Command Authority

Command Authority

by Tom Clancy, Mark Greaney

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Decades ago, as a young CIA analyst, President Jack Ryan Sr. was sent out to investigate the death of an operative—only to uncover the existence of a KGB assassin codenamed Zenith. He was never able to find the killer…

In the present, a new strongman has emerged in the ever-chaotic Russian republic—the enigmatic President Valeri Volodon. But the foundations of his personal empire are built on a bloody secret from his past. And none who know of it have lived to tell. For he has set a plot in motion—a plot to return Russia to its former glory.

But when a family friend of Ryan’s is poisoned by a radioactive agent, the trail leads to Russia. And Jack Ryan Jr.—aided by his compatriots John Clark and the covert warriors of the secretive Campus—must delve into an international conflict thirty years in the making, and finish what his father started.

With President Ryan fighting the political battle of his life, and his son fighting a silent war against a ruthless foe, global conflict becomes imminent—and the possibility of survival may soon be lost for all…

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780425275139
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Series: Jack Ryan Series , #16
Pages: 608
Sales rank: 88,931
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.50(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

A little more than thirty years ago Tom Clancy was a Maryland insurance broker with a passion for naval history. Years before, he had been an English major at Baltimore’s Loyola College and had always dreamed of writing a novel. His first effort, The Hunt for Red October—the first of the phenomenally successful Jack Ryan novels—sold briskly as a result of rave reviews, then catapulted onto the New York Times bestseller list after President Reagan pronounced it “the perfect yarn.” From that day forward, Clancy established himself as an undisputed master at blending exceptional realism and authenticity, intricate plotting, and razor-sharp suspense. He passed away in October 2013

Mark Greaney
 has a degree in international relations and political science. In his research for the Gray Man novels, including Agent in PlaceGunmetal GrayBack BlastDead EyeBallisticOn Target, and The Gray Man, he traveled to more than fifteen countries and trained alongside military and law enforcement in the use of firearms, battlefield medicine, and close-range combative tactics. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Tom Clancy Support and DefendTom Clancy Full Force and EffectTom Clancy Commander in Chief, and Tom Clancy True Faith and Allegiance. With Tom Clancy, he coauthored Locked OnThreat Vector, and Command Authority.


Huntingtown, Maryland

Date of Birth:

April 12, 1947

Date of Death:

October 1, 2013

Place of Birth:

Baltimore, Maryland


Loyola High School in Towson, Maryland, 1965; B.A. in English, Loyola College, 1969

Read an Excerpt


The Russian Federation invaded its sovereign neighbor on the first moonless night of spring. By dawn their tanks ground westward along highways and back roads as if the countryside belonged to them, as if the quarter-century thaw from the Cold War had been a dream.

This was not supposed to happen here. This was Estonia, after all, and Estonia was a NATO member state. The politicians in Tallinn had promised their people that Russia would never attack them now that they had joined the alliance.

But so far, NATO was a no-show in this war.

The Russian ground invasion was led by T-90s—fully modernized fifty-ton tanks with a 125-millimeter main gun and two heavy machine guns, explosive-reactive armor, and a state-of-the-art automated countermeasure system that detected inbound missiles and then launched missiles of its own to kill them in midair. And behind the T-90 warhorses, BTR-80 armored transporters carried troops in their bellies, disgorging them when necessary to provide cover for the tanks, and then retrieving them when all threats had been neutralized.

So far, the land war was proceeding nominally for the Russian Federation.

But it was a different story in the air.

Estonia had a good missile defense system, and Russia’s attack on their early-warning systems and SAM sites had been only marginally successful. Many SAM batteries were still operational, and they had shot down more than a dozen Russian aircraft and kept dozens of others from executing their missions over the nation.

The Russians did not yet own the skies, but this had not slowed down their land advance at all.
In the first four hours of the war, villages were flattened, towns lay in rubble, and many of the tanks had yet to fire their main guns. It was a rout in the making, and anyone who knew anything about military science could have seen it coming, because the tiny nation of Estonia had focused on diplomacy, not on its physical defense.

Edgar Nõlvak had seen it coming, not because he was a soldier or a politician—he was a schoolteacher—but he had seen it coming because he watched television. Now as he lay in a ditch, bloody and cold, wet and shaking from fear, his ears half destroyed from the sustained crashing of detonating shells fired from the Russian tanks poking out of the tree line on the far side of the field, he retained the presence of mind to wish like hell his country’s leaders had not wasted time with diplomacy in Brussels, and had instead spent their time constructing a fucking wall to keep the fucking Russians out of his fucking village.

There had been talk of an invasion for weeks, and then, days earlier, a bomb exploded over the border in Russia, killing eighteen civilians. On the television the Russians blamed the Estonian Internal Security Service, a preposterous claim given credence by Russia’s slick and state-sponsored media. They showed their manufactured proof and then the Russian president said he had no choice but to order a security operation into Estonia to protect the Russian people.

Edgar Nõlvak lived in Põlva; it was forty kilometers from the border, and he’d spent his youth in the seventies and eighties fearing that someday tanks would appear in that very tree line and shell his home. But over the past twenty-three years that fear had been all but forgotten.

Now the tanks were here, they’d killed scores of his fellow townspeople, and they would surely kill him with barely a pause on their way west.

What People are Saying About This

Chicago Tribune

Each plotline comes to us mainly in a series of tightly written action visual as anything on a movie screen, with the added enticement of crisp, accurate and hard driving prose.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Hard to put down.

