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
"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)
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.
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.
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?.
Not only was this book entertaining and compelling, it was very educational. It was fascinating to see behind the scenes in the US government and the CIA. This is one of the best books I have ever read or listened too.
A lot of information that was entirely new to me and worthwhile, but it's a shame this book is not offered in an abridged format. Way too much repition. The editors were asleep at the switch.
I found this a fascinating and discussing book!!! It provides a great preface to how we can shortsightedly focus on one thing and result in creating a bigger mess in the world, I thoroughly enjoyed the book and feel it should be must listening for everyone. I do not agree with what happened, this is a real life Dr Stangelove....
Since becoming a mom, I can hardly find time to read. But my commute still creates time for audiobooks!
Wow! I never knew how much I didn't understand about the history of the US military involvement in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The motivations that Osama Bin Laden claims make a lot more sense to me. Not that I condone anything Bin Laden says/does, but his accusations are not foundless. We armed him and his compatriots. Really well-written and an interesting view into the various relationships between the CIA and Congress.
This is a long book to listen to but when you hear some of the same names you hear in todays new stories it becomes very clear. How can we possibly win the war when those we are fighting( or the sons and other family members)were taught by our own government. When you hear we taught them how to make pipe bombs, car bombs etc and provided them with guns, amo, technology, then in order to keep them on our side used our planes to fly their wounded to our hospitals and all in the name of "defeating the Russians." Afghan "freedom" fighters as we referred to them in the 1980's are and were Taliban fighters.
When you look back on history, our country always seems to back the wrong rebel. In China/Formosa, Cuba and Castro, Afghanstan and the Taliban, we stock pile, train, and wonder why we have such a hard time in the world.
This is a great book for learning a very hard lesson. The contents of the book demonstrate our country is run by a handful of people. Maybe Isolism is the way to be.
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