Record Details

Catalog Search

The fifth act : America's end in Afghanistan / Elliot Ackerman.

Ackerman, Elliot, (author.).

Available copies

  • 0 of 1 copy available at LARL/NWRL Consortium.
  • 0 of 1 copy available at Lake Agassiz Regional Library. (Show preferred library)

Current holds

0 current holds with 1 total copy.

Location Call Number / Copy Notes Barcode Shelving Location Status Due Date
Moorhead Public Library 958.1047 ACK (Text) 33500013793674 New Checked out 06/24/2023

Record details

  • ISBN: 9780593492048
  • ISBN: 0593492048
  • ISBN: 9780593653029
  • ISBN: 0593653025
  • Physical Description: 276 pages : illustrations (black & white) ; 24 cm
  • Publisher: New York : Penguin Press, 2022.

Content descriptions

Formatted Contents Note:
Act I The convoy of 109 -- Act II The second convoy -- Act III The north gate -- Act IV The abbey gate -- Act V The fifth act.
Summary, etc.:
"A powerful and revelatory eyewitness account of the American collapse in Afghanistan, its desperate endgame, and the war's echoing legacy Elliot Ackerman left the American military ten years ago, but his time in Afghanistan and Iraq with the Marines and, later, as a CIA paramilitary officer marked him indelibly. When the Taliban began to close in on Kabul in August of 2021 and the Afghan regime began its death spiral, he found himself pulled back into the conflict. Afghan nationals who had, for years, worked closely with the American military and intelligence communities now faced brutal reprisal and sought frantically to flee the country with their families. The official US government evacuation process was a bureaucratic failure that led to a humanitarian catastrophe. With his former colleagues, and friends, protecting the airport in Kabul, Ackerman was drawn into an impromptu effort alongside a group of journalists, and other veterans, to arrange flights and negotiate with both Taliban and American forces to secure the safe evacuation of hundreds. These were desperate measures taken during a desperate end to America's longest war, but the success they achieved afforded a degree of redemption. And, for Ackerman, a chance to reconcile his past with his present. The Fifth Act is an astonishing human document that brings the weight of twenty years of war to bear on a single week at its bitter end. Using the dramatic rescue efforts in Kabul as his lattice, Ackerman weaves in a personal history of the war's long progress, beginning with the initial invasion in the months after 9/11. It is a play in five acts, the fifth act being the story's tragic denouement, a prelude to Afghanistan's dark future. Any reader who wants to understand what went wrong with the war's trajectory will find a trenchant accounting here. And yet The Fifth Act is not an exercise in finger-pointing: it brings readers into close contact with a remarkable group of characters, American and Afghan, who fought the war with courage and dedication, in good faith and at great personal cost. Understanding combatants' experiences and sacrifices while reckoning with the complex bottom line of the post-9/11 wars is not an easy balance; it demands reservoirs of wisdom and the gifts of an extraordinary storyteller. It asks for an author willing to grapple with certain hard-earned truths. In Elliot Ackerman, this story has found that author. The Fifth Act is a first draft of history that feels like a timeless classic"-- Provided by publisher.

  • Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2022 July #1
    Ackerman, an acclaimed novelist (2034, 2021) and memoirist (Places and Names, 2019), breaks down his involvement in Afghanistan into five phases that focus on his combat deployments in-country as a marine infantry officer, as a CIA paramilitary officer overseeing Afghan commandos and counterterrorism units, and his coordinating with colleagues to oversee our Afghan allies' evacuation from the airport the week before the Taliban took power in August 2021. The Taliban victory was really more of an unconditional surrender by the U.S., Ackerman notes. This book, while not a comprehensive analysis of the full 20 years of war in Afghanistan, is powerful testimony to what went wrong despite the bravery of American military personnel and our Afghan allies. Ackerman reflects on his personal and professional journeys in Afghanistan; his analysis says much about America and why the way the nation fights twenty-first-century wars has little impact on the general public and why there is so little accountability for failure. Ackerman's tales are compelling and heartfelt; this title will stand the test of time as a warning against further military misadventures. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Author Notes

Elliot Ackerman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels 2034, Red Dress In Black and White, Waiting for Eden, Dark at the Crossing, and Green on Blue, as well as the memoir Places and Names: On War, Revolution and Returning. His books have been nominated for the National Book Award, the Andrew Carnegie Medal in both fiction and nonfiction, and the Dayton Literary Peace Prize among others. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine, and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

Subject: Afghan War, 2001-2021 > Evacuation of civilians.
Paramilitary forces > Afghanistan.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
Afghan War, 2001-2021 > Personal narratives, American.
Afghan War, 2001-2021 > Peace.
Disengagement (Military science)
United States. Marine Corps. Marine Regiment, 8th. Battalion, 1st.
Ackerman, Elliot.
Genre: Personal Narrative.
Personal narratives.

Additional Resources