eight and up - today's youngster is swept into history.

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