Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

Area 51: An Uncensored History of America’s Top Secret Military Base by Annie Jacobsen

I know what you are thinking – another book about UFOs and aliens.  Although this book does cover the crash at Roswell, there are no aliens there. Most of this book is really about the clandestine activities of the CIA and Military; including the nuclear testing, our use of Nazi scientists, and our spy planes (U2, Oxcart/SR-71 Blackbird, etc). 

Most of the book’s claims are preceded by ” Declassified in …”  Whether they are legit or not, I have no way of telling. Most of the detailed history in this book takes place before 1968 mainly due to the previously classified nature of the material.

The author did a good job of turning what could have been a dry history into an interesting story by making characters of the historical figures. I liked how she did not linger too long on any one area of the history.

Spoiler highlight to read

This book seemed very believable up until the end, when she dove more into the Roswell incident. The author had almost of no real citation other than an unnamed source. The unnamed source said that the UFO was Russian-made and piloted by genetically and surgically malformed children with the help of Joesph Mengele. He also claimed that is was all a plot by the Soviet Union to spook us into thing that aliens where invading so they could use it as a cover to attack us. It was disappointing that the author waited until the end to spring this nasty surprise on the reader. 

The only part of this book that was worse than the spoiler mentioned above is the narration. It is read by the author. While most of the time I find this great, this was time is was 15 hours of torture. Her reading was in the very 80s style of narration, when there was no inflection or character performance. It it was worst narration I have the “pleasure” of listening to in a very long time.

Story gets 6.5 out of 10 (would have been better if not for the ending)
Narration gets 3 out of 10

Happy Listening

My next book will be Sellevision by Augusten Burroughs

One Comment

  1. Reply
    Netherland February 21, 2012

    This is a totally bizarre and entertaining read. I loved it! However there are several photos and a map of the base that can be found in the paperback edition but not in the nook book version. Of course there is no mention of this anywhere on the B&N website so the consumer is left uninformed. I cant help but to feel cheated by B&N’s practices. [In addition to overpriced digital downloads.] I hope this retailer get its act together or I am gonna toss my Nook in the lake.

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