We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Charlie Wilson's War: The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History | [George Crile]

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

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.
Regular Price:$31.47
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

4.2 (3382 )
5 star
 (1611)
4 star
 (1107)
3 star
 (441)
2 star
 (143)
1 star
 (80)
Overall
4.2 (1147 )
5 star
 (578)
4 star
 (352)
3 star
 (139)
2 star
 (48)
1 star
 (30)
Story
4.2 (1127 )
5 star
 (551)
4 star
 (380)
3 star
 (141)
2 star
 (36)
1 star
 (19)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Jonathan Lambertville, MI, USA 04-09-05
    Jonathan Lambertville, MI, USA 04-09-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    22
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Dry..."

    Very dry, completely lost interest at several point in the second file of the book, didn't finish it. Way too much detail in areas that I didn't think were pertinent to the point of the story. I would only recommend this if you don't know ANYTHING about the Afghan-Soviet story at all.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephen Wellsville, UT, USA 10-11-04
    Stephen Wellsville, UT, USA 10-11-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Great story, but too much vulgar language"

    This was an excellent read. However, I was often offended by the vulgar language.

    6 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    fred greensboro nc 09-23-10
    fred greensboro nc 09-23-10 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    125
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    139
    89
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    "I like it all"

    I like Charlie Wilson. I like the writing. I like the author. I like the movie. If it didn't happen recently then you'd think it was fiction. Worth it.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim 09-05-10
    Jim 09-05-10 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    23
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    150
    25
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Interesting but not exciting"

    I learned a great deal but it was far from an exciting read. It reads in a "just the facts" manner. One would think that a book on spies would have more intrigue.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jamie 07-01-08
    Jamie 07-01-08 Listener Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "History Under your Nose"

    This is how we felt. I purchased this right before a long tedious road trip. Both my husband and I listened for hours. It was engaging, entertaining and educational. Just to know that this was all going on when no one bothered to report on it or blab all over the media. This is where the real story is - after the fact when the job is done. I have always said it is better to ask forgiveness than to ask permission - Charlie Wilson is one of these guys with the same rule!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yennta L.A., CA 03-06-08
    Yennta L.A., CA 03-06-08 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    211
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    132
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    13
    0
    Overall
    "Great, but..."

    I don't know. Maybe these things won't bother other people, but it seemed as if there were a lot of either typos in the text or misreadings by the reader. Describing the "hollowed halls" of Yale, talking about "flaunting the rules," telling of an antique car so old it had more than "three thousand miles on it." And so on and on and on. These things just jolted me every time I heard them. The ms should have been proof-read, or the reader needs to be more careful. I've "read" probably a thousand books on tape, cd, and as downloads, and I've never encountered anything like this. Great story, tho.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DERALD 07-15-07
    DERALD 07-15-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    66
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    125
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "American Hero C.W."

    A great story that is superbly written and delivered. I am humbled and inspired.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ltlrags CA USA 03-10-06
    ltlrags CA USA 03-10-06 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Not So Extraordinary"

    What Charlie Wilson, the CIA and various others did was pretty extraordinary, but the telling is anything but. Mr. Crile’s choice to delve into the background of every character as a way of explaining the motivation for playing a part in the Afghan resistance is distracting. I also found it confusing the way Mr. Crile, attempting to tell the story chronologically, also bounces back and forth in time, again attempting to unveil all the significance of each event, choice, meeting, etc. Rather than rewind constantly to figure out where I was in time and where the timeline had diverged, I decided to let go of the details and try to keep track of the bigger picture. Mr. Crile fails in one other important point - at the end of the second section (of three) I found it difficult to find a compelling reason to keep listening. We already know the ending, but unlike Mr. Eichenwald’s excellent "Conspiracy of Fools," there is no suspense or intrigue here. There are colorful characters who overcome many obstacles; there are colorful stories with humorous or interesting outcomes; but those ingredients don’t complete the recipe of a good story.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edmond Welling , N/A, United Kingdom 01-20-05
    Edmond Welling , N/A, United Kingdom 01-20-05 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Fasinating, educational and definetly worth while"

    Read about how the CIA and congress really works.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ed Neenah, WI, USA 01-10-05
    Ed Neenah, WI, USA 01-10-05 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Should we have learned from the Soviets Mistake ?"

    I thought the story started out very well, but having a hard staying focused on the enormous amount of detail being presented in the second half of the book.
    Is this really the last battle of the cold war or are we in it now? I wonder what government is behind killing Americans. I'll be willing to bet, that every dollar they spend, costs the US at least $100.

    Really makes you wonder.....

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.