Panic 2012 by Michael Hastings
The Sublime and Terrifying Inside Story
"An exciting and enlightening exposé...iconoclastic...courageous..."
General Stanley McChrystal, the innovative, forward-thinking commanding general of international and U.S. forces in Afghanistan, was living large. He was better known to some as Big Stan, M4, Stan, and his loyal staff liked to call him a "rock star." During a spring 2010 trip across Europe to garner additional allied help for the war effort, McChrystal was accompanied by journalist Michael Hastings of Rolling Stone. For days, Hastings looked on as McChrystal and his staff let off steam, partying and openly bashing the Obama administration for what they saw as a lack of leadership. When Hastings's piece appeared a few months later, it set off a political firestorm: McChrystal was ordered to Washington, where he was fired unceremoniously.
In The Operators, Hastings picks up where his Rolling Stone coup ended. He gives us a shocking behind-the-scenes portrait of our military commanders, their high-stakes maneuvers and often bitter bureaucratic infighting. Hastings takes us on patrol missions in the Afghan hinterlands, to late-night bull sessions of senior military advisors, to hotel bars where spies and expensive hookers participate in nation-building gone awry. And as he weighs the merits and failings of old-school generals and the so-called COINdinistas—the counterinsurgency experts—Hastings draws back the curtain on a hellish complexity and, he fears, an unwinnable war.
Penguin/Blue Rider Press
Publication Date: January 5, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-399-15988-6, $27.95
Also available as an ebook
"The life of a general is something to see, especially when it's Stanley McChrystal, America's four-star, rock star commander, at the height of his power and panache in Afghanistan. It's a hard story to get, and hard to tell it well, but in the hands of Michael Hastings, it's a world-class job of reporting and a joy to read."
—Richard Ben Cramer, author of What it Takes and Joe DiMaggio
"An impressive feat of journalism by a Washington outsider who seemed to know more about what was going on in Washington than most insiders did."
—Frank Rich, The New York Times
"The most impact-laden story of the year...written by a perfect specimen of the new breed of journalist-commentator."
—Barrett Brown, Vanity Fair
"Destined to join the pantheon of the best of [war] literature, not just for its rock 'n' roll details, but for its piercing chronicles of a world gone mad."
—Matt Gallagher, The Daily Beast (read the review in its entirety here)
"Like Almost Famous, Hastings' astute war memoir is pitch-perfect...exciting and enlightening."
—Kirkus Reviews (read the review in its entirety here)
"Rolling Stone's Michael Hastings...embodies the pure journalistic ethos...the book provides vital insights about the war and how it has been run that are not available anywhere else."
—Glenn Greenwald, Salon
"This is one of the best reads, this is one of the best books I have read in more than the past year."
—Rachel Maddow, MSNBC
"This book is going to be read."
—Chris Matthews, MSNBC
"If anyone ever tells you that longform journalism is dead, point them in the direction of Michael Hastings."
—The Daily (read the review in its entirety here)
"Whether or not they wear the uniform, Americans should figure out for themselves why we are still in Afghanistan. The Operators presents a slew of reasons for getting out."
—Stars and Stripes (read the review in its entirety here)
"Hasting's first-class, engrossing reportage reveals unsettling yet human flaws behind one of recent history's most lionized military figures, and a war which purportedly began as a response to terrorism, but whose aims—in the author's estimation—remain ambiguous."
—Publishers Weekly (read the review in its entirety here)
"For nonfiction, the book was an unusually gripping read...The insanity and futility of the war are represented by the heart-aching death of Army Corporal Mike Ingram. The White House and Pentagon turmoil is told via the story of the rise and fall of General Stanley McChrystal, America's commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. And the realities of journalism are presented through Hastings' account of his own decision-making process."
—Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author of The Detachment (read the review in its entirety here)
Michael Hastings is a contributing editor to Rolling Stone. He regularly covers politics and international affairs for the magazine, including the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya. In 2011, he received the George Polk Award in journalism for his Rolling Stone story "The Runaway General." His work has appeared in Newsweek, GQ, Men's Journal, The Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, Slate, Salon, Foreign Policy, The Daily Beast, and The Huffington Post. In 2010, Hastings was named one of The Huffington Post's Game Changers of the year. His GQ story "Obama's War" was selected for Best American Political Writing 2009. The author also of I Lost My Love in Baghdad: A Modern War Story, Hastings lives in Vermont.
Order I Lost My Love in Baghdad
For media requests, please contact Aileen Boyle or Blue Rider Press
For speaking requests, please contact Penguin Speakers Bureau
Jacket art & illustrations in header: Tim O'Brien
Check out Michael's Amazon Author page