AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Hold the Line by Michael Fanone & John Shiffman

Publication Date: October 11, 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Memoir
Narrators: Michael Fanone

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio 
 7 hours 17 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


When Michael Fanone self-deployed to the Capitol on January 6, 2021, he had no idea his life was about to change. When he got to the front of the line, he urged his fellow officers to hold it against the growing crowd of insurrectionists—until he found himself pulled into the mob, tased until he had a heart attack, and viciously beaten with a Blue Lives Matter flag as shouts to kill him rang out.

Now, Fanone is ready to tell the full story of that fateful day, along with exploring our country’s most critical issues as someone who has had firsthand experience with many of them. A self-described redneck who voted for Trump in 2016, Fanone’s closest friend was an informant—a Black, transgender, HIV-positive woman who has helped him mature and rethink his methods as a police officer. With his unique insight as an undercover detective and intense desire to do the right thing no matter the cost, Fanone provides a nuanced look into everything from policing to race to politics in a way that is accessible across all party lines.

Determined to make sure no one forgets what happened at the Capitol on January 6th, Fanone has written a timely call to action for anyone who wants to preserve our democracy for future generations.


By now most people know his face, but I wanted to hear his story in his words.  I was actually surprised by this book and by Michael Fanone.  He isn't perfect, but his sole mission was to make sure that him and his fellow cops were acknowledged and received the help and recognition  they deserved after the insurrection on Jan 6. 

He also outlines how he feels more training for cops not less, seeing everyone as human, looking at poverty, and the injustice of the criminal justice system as well as the systemic racism in this country is imperative to improving policing. 

I was recently watching an episode of This is Life with Lisa Ling and she was talking about mental illness.  She focused her reporting in LA who have a special squad in the police department that is trained to help de-escalate encounters with mentally ill people and also a task force that helps the homeless get off the streets and get the help they need. This is what I think Michael Fanone was talking about when he was speaking of training police.  Instead of this defund the police movement which I never really understood, putting more money into training and ways in which to de-escalate situations, meeting people where they are and seeing people as human is what this country needs. Really interesting and thought provoking, both the book and the show. 

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