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With “12 Strong,” Traverse City author’s book gets the big Hollywood treatment

Simon and Schuster, 2005



Just weeks after 9/11, twelve Army Special Forces commandos secretly got themselves to the mountains of Afghanistan.

They were the first American troops on the ground in Afghanistan post 9/11.
The mission: to join with warlords and soldiers of the Northern Alliance and attack the Taliban, and to do it all on horseback  –  fighting against tanks and 50,000 enemy soldiers.

Their true story was told by Traverse City author Doug Stanton in his book, Horse SoldiersTomorrow, it opens in theaters as 12 Strong.

Stanton joined Stateside to tell us what it took to get the story on the big screen.


Listen above for the full conversation, or read highlights below.


On the military response to the film


"This is an action packed movie but with a heart. It dramatizes very crisply and in an interesting way this moment in history that began the world we now live in, and it was a successful mission. So, in that regard, I am completely happy with the movie and so are the soldiers who are in it. They were with us at the screening in New York at the premiere and they have screenings around the country with different military branches and they have all given it the thumbs up as far as accuracy goes. So it has worked out really well."


On the transition to the big screen


 "I love movies and I love great television and it was a thrill to hear lines that I had reported back at a kitchen table in Fort Campbell, Kentucky back in, say, 2003 or 2004, spoken by someone like Michael Shannon who's in the movie. Of course, the movies speak to a large audience and I think getting this story for the American public, some of whom were only five-years-old when 9/11 happened, and I think that is what's appealing at the moment: this is now history, and not just news."


Support for arts and culture coverage comes in part from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs.


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