From the Publisher

“Once again, the acrid scent of cordite wafted through my imagination during the climactic gun battle as Clancy’s characters from the world of intelligence achieved yet another victory over the forces of evil.”—The Washington Times

“Vintage Clancy…A pleasing fairytale for people who like things that blow up.”—Kirkus Reviews

Customer Reviews

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Command Authority 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 219 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is hard to imagine that we will no more read from Tom Clancy, who died Tuesday, October 1, 2013 of an undisclosed illness in his hometown of Baltimore. Command Authority, which you are holding in your hands, is his last gift to us his devoted fans worldwide. His untimely demise is an irreparable loss. He will be missed! His rise to fame was not an easy one. It was a path strewn with obstacles and rejections. Yet, he rose like the proverbial phoenix, shining brightly among the stars to become one among the few to hit #1 with all his 17 books on the New York Times bestseller list. Yet, when it all began in 1984, Clancy couldn't find any established publisher. He had to settle for the small and hitherto unknown Naval Institute Press to publish his cold war thriller "The Hunt For Red October," which was the first fiction they published. He was paid a meager $5000 for the book. Clancy's gripping plot and mastery of technical details made it a massive bestseller. It was made into a smash hit movie starring Sean Connery and Alec Baldwin. He went on to write 17 others, several of which were also made into blockbuster movies. Tom Clancy may be no more but he will continue to live on through the characters he created, especially Jack Ryan, and the books he wrote. He gave the world a genre called techno-thriller, of which he was the undisputed king, and his name will live on as long as the genre lives. It is difficult to say goodbye to someone who gave you so much thrill and entertainment for the past nearly-thirty years. But it must be said! Goodbye, and adieu - Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 - October 1, 2013) R.I.P.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book but it was a difficult read because of the flashbacks throughout the story. I would tell my friends to have 2 bookmarks and leave one bookmark at the end of every flashback or current day. That way when another flashback or current day starts they could review where it had ended off. At the end of the book, I felt satisfied.
wandererDE More than 1 year ago
Classic Clancy, no doubt. One reviewer suggested a higher degree of development for star characters. I agree. The book sets "more comfortably" than others starring Clark, Ding & co. BTW the author had a quintuple heart bypass several years ago. His physical being just kept degenerating. Even the best authors have just so many "good books" in them. Hard to say how many were left in Clancy. I really feel uncomfortable "recommending" a book. But I enjoyed paying for and reading this one. It was entertaining and that's all I'll ever ask of a novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Not a bad yarn, but some sections could definitely use one more pass through the editing / re-write process. The book just didn't have the continuity that I have come to expect from Clancy. Continuity was also hampered a bit by the now-normal glitches in the e-book software that cause readers to have to manually tell the software to "go to page XX", with some pages bouncing back to earlier pages in a sub-routine, and some pages being lost forever in the software. Regardless, it was Clancy's last, and readers can see that even though it wasn't his best book, it was all we'll ever have..
GermanShepard82 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book as all the other Tom Clancy books. He does a great job of keeping the reader engaged in the story line while having you visualize the actual scene as your reading!! Sign of a great story teller. His books will be missed very much by me. R I P Tom.
RonJ47 More than 1 year ago
I'm a long time fan and this "final" work is in no way dissapointing.
Bill-NJ More than 1 year ago
I read the print version of this book and ordered the CD version for my father. He absolutely raved about the content, the plot, the characters and the overall feeling that this book is a masterpiece.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book probably a lot more than some of the others. This one is not as slow to get to the action like the others. I wish there could be more in this series. RIP Tom Clancy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is especially interesting due to current Russia/Ukraine conflicts!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ended up as a "fast" read. met all my expectations as another in a series. I'll miss them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Highly enjoyable, an excellent extension of the Clancy franchise.
booksandwine More than 1 year ago
Unfortunately this is the last thriller from Tom Clancy. He certainly went out on top of his craft. Command Authourity is ripped straight out of the headlines today with Russia invading Ukraine. Jack Ryan Jr. is fast become a bit of an analyst himself as the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is not one of Clancy's best but still enjoyed reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
My first Clancy novel in a while and it didn't disappoint!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every time i read one of his books i am struck anew by how thoroughly engaging and exciting the reading is, my taste runs more to Jane Austin and to literature and history but i love mixing it up with this aurhor and am never dissapointed! Great read!
The_Qman More than 1 year ago
Took about 100 pages to get past the initial High School writing style similar to Clive Cussler and start to become interesting. By midway it started keeping me up just to "read a little more". Although there were a couple of paragraphs of detail that just didn't matter to the story and made me realize I was reading a book, the rest kept my attention. I liked reading more about the Jack Ryan of yesteryear with the flashbacks that fleshed out the present day story. As always, I felt like I was there, having flashbacks myself of having lived through those times and enjoyed learning more about the world around me. Gave it 4 stars because I couldn't give it 3.5. Recommended read if you are a Clancy fan.
hardcharger More than 1 year ago
I have been slowly reading this great book. I usually finish a Tom Clancy treatise in a few days. But since his death I have re read a lot of his books. This is just a super read. Lots of characters to understand. Lots of twists of the plot line. Sad that this great book will be his final book as he is no longer with us.
Anonymous 23 days ago
#1--Anesthesia: by MrDropek <br> <br> #2--Antidote: by Unknown <br> <br> #3--The last terminal: by Bella <br> <br> <br> <br> No poems voted for.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Good read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Exciting non stop action
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't want to put it down. The characters, flashbacks, twists and turns all made for a very engaging read!
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