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

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From the New York Times bestselling author of In Harm’s Way comes a true-life story of American soldiers overcoming great odds to achieve a stunning military victory.

Horse Soldiers 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, which was strategically essential to defeat their opponent throughout the country.

The bone-weary American soldiers were welcomed as liberators as they rode into the city, and the streets thronged with Afghans overjoyed that the Taliban regime had been overthrown.

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.

Deeply researched and beautifully written, Stanton’s account of the Americans’ quest to liberate an oppressed people 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.

About Doug Stanton

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Doug Stanton is the author of the New York Times bestseller In Harm’s Way: The Sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the Extraordinary Story of Its Survivors. A former contributing editor at Esquire, Sports Afield, and Outside, Stanton is now a contributing editor at Men’s Journal and has written extensively on travel, sport, entertainment, and history, during which time he nearly drowned in Cape Horn waters, survived a mugging by jungle revolutionaries, played basketball with George Clooney, and took an acting lesson from Harrison Ford.Stanton lives in his hometown of Traverse City, Michigan, where he is a member of the advisory board of the Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Motion Picture Arts program, and a trustee of the Pathfinder School.He has taught writing at the college level and worked as a commercial sports fisherman and caretaker of Robert Frost’s house in Vermont. Stanton graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan and Hampshire College in Massachusetts, and also received an MFA from the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He and his wife, the investigative reporter Anne Stanton, have three children.
Published April 17, 2009 by Scribner. 428 pages
Genres: History, Travel, War, Biographies & Memoirs, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Horse Soldiers

Kirkus Reviews

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Using diplomatic skills, money, airdropped supplies and high-tech communications equipment, the soldiers inspired Afghan forces, who did almost all the fighting, to unite and crush the Taliban.

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The New York Times

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An uplifting account of how Special Forces soldiers joined with mounted local militias to defeat the Taliban in 2001

May 17 2009 | Read Full Review of Horse Soldiers: The Extraordi...

Publishers Weekly

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Stanton brings each soldier and situation to vivid life: ""Bennett suddenly belted out: 'It just keeps getting better and better!' Here they were, living on fried sheep and filtered ditchwater...calling in ops-guided bombs on bunkers built of mud and wood scrap, surrounded by Taliban fighters."" ...

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The Washington Post

"Horse Soldiers" tells the important story of the Special Forces soldiers who first put American boots on the ground in Afghanistan in 2001.

Jun 14 2009 | Read Full Review of Horse Soldiers: The Extraordi...

Christian Science Monitor

A book like Doug Stanton’s Horse Soldiers gives readers a perspective on America’s engagement in Afghanistan that is too often overlooked.

Sep 08 2009 | Read Full Review of Horse Soldiers: The Extraordi...

One is hardly finished reading the title of Traverse City writer Doug Stanton’s latest book, “Horse Soldiers: The Extraordinary Story of a Band of U.S. Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan” (Scribner) before the questions start.

May 15 2010 | Read Full Review of Horse Soldiers: The Extraordi...

The Moderate Voice

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 heroes who rode into Afghanistan after 9/11 during the opening days of what is now the Afghanistan War.

Nov 03 2009 | Read Full Review of Horse Soldiers: The Extraordi...

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