• No Good Men Among the Living

  • America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes
  • By: Anand Gopal
  • Narrated by: Assaf Cohen
  • Length: 10 hrs and 51 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (242 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In a breathtaking chronicle, acclaimed journalist Anand Gopal traces in vivid detail the lives of three Afghans caught in America's war on terror. He follows a Taliban commander who rises from scrawny teenager to leading insurgent, a U.S.-backed warlord who uses the American military to gain personal wealth and power, and a village housewife trapped between the two sides who discovers the devastating cost of neutrality. Through their dramatic stories, Gopal shows that the Afghan war, so often regarded as a hopeless quagmire, could in fact have gone very differently. Top Taliban leaders actually tried to surrender within months of the U.S. invasion, renouncing all political activity and submitting to the new government. Effectively the Taliban ceased to exist--yet the Americans were unwilling to accept such a turnaround. Instead, driven by false intelligence from their allies and an unyielding mandate to fight terrorism, American forces continued to press the conflict, resurrecting the insurgency that persists to this day.

With its intimate accounts of life in war-torn Afghanistan, Gopal's thoroughly original reporting lays bare the workings of America's longest war and the truth behind its prolonged agony. A heartbreaking story of mistakes and misdeeds, No Good Men Among the Living challenges our usual perceptions of the Afghan conflict, its victims, and its supposed winners.

©2014 Anand Gopal (P)2015 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

Critic Reviews

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice
"Gopal's book is essential reading for anyone concerned about how America got Afghanistan so wrong. It is a devastating, well-honed prosecution detailing how our government bungled the initial salvo in the so-called war on terror, ignored attempts by top Taliban leaders to surrender, trusted the wrong people and backed a feckless and corrupt Afghan regime.... It is ultimately the most compelling account I've read of how Afghans themselves see the war." ( The New York Times Book Review)
"A brilliant analysis of our military’s dysfunction and a startlingly clear account of the consequences." ( Mother Jones)

What listeners say about No Good Men Among the Living

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  • Overall
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Outstanding book, remarkable narrator

Fascinating stories, remarkably narrated. Provided me with a rich and fresh perspective on Afghanistan, its people, history and the recent war. Highly recommended!

1 person found this helpful

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What a great job of reporting!

I have learned so much about the war in Afghanistan and about the Muslim view of the world from this book. I highly recommend it.

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Fascinating

An important work in examining our War On Terror. Interesting, compelling, thought provoking but not polemical

1 person found this helpful

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The swamp of Afghanistan

This book presents with pathos a view of the Afghan war devoid of rhetoric. Loaded with sadness and uncertainly for those hard-pressed people, it is relentless in its understated indictment of the war through stories of the difficult days of several people just trying to survive.

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Fantastic book let down by the narrator

This is a very informative, sad yet very engaging book. I couldn't stop once I started. Of course part of the experience was also gritting my teeth whenever the narrator used some sort of accent. A well done accent can make the book pop (try Americanah narrated by Adjoa Andoh to know how the proper use of accents can really elevate the book). Assaf Cohen sadly uses a mostly Iranian accent and mispronounces names by the dozen. I think non S. Asian narrators should stay away from books about the subcontinent and stick to narrating western books. I think properly conveying emotion is more authentic than an accent. This is my 3rd book based out of the Indian subcontinent and I have encountered exactly the same issue yet again. The subject matter, the pacing and the fascinating stories were however rewarding enough for me to look past the accent annoyance.

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Great book

I learned so much, from this book. A must read for alternate perspective of the 20 year war.

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What the war felt like Afghanis

Excellent book. By focusing on the lives and experiences of Afghanis during the war, this book exposes the violence on all sides and it’s affects on the course of the war and the individuals caught up in it.

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Clownish narration is too distracting

This is a worthwhile story and a relevant narrative about Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul (though written years before).

The problem is the clownish accents the narrator puts on for people who were obviously speaking in their own language through a narrator. It was distracting, and not even especially good. Like someone who learned accents by watching post 9-11 TV.

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useful for any american

provides a good introduction to the 2019 Afghanistan war landscape from a series of personal stories. probably not the whole story (i.e. Karzai liklnks to US oil before his political rise) but a useful introduction to culture and warring factions nonetheless.

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Struggled to finish

The amount of research here must have been as terrible to collect as to read.