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Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 | [Steve Coll]

Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

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.
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Publisher's Summary

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (274 )
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4.3 (227 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Christopher Corning, NY, United States 05-28-13
    Christopher Corning, NY, United States 05-28-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Fine Book - Distracting Audio"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sean C. James Bonita Springs, FL, US 03-19-13
    Sean C. James Bonita Springs, FL, US 03-19-13 Member Since 2009
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    "With 2 Afghans, is the potential for 3 factions"
    What did you love best about Ghost Wars?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    No single character because so many of the characters are facinating.


    What does Malcolm Hillgartner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Absolutely


    Any additional comments?

    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?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Elliott Auriol, Provence, FR 02-19-13
    David Elliott Auriol, Provence, FR 02-19-13
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    "Extremely well researched and comprehensive"
    What did you love best about Ghost Wars?

    How well it covered the subjects promised in the subtitle.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Ghost Wars?

    It's not that kind of book. There are sequences where some of the operator's exploits are described, but mainly it is a steady, factual account of the players and events through this moment of history.


    Have you listened to any of Malcolm Hillgartner’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Only the realization that through the abdication of our oversight of how weapons and materiel were being used to the ISI, and how Saudi Arabia was funding the brainwashing of a jihadi fighting force, we fertilized the ground for our enemies to grow against us.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DYLAN DAMKOEHLER 01-08-15
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    "book review"

    It ties a lot of old, worn threads together and gives a much richer understanding of the places and players than any news piece ever could. Steve is a master storyteller about a world so few understand or even care about. The narrator does a fine job, although his occasional attempts at accents are slightly distracting.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ESB VA, United States 02-17-12
    ESB VA, United States 02-17-12
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    "Excellent Read"
    Any additional comments?

    There is a lot that was going on behind the scenes I did not know about until I

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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