Horse Soldiers by Doug Stanton
The Extraordinary Story of a Band of US Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan

61%

8 Critic Reviews

In the final pages Stanton admits that America squandered this dazzling triumph. Happily proclaiming victory, the administration turned its attention elsewhere as Afghanistan descended into chaos from which the Taliban emerged again to control most of the country. Dumbed-down history delivered in purple prose.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

“A thrilling action ride of a book” (The New York Times Book Review)—from Jerry Bruckheimer in theaters everywhere January 19, 2018—the New York Times bestselling, true-life account of a US Special Forces team deployed to dangerous, war-ridden Afghanistan in the weeks following 9/11.

Previously published as Horse Soldiers, 12 Strong is the dramatic account of a small band of Special Forces soldiers who secretly entered Afghanistan following 9/11 and rode to war on horses against the Taliban. Outnumbered forty to one, they pursued the enemy army across the mountainous Afghanistan terrain and, after a series of intense battles, captured the city of Mazar-i-Sharif. The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city. Then the action took a wholly unexpected turn.

During a surrender of six hundred Taliban troops, the Horse Soldiers were ambushed by the would-be POWs. Dangerously overpowered, they fought for their lives in the city’s immense fortress, Qala-i-Janghi, or the House of War. At risk were the military gains of the entire campaign: if the soldiers perished or were captured, the entire effort to outmaneuver the Taliban was likely doomed.

“A riveting story of the brave and resourceful American warriors who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 and waged war against Al Qaeda” (Tom Brokaw), Doug Stanton’s account touches the mythic. The soldiers on horses combined ancient strategies of cavalry warfare with twenty-first-century aerial bombardment technology to perform a seemingly impossible feat. Moreover, their careful effort to win the hearts of local townspeople proved a valuable lesson for America’s ongoing efforts in Afghanistan. With “spellbinding...action packed prose...The book reads more like a novel than a military history...the Horse Soldier’s secret mission remains the US military’s finest moment in what has since arguably been a muddled war” (USA TODAY).
 

About Doug Stanton

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Published April 17, 2009 by Scribner. 428 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Feb 11 2018
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Horse Soldiers
All: 8 | Positive: 5 | Negative: 3

Kirkus

Below average
on May 20 2010

In the final pages Stanton admits that America squandered this dazzling triumph. Happily proclaiming victory, the administration turned its attention elsewhere as Afghanistan descended into chaos from which the Taliban emerged again to control most of the country. Dumbed-down history delivered in purple prose.

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Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on Mar 28 2018

In this absolutely riveting account, full of horror and raw courage, journalist Stanton (In Harm's Way) recreates the miseries and triumphs of specially trained mounted U.S. soldiers, deployed in the war-ravaged Afghanistan mountains...

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NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Bruce Barcott on May 17 2009

There’s a lot to admire about “Horse Soldiers.” Stanton packs a huge amount of research into a thrilling action ride of a book.

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The Washington Post

Below average
Reviewed by Chris Bray on Jun 14 2009

In short, Stanton has written a book that may interest a general audience but has little to offer policymaker and military professionals.

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Christian Science Monitor

Good
Reviewed by Kevin Curley on Sep 08 2009

This book is a great read with amazing detail. I would recommend it to any reader, but particularly those interested in understanding a different aspect of war – the one fought by the US Special Forces.

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Denver Post

Below average
Reviewed by Chris Bray on Jul 16 2009

In short, Stanton has written a book that may interest a general audience but has little to offer policymakers and military professionals.

Read Full Review of Horse Soldiers: The Extraordi...

AnnArbor.com

Above average
Reviewed by Leah DuMouchel on May 15 2010

The open-endedness that hangs over the incongruity between the success we’ve just witnessed and today’s nightly news is particularly heartbreaking after the book's early pages transport us back to the minutes in which the horror of 9/11 was so fresh it scorched our souls.

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The Moderate Voice

Good
Reviewed by Dorian de Wind on Nov 03 2009

Fantastic because of how the writer, Doug Stanton, brilliantly and in gritty, sometimes grisly detail describes the unprecedented actions of a band of American Special Forces...

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Reader Rating for Horse Soldiers
89%

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