American Soldier

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Tommy R. Franks
Narrator: Eric Conger , Tommy R. Franks
Genres: History, Biography & Memoir
Publisher: HarperAudio
Published In: September 2004
# of Units: 16 CDs
Length: 19 hours
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The Commander in Chief of the United States Central Command from July 2000 through July 2003, General Tommy Franks made history by leading American and Coalition forces to victory in Afghanistan and Iraq -- the decisive battles that

In this riveting memoir, General Franks retraces his journey from a small-town boyhood in Oklahoma and Midland, Texas, through a lifetime of military service -- including his heroic tour as an Artillery officer in Vietnam, where he was wounded three times. A reform-minded Cold War commander and a shrewd tactician during Operation Desert Storm, Franks took command of CENTCOM at the dawn of what he calls a "crease in history" -- becoming the senior American military officer in the most dangerous region on earth.

Now drawing on his own recollections and military records declassified for this book, Franks offers the first true insider's account of the war on terrorism that has changed the world since September 11, 2001. He puts you in the Operations Center for the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom just weeks after 9/11, capturing its uncertain early days and the history victory that followed. He traces his relationship with the demanding Donald Rumsfeld, as early tensions over the pace of the campaign gave way to a strong and friendly collaboration

When President Bush focused world attention on the threat of Iraq, Franks seized the moment to implement a bold new vision of joint warfare in planning Operation Iraqi Freedom. Rejecting Desert Storm-style massive troop deployment in favor of flexibility and speed, Franks was questioned by the defense establishment -- including Secretary of State Colin Powell. Yet his vision was proven on the ground: Within three weeks, Baghdad had fallen.

American Soldier is filled with revelation. Franks describes the covert diplomacy that helped him secure international cooperation for the war, and reveals the role of foreign leaders -- and a critical double agent code-named "April Fool" -- in the most successful military deception since D-Day in 1944. He speaks frankly of intelligence shortcomings that endangered our troops, and of the credible WMD threats -- including eleventh-hour warnings from Arab leaders -- that influenced every planning decision. He offers an unvarnished portrait of the "disruptive and divisive" Washington bureaucracy, and a candid assessment of the war's aftermath. Yet in the end, as American Soldier demonstrates, the battles in Afghanistan and Iraq remain heroic victories -- wars of liberation won by troops whose valor was "unequalled," Franks writes, "by anything in the annals of war."

Few individuals have the chance to contribute so much of themselves to the American story as General Tommy Franks. In American Soldier, he captures it all.

Reviews (10)

American Soldier Part 1

Written by Anonymous on January 28th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 5/5

EXCELLENT narrative of General Franks army experience. Adds the human touch to the History that we have all lived through. Documents the growth and challenges of our leaders in the Armed Forces and the responsiblities they assume as they command our troops. Well worth listening to.


Written by APDS4 from Stockton, CA on July 9th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 5/5

What a fantastic book! Well worth the time and very well written and narrated. If you are at all interested in the truth of Operation Iraqi Freedom and the US war in Afghanistan then read this first hand account by General Franks. It tells you the inside truth behind the decision to go to war and how the strategies were arrived at. An excellent and captivating history book. *Note - if you are an Al Jazeera or CNN type, the truth of this book will frustrate you.

American Soldier

Written by Eric Boyce on August 28th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I thought this was a very good CD - interesting read and a wonderful account of his experiences.

American Soldier

Written by Thom Ramsdell on October 24th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is an extremely well written book and the narration by the author, General Tommy Franks made it even better. The life of Tommy Fanks is truly an inspiration. Beyond that, finding out how the military and executive branch actually communicate, plan, and execute operations was a real eye opener.

Shouldn't Have Quit Your Day Job

Written by Mandi Chestler on September 6th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 2/5

No doubt about it: General Tommy Franks is a good soldier. However, his autobiography is slow-paced and may lack objectivity. One thing for sure, this guy knows how to quit while he's ahead. The book highlights his early successes in Operation Iraqi Freedom. But then Franks retires and heads home before America becomes bogged down in its current quagmire--a decision that was good for the book and his career stats, but probably bad for our country.

Good soldier's story, bad policy story

Written by Anonymous on April 20th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 3/5

When he stuck to his experience of soldiering, it was engaging and at times moving. His abject "apologism" for the Bush administration decision to go to war and the prosecution of that war and the subsequent period of reconstruction appear to have been crafted by some one else -- perhaps one of the White House crowd of political communicators. Good thing he published when he did, because he would have a very hard time making claims about how well things were going in Iraq now. History will judge the policy and his performance supporting it. It's not looking so good right now.

American Soldier-all 16 discs

Written by Al Orleans from Rockaway, NJ on December 6th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

As a Cold War veteran of the 3rd Infantry Division, I found this 16 disc selection of American Soldier very well written with excellent chronological detail of a dedicated American and an American career soldier.

American Soldier

Written by Anonymous on August 2nd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Wow, this was an excellent cd. The Gen. really surprised me with his candor and his honesty.

American Soldier

Written by CB on February 25th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

Excellent Book recommend to all. General Franks is a humble genius.

American Soldier

Written by Yvonne Schuman on December 8th, 2004

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a great book! I enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks General Franks for your service to Our Great Country and thanks for such a good account of your military journey! GOD BLESS AMERICA !

Author Details

Author Details

Franks, Tommy R.

"General Tommy Franks retired from the Army on August 1, 2003. Commissioned a Second Lieutenant in 1967 as a distinguished graduate of the Artillery Officer Candidate School, Fort Sill, Oklahoma, he was assigned to the 9th Infantry Division, Republic of Vietnam. He also served as an Assistant Division Commander during Operations Desert Shield/Desert Storm. General Franks has been awarded three Defense Distinguished Service Medals, two Distinguished Service Medals, and four Legion of Merit awards. His other decorations include three Purple Hearts, three Bronze Stars, an Air Medal, and an Army Commendation Medal -- all with ""V"" for valor. In 2004 he was named a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire. General Franks lives with his wife, Cathy, in Tampa, Florida."