• Out of the Mountains

  • The Coming Age of the Urban Guerrilla
  • By: David Kilcullen
  • Narrated by: Christopher Kipiniak
  • Length: 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (220 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

When Americans think of modern warfare, what comes to mind is the US army skirmishing with terrorists and insurgents in the mountains of Afghanistan. But the face of global conflict is ever-changing. In Out of the Mountains, David Kilcullen, one of the world's leading experts on current and future conflict, offers a groundbreaking look at what may happen after today's wars end. This is a book about future conflicts and future cities, and about the challenges and opportunities that four powerful megatrends - population, urbanization, coastal settlement, and connectedness - are creating across the planet. And it is about what cities, communities and businesses can do to prepare for a future in which all aspects of human society - including, but not limited to, conflict, crime and violence - are changing at an unprecedented pace.

Kilcullen argues that conflict is increasingly likely to occur in sprawling coastal cities, in peri-urban slum settlements that are enveloping many regions of the Middle East, Africa, Latin America, and Asia, and in highly connected, electronically networked settings. He suggests that cities, rather than countries, are the critical unit of analysis for future conflict and that resiliency, not stability, will be the key objective. Ranging across the globe - from Kingston to Mogadishu to Lagos to Benghazi to Mumbai - he offers a unified theory of "competitive control" that explains how nonstate armed groups such as drug cartels, street gangs, and warlords draw their strength from local populations, providing useful ideas for dealing with these groups and with diffuse social conflicts in general. His extensive fieldwork on the ground in a series of urban conflicts suggests that there will be no military solution for many of the struggles we will face in the future. We will need to involve local people deeply to address problems that neither outsiders nor locals alone can solve, drawing on the insight only locals can bring, together with outsider knowledge from fields like urban planning, systems engineering, renewable energy, conflict resolution, and mediation.

This deeply researched and compellingly argued book provides an invaluable road map to a future that will increasingly be crowded, urban, coastal, connected - and dangerous.

©2013 David Kilcullen (P)2018 Audible, Inc.
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about Out of the Mountains

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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Insightful analysis

The book tackles themes we’re seeing more and more often: messy conflict zones and how they actually work and what happens when order breaks down, or shifts to a different kind of order.

Having no experience in conflict zones I wanted to get a deeper understanding of how things actually work when there is no, or a very weak central government. The author delves deep into governance structures and leads through anecdotes from his real world experience.

He outlines the (odd to Western eyes) order that establishes itself and how locals operate in that environment. He also goes somewhat into the best ways for an outside force to effect that order.

It was all very illuminating and analytically driven. If you’re interested in this topic generally, you’ll be interested in this book. My one quibble is that though he discusses at a cursory level various domains of conflict, he never once mentions outer space as a conflict zone. It’s a very curious omission to an otherwise well constructed book.

3 people found this helpful

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Very detailed and informative approach.

Great book for anyone who is interested in the next future conflicts. The analysis of this book is unrivaled.

3 people found this helpful

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Kilcullen finally speaks his mind.

Kilcullen’s books are all insightful and important to the conversation of modern conflict. In previous books, it seems that he was dumbing down his brilliance to appeal to readers—if you want everyone to understand, make it a third grade reading level. This book, he seems to let loose a little more, giving a wild perspective to a man I’m glad is helping to solve our global security woes.

2 people found this helpful

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a lot of knowledge on irregular warfare

the author is obviously a very smart guy, has a ton of important info for combat leaders. however, he needs to dumb down the writing IOT target the right audience. maybe write a cliff notes version and sell it to the army

2 people found this helpful

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Great Narration

Kipiniak brings this to life! Very informative, exciting and a easy listen. I hope to more from the author and the narrator.

1 person found this helpful

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eh

not worth the long read for the little information it offer. there could have been much better points brought out of the examples without all the extra words. not much discussion from the author on the points he's trying to make

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Good up to date analysis of the evolution of UW

He provides an interesting view of the future and the evolution of the Guerrilla in the jungle/woods to the urban environments. Solid current time case studies referenced. I would listen to this book again as it’s content is thought provoking.

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A new way to understand

I thought this book gave a great insight into the way cities work and political humans interact with them.
The performance was generally very good but I had trouble with his pronunciation of words like littoral. Seemed wrong but maybe it's right

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Relevant to Current Events

This book was written a few years ago but as I listened to it, I was able to make comparisons to what is happening in our country and cities now, along with what is happening internationally. At one point, the author makes a point that it isn't enough to give people what they want and need, such as housing, food, etc; you have to build community so that people can get along. That sure isn't happening right now.
This is an excellent book, which gave me an understanding of not only what happens but why it happens.
Highly recommend.

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Interesting dissection of conflict

This is a true representation of the complexities of conflict. Nothing is as simple as most would want, and governments and militaries are really good at over simplifying.

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  • Patrick O'Neill
  • 09-24-22

Fascinating, valuable study, let down by narrator

Despite seeing a negative comment on the narration style I decided to buy anyhow because the subject was so interesting and audio format suits me. Lesson learned. Hat off to that man who persisted to the end! I now need to buy the title in another format because the narrator's influence made it so hard to follow. Strange, as he has done many titles, though a lot seem to be novels.

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  • Tom
  • 08-07-19

Marvellous content

Narrator is poor, No rhythm, flat delivery that you have to get through as the content is compelling

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  • Mark
  • 05-31-18

Deeply flawed Narration.

Killcullens work is very interesting and his perspective unique. Sadly this book has a different Narrator who has a terrrible "microphone voice" in that he has fallen into a habitual pitch pattern regardless of the text. It follows the same acending then decending pattern which renders it so annoying it becomes incomprehensible.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Trent Dudley
  • 06-13-19

Great analysis let down by robotic narration

This is a great book for any student of modern war or national security. It examines theories of future conflicts in littoral, urban, connected and contested environment using relevant case studies to highlight aspects which can be applied to future conflict considerations.

The narration while clear is a little robotic and makes it difficult to listen to for long periods at a time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Padre
  • 06-09-20

Wide ranging analysis

The author has an astonishing range of knowledge across numerous disciplines. Recent world events since this book was written provide strong supporting evidence for Kilcullen's arguments. Don't be put off by complaints of poor voice performance, not really a problem.