The Way of the Knife

Paperback $18.00

Mar 25, 2014 | 400 Pages

Ebook $11.99

Apr 09, 2013 | 400 Pages

  • Paperback $18.00

    Mar 25, 2014 | 400 Pages

  • Ebook $11.99

    Apr 09, 2013 | 400 Pages

Get the news you want from Penguin Random House


The New York Times:
“Superb…the best account yet.”

Foreign Policy:
“[An] indispensable CIA history.”

The Hindu (India):
“[A] masterpiece.”

Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War:
The story of how the CIA got back into the killing business is as chilling and dramatic as a spy novel–except it’s true. Mark Mazzetti has laid out an extraordinary tale, tracking the spies as they track the terrorists. The Way of the Knife is as close as you’ll ever get to the real thing.”

Jane Mayer, staff writer, The New Yorker; author of The Dark Side: The Inside Story of How the War on Terror Turned Into a War on American Ideals:
The Way of the Knife provides a stunning, inside account of the CIA’s transformation after 9/11 from an intelligence agency into a global clandestine killing machine. Mazzetti, who is one of America’s best national security reporters, has written a frightening, must-read book.”

Thomas E. Ricks, author of Fiasco and The Generals:
“The United States fought three wars after 9/11: Iraq, Afghanistan and the one in the shadows. This is an authoritative account of that that third war, conducted by the CIA and military Special Operators in Yemen, East Africa and, most of all, Pakistan. If you want to understand the world we live in, you need to read it.”

The Week:
“The definitive history of how the intelligence agency became something much more like a paramilitary wing—de-evolving, in a sense, back to the days when the agency’s adventurism influenced foreign policy around the world. It’s a fascinating expose of what information the U.S. was not collecting—and how an attempt to fill the gap fell through oversight mechanisms and complicated geopolitics in Pakistan.”

San Francisco Chronicle:
“A highly engaging account that should please the curious and experts alike. Mazzetti manages to give a fresh reading to such oft-told stories as the bureaucratic jousting among White House, CIA and Pentagon officials over killer drones, secret prisons, ‘harsh interrogations’ and going global with military assassins.”

The Economist:
“The new American way of war is here, but the debate about it has only just begun. In The Way of the Knife, Mr Mazzetti has made a valuable contribution to it.”

The New Republic:
“Essential background reading… there are many signs that the novel ‘military-intelligence complex’ that Mazzetti describes is becoming unacceptably controversial at home and abroad.”

Dawn (Pakistan):
“Mazzetti’s is an assiduously compiled account that strings together some of the missing parts in the puzzle… The Way of the Knife is a tale full of intrigues.”

The New York Times Book Review:
“A fascinating, trenchant, sometimes tragicomic account.”

The Age (Australia):
“An astounding tale that melds the immediacy of fiction with the authority of fact.”

The Washington Post:
“[A] deeply reported and crisply written account… While The Way of the Knife recounts the important shifts in the architecture of the U.S. military and intelligence communities, it also reveals the many eccentric characters who emerged during this.”

Los Angeles Times:
“Mazzetti finds new details and tracks the ominous blurring of traditional roles between soldiers and spies, the lush growth of a military-intelligence complex, and what the shift portends for the future….a valuable addition to a canon that is exposing America’s use of lethal operations far from declared war zones.”

Foreign Affairs:
“[A] fine account… Mazzetti describes in compelling detail the agency’s turf battles with the Pentagon, its awkward relations with its Pakistani counterpart, and its reliance on a motley collection of freelancers and private contractors.”

“Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Mark Mazzetti’s The Way of the Knife makes for an incisive guide to what he terms the ‘shadow war’ being waged in multiple countries around the world, away from prying eyes….[W]ith crisp, precision reporting, Mazzetti lays out a chronology of how one thing led to another after al-Qaeda’s asymmetric attacks in 2001 and the ruinously bloody and inconclusive invasions that followed exposed glaring weaknesses in both the American military and its intelligence services.”

Kirkus Reviews:
“A well-reported, smoothly written book for anyone who wants to understand contemporary American military might and the widespread hatred for the U.S. that has been the result.”

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