Pulitzer Prize, General Nonfiction, 2005
The explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan.
With the publication of Ghost Wars, Steve Coll became not only a Pulitzer Prize winner, but also the expert on the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of Bin Laden, and the secret efforts by CIA officers and their agents to capture or kill Bin Laden in Afghanistan after 1998.
©2011 Steve Coll (P)2011 Penguin
"Ghost Wars is a complex study of intelligence operations and an invaluable resource for those seeking a nuanced understanding of how a small band of extremists rose to inflict incalculable damage on American soil." (Amazon.com review)
Jeremy S. Williams
Thought it was a good book with lots of info. Thought the performance could have been a bit better
Absolutely required reading.
Don't think about it another second, just listen.
*This includes the updates from the 9/11 Commission released after the original book was published.
I had hoped for a more lively – perhaps cloak dagger - perspective that's was lacking. No complaint about the scholarship, but this is a sterile retelling of international events that, in my mind, leaves out the human element and, as such, an anticipated exploration into the personalities that would have made this history more arresting.
Shocking to see how much was not done with ample opportunities to take action. Amazing to see the thread of events take place over such long periods of time and through drastically different historical events
Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.
Packed with a lot of substance, I kept trying to take notes on those things that were new to me. I certainly learned a lot about these decades. This book contravenes some well rooted myths about the CIA, Taliban and other actors. The CIA did a heroic job in Astan. The only drawback for me was organization and some redundancy in the material, although I didn't mind too much.
Great book, very detailed info and very informative. If you have any degree of interest in, Afghanistan, America and the war on terror, buy this book.
It was one of my favorites.
I think he brought a personality to the book.
Not a moment but the story about the American embassy in the beginning.
I just liked the way things were explained and the flow of a book filled with so much information. well told!
Ghost Wars is a comprehensive overview of the various conflicts throughout Afghanistan and the Middle East over the past 30+ years. It glosses over some interesting topics (e.g. the fascinating Charlie Wilson), but its hard to fault a general history for that too much. Overall, the story is interesting and the performance by Malcolm Hillgartner is fine.
The problem with this audiobook though, is that it frequently cuts off mid sentence. It appears that when this occurs, it continues on just fine and only a small segment (the end of a sentence or so) is missing. Still, this is extremely distracting and really detracts from the overall experience. If this sounds like it will bother you (I found it quite jarring every time), my advice is to get the book, but skip this recording.
It explained with great clarity the complexities of, not only our relations with Afghanistan but also with Pakistan. The only common element seems to be widespread misunderstanding and mistrust.
I also learned that we had clearly identified the threat from Osama Bin Laden back during the mid 1990s but permission to neutralize him was denied by then President Clinton due to his personal political difficulties at that particular time.
The research for this book was extensive and I was astonished that so much of the material is now declassified.
No single character because so many of the characters are facinating.
His tone , his delivery and the facility to smoothly move through so many difficult names and accents added an additional flavor of authenticity to the story
No foreign power has succeeded in this region since Alexander the Great. Even the people in charge today in Pakistan and Afghanistan, are not really in charge. So,...... we must ask ourselves why are we Americans wasting lives and treasury in this ungovernable wasteland?
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