Read My Share of the Task: A Memoir by Stanley McChrystal Free Online
Book Title: My Share of the Task: A Memoir|
The author of the book: Stanley McChrystal
Edition: Portfolio/Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
Date of issue: January 7th 2013
ISBN 13: 9781591844754
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 996 KB
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Reader ratings: 7.8
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In early March 2010, General Stanley McChrystal, the commanding officer of all U.S. and coalition forces in Afghanistan, walked with President Hamid Karzai through a small rural bazaar. As Afghan townspeople crowded around them, a Taliban rocket loudly thudded into the ground some distance away. Karzai looked to McChrystal, who shrugged. The two leaders continued greeting the townspeople and listening to their views.
That trip was typical of McChrystal’s entire career, from his first day as a West Point plebe to his last day as a four-star general. The values he has come to be widely admired for were evident: a hunger to know the truth on the ground, the courage to find it, and the humility to listen to those around him. Even as a senior commander, McChrystal stationed himself forward, and frequently went on patrols with his troops to experience their challenges firsthand.
In this illuminating memoir, McChrystal frankly explores the major episodes and controversies of his eventful career. He delves candidly into the intersection of history, leadership, and his own experience to produce a book of enduring value.
Joining the troubled post-Vietnam army as a young officer, McChrystal witnessed and participated in some of our military’s most difficult struggles. He describes the many outstanding leaders he served with and the handful of bad leaders he learned not to emulate. He paints a vivid portrait of the traditional military establishment that turned itself, in one generation, into the adaptive, resilient force that would soon be tested in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the wider War on Terror.
McChrystal spent much of his early career in the world of special operations, at a time when these elite forces became increasingly effective—and necessary. He writes of a fight waged in the shadows by the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), which he led from 2003 to 2008. JSOC became one of our most effective counterterrorism weapons, facing off against Al Qaeda in Iraq.
Over time, JSOC gathered staggering amounts of intelligence in order to find and remove the most influential and dangerous terrorists, including the leader of Al Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. The hunt for Zarqawi drives some of the most gripping scenes in this book, as McChrystal’s team grappled with tricky interrogations, advanced but scarce technology, weeks of unbroken surveillance, and agonizing decisions.
McChrystal brought the same energy to the war in Afghanistan, where the challenges loomed even larger. His revealing account draws on his close relationships with Afghan leaders, giving readers a unique window into the war and the country.
Ultimately, My Share of the Task is about much more than war and peace, terrorism and counterinsurgency. As McChrystal writes, “More by luck than design, I’d been a part of some events, organizations, and efforts that will loom large in history, and more that will not. I saw selfless commitment, petty politics, unspeakable cruelty, and quiet courage in places and quantities that I’d never have imagined. But what I will remember most are the leaders.”
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Read information about the authorStanley Allen McChrystal (born August 14, 1954) is a retired United States Army General. His last assignment was as Commander, International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan (USFOR-A). He previously served as Director, Joint Staff from August 2008 to June 2009 and as Commander, Joint Special Operations Command from 2003 to 2008, where he was credited with the death of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, leader of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, but also criticized for his alleged role in the cover-up of the Pat Tillman friendly fire incident. McChrystal was reportedly known for saying and thinking what other military leaders were afraid to; this was one of the reasons cited for his appointment to lead all forces in Afghanistan. He held the post from June 15, 2009, to June 23, 2010.
Following unflattering remarks about Vice President Joe Biden and other administration officials attributed to McChrystal and his aides in a Rolling Stone article, McChrystal was recalled to Washington, D.C., where President Barack Obama accepted his resignation as commander in Afghanistan. His command of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan was immediately assumed by the deputy commander, British General Sir Nicholas "Nick" Parker, pending the confirmation of a replacement. Obama named General David Petraeus as McChrystal's replacement; Petraeus was confirmed by the Senate and officially assumed command on June 30. Days after being relieved of his duties in Afghanistan, McChrystal announced his retirement.
In 2010, after leaving the Army, McChrystal joined Yale University as a Jackson Institute for Global Affairs senior fellow. He teaches a course entitled "Leadership," a graduate-level seminar with some spots reserved for undergraduates. The course received 250 applications for 20 spots in 2011 and is being taught for a third time in 2013.
McChrystal co-founded and is a partner at the McChrystal Group LLC, an Alexandria, Virginia-based consulting firm.
McChrystal's memoir, My Share of the Task, published by Portfolio of the Penguin Group, was released on January 7, 2013. The autobiography had been scheduled to be released in November 2012, but was delayed due to security clearance approvals required from the Department of Defense.
McChrystal is the son of Mary Gardner Bright and Major General Herbert J. McChrystal, Jr., and was the fourth child in a family of five boys and a girl, all of whom would serve in the military or marry military spouses. His older brother, Colonel Scott McChrystal, is a retired Army chaplain, and is the endorsing agent for the Assemblies of God.
McChrystal married his wife Annie in April 1977, and the couple has one adult son, Sam.
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