Book Review: Waco by Jeff Guinn

Well, maybe Koresh heard we were investigating, and would probably be coming after him. But maybe he doesn’t know that we’re coming right now.

He did.”

Jeff Guinn, Waco

Title: Waco: David Koresh, the Branch Davidians, and A Legacy of Rage
Author: Jeff Guinn
Genres: Non-fiction, History, Cults, True Crime
Length: 11 hrs, 17 mins (Audiobook)
Published: January 24th, 2023

My Rating: ★★★★¾
Read: 8/1/2023 – 8/5/2023


The psychology behind cults fascinates me to no end. I was moderately familiar with the Waco incident but I never could have imagined its lengthy history. 

Beginning with the roots of the Branch Davidians, the book goes through different phases of David Koresh’s life. Told primarily in chronological order, it almost reads like a novel without feeling fictionalized. 

The entire incident was heartbreaking, especially when the tragic ending could have likely been avoided. As I mentioned already, the psychology element was the biggest draw for me. I expected the exploration into the mind of David Koresh, but there was a different realm of psychology involving the FBI. All around, the book kept a good momentum and remained engaging and empathetic toward the victims. 

Likes & Dislikes:

What I liked:

  • Both the author and the narrator did a fantastic job of capturing the human aspect rather than focusing on details. Real people were involved and that was not forgotten.
  • Overall great structure.

What I didn’t like:

  • Though the book steered away from bias, the very end of the book brought in political issues from the past couple of decades which distracted from the subject at hand. 9/11 and Waco were two extremely different situations and I don’t know what was going through the author’s mind when he compared the two.


I’ve had Jeff Guinn’s book Jonestown sitting in my Audible library for a while now. I didn’t realize he was the author of Waco until after the fact. I’m even more excited to listen to it now.

Where to buy the book:

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