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Charlie Wilson's War Audiobook

Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: With shades of both Tom Clancy and Dr. Strangelove, Charlie Wilson's War is the incredible true story of a gregarious Texas Congressman, a shadowy CIA operative, and their campaign to fund the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union. Christopher Lane's smooth narration compliments George Crile's well-researched chronicle...right through to a riveting coda that reminds us of the operation's very real ramifications. —Ed Walloga

Publisher's Summary

Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how Charlie Wilson, a maverick congressman from east Texas, conspired with a rogue CIA operative to launch the biggest, meanest, and most successful covert operation in the agency's history.

In the early 1980s, after a Houston socialite turned Wilson's attention to the ragged Afghan freedom fighters who continued to fight the Soviet invaders despite overwhelming odds, the congressman became passionate about their cause and procured hundreds of millions of dollars to support the mujahideen.

Moving from the back rooms of the Capitol, to secret chambers at Langley, to arms-dealers conventions, to the Khyber Pass, this book is a detailed and brilliantly reported account of the inside workings of the CIA.

©2003 George Crile; (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the Critics Say

  • 2004 Audie Award Winner, Unabridged Nonfiction

"Crile, a 60 Minutes producer, offers an absorbing, thoroughly detailed look at the largest and most successful CIA operation in U.S. history: the arming of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan." (Booklist)
"An engaging, well-written, newsworthy study of practical politics and its sometimes unlikely players." (Kirkus Reviews)

“Narrator Christopher Lane affects an even tone and pace, allowing the events of the story to carry the listener to the extraordinary highs and sickening lows of the flawed but heroic Wilson. Thankfully, Lane takes it easy on the accents and shines brightest when allowing a tinge of cynicism in his delivery." (AudioFile)

“Put the Tom Clancy clones back on the shelf; this covert-ops chronicle is practically impossible to put down.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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Performance
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  •  
    Steve Round Rock, TX, USA 04-13-05
    Steve Round Rock, TX, USA 04-13-05 Member Since 2006
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    "Great book."

    This book was about events in our not very distant past that was very informative and at the same time, entertaining. I have recommended this book to everyone I know.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    kate a. willseyville, ny USA 03-21-05
    kate a. willseyville, ny USA 03-21-05 Listener Since 2003
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    "Fascinating"

    Amazing to hear about the inside workings of the CIA and Congress with real names of real people involved in real events. I couldn't wait to hear each chapter of this book. It's also enlightening to learn about the culture of the people of Afghanistan and Pakistan. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Charlotte, NC, USA 03-18-05
    Matt Charlotte, NC, USA 03-18-05
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    "Too short!!"

    Sometimes, in the middle of a book, you curse the fact that there is not an abridged version. This is not one of those times. In fact I only have one complaint about this audio book,I want to see the pictures that are included in the print version of the book.

    This is an amazing listen that is also well written and well read. Gust, Charlie, and the rest of the cast are well characterized and their roles are all well deined. George Crile does an amazing job of giving you the background for each of these characters and the context in which this amazing series of events occurred.

    A fantastic behind the scenes view of a few key players helping to bring about the end of the Cold War. Best book I've listened to yet.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jayme Leita 03-10-05
    Jayme Leita 03-10-05 Member Since 2014
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    "An Amazing Untold Chapter in American History"

    Can't say enough good about this book! Was basically hanging on every word. Charlie Wilson and Gust Avrakotos are truly amazing men. This book tells the little-known story of how the U.S. basically saved the world by supporting the Afhgan freedom fighters against the Soviets. A must read...should be a top seller on Audible within a few weeks. Tom Hanks has already bought the rights to the movie based on this book! I can't wait!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mick 02-26-05
    Mick 02-26-05 Member Since 2002
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    "most impressive"

    very interesting story. reads like something from Clancy, only better. almost hard to believe that this sort of thing really happens in modern time. highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark USA 02-13-05
    Mark USA 02-13-05
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    "Very engaging"

    This audiobook kept me interested throughout. I am a bit of a history/pol buff, but the excitement of Wilson's follies is what kept me listening. I would recommend this book to anyone, of mature age.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David West Newton, MA, USA 02-04-05
    David West Newton, MA, USA 02-04-05 Member Since 2004
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    "Exceeds Expectations"

    Having never heard of this book prior to looking through Audible selections I relied on other reviewers and they are right! This is an excellent book - a well crafted story which, if it wasn't fact, would be thought to be pure fiction. Very interesting and timly given the current war in Iraq. Highly recommend!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark W UNDERWOOD, WA, USA 01-22-05
    Mark W UNDERWOOD, WA, USA 01-22-05
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    "Great intrique"

    Although I'm rather new to audible.com, this is the most interesting book I've listened to yet. The story is like a spy novel, except it's historical rather than fiction. It may be hard to believe, but you'll find yourself rooting for a US Congressman who abuses his office, wastes taxpayer money on personal trips, drinks too much and gets out of trouble we would be thrown in jail for. Maybe that's the allure - it gives us an idea of what we could accomplish if we didn't pay quite so much attention to the rules.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ferrell Foster Texas 01-19-05
    Ferrell Foster Texas 01-19-05 Member Since 2014
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    "Great read"

    This is the first book I've read about Afghanistan, and it definitely whets the appetite to know more. Part of the reason it makes me want to read more is that the story is obviously complex (though very easy to follow), and no complex subject can be adequately handled in one book from one perspective. Besides the global political implications, this book is great because Crile does a good job of character development, and this book has a wide range of "characters." Recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Manuel piscataway, NJ, USA 01-08-05
    Manuel piscataway, NJ, USA 01-08-05
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    "History comes to life in this book"

    This is a great book. I often found myself wondering how the author could possibly know so much about this war and most of all the vast number of characters in it. The story delves deep into the humanity of the war?. So much so that it sheds incredible light for anyone wanting to learn more about the history of the of the Afghani people, and the struggle against the soviets.
    Something else that had me enthralled with this book has to do with the fact tat this war was a factor in the fall of the Soviet Union, an event in history that truly has changed the world.
    Yet? the most amazing thing about this war is Charlie Wilson, a true champion for his cause, the greatest of all anti heroes?.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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