The Men Who Stare at Goats

By Jon Ronson
(Simon & Schuster, Paperback, 9781439181775, 272pp.)

Publication Date: October 13, 2009

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback, Compact Disc, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Compact Disc, MP3 CD, Paperback

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Bizarre military history: In 1979, a crack commando unit was established by the most gifted minds within the U.S. Army. Defying all known laws of physics and accepted military practice, they believed that a soldier could adopt the cloak of invisibility, pass cleanly through walls, and—perhaps most chillingly—kill goats just by staring at them. They were the First Earth Battalion, entrusted with defending America from all known adversaries. And they really weren’t joking. What’s more, they’re back—and they’re fighting the War on Terror.

An uproarious exploration of American military paranoia: With investigations ranging from the mysterious “Goat Lab,” to Uri Geller’s covert psychic work with the CIA, to the increasingly bizarre role played by a succession of U.S. presidents, this might just be the funniest, most unsettling book you will ever read—if only because it is all true and is still happening today.

About the Author

Jon Ronson is a documentary filmmaker and the author of Them: Adventures with Extremists. He lives in London.

Tuesday, Dec 29, 2009

The Men Who Stare At Goats was in production before Jon Ronson could even finish the book the film is based on. And while the film-adaptation process was a wild, lonely ride for Ronson, he tells NPR's Robert Siegel that he learned a few good lessons from the experience. More at

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Sunday, Nov 8, 2009

The new George Clooney movie, The Men Who Stare at Goats, is filled with tough-to-believe notions. Here's one — the U.S. Army teaching one of its squads how to walk through walls. Or how about stopping the hearts of goats just by staring at them? Sounds crazy, but author Jon Ronson tells host Guy Raz that the Army really tried those techniques and others in the late '70s and early '80s. Ronson wrote the book that became the basis for the movie. More at

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