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Ghost Wars Audiobook
Ghost Wars
Written by: 
Steve Coll
Narrated by: 
Malcolm Hillgartner
 >   > 
Ghost Wars Audiobook

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

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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

4.4 (429 )
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Story
4.4 (367 )
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3 star
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2 star
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Performance
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  •  
    A. M. 08-23-14
    A. M. 08-23-14

    Geopolitics, history, and philosophy junkie. I love smoothly flowing prose that moves me effortlessly from one idea to the next.

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    "A good historical account..."
    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Mesa, AZ, United States 12-14-13
    Lynn Mesa, AZ, United States 12-14-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Must Read!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tom 06-13-13
    Tom 06-13-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Eye opening"
    Where does Ghost Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It was one of my favorites.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    McWilliams


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

    I think he brought a personality to the book.


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

    Not a moment but the story about the American embassy in the beginning.


    Any additional comments?

    I just liked the way things were explained and the flow of a book filled with so much information. well told!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher Corning, NY, United States 05-28-13
    Christopher Corning, NY, United States 05-28-13
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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
  •  
    Lee Mathieu 04-01-16
    Lee Mathieu 04-01-16
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    "A fantastic read. Steve Coll never disappoints!"

    i absolutely love this book. His research is extensive. a very detailed read. won't disappoint

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan Burns 03-26-16
    Dan Burns 03-26-16 Member Since 2016
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    "good book, good performance, bad editing"

    Excellent view into the events that allowed 9/11 to occur. Detailed look at the decision-making and missed opportunities that let those snakes turn the world upside down.

    The performance was good, Malcolm uses excellent voice acting to keep you listening.

    Unfortunately, the editing left a lot to be desired. oftentimes there end of a sentence would be clipped off at the end of a section, and you are left to infer the last few words. Still a worthy listen, but I would probably get the companion book along with the audio book if you want to catch everything.

    Even though I know how the story ends, it kept me listening.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alan 03-19-16
    alan 03-19-16 Member Since 2015
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    "very informative"

    very informative about US involvement in Afghanistan leading up to September 2001. I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to know more about the Afghan wars

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John T Rourke USA 05-27-15
    John T Rourke USA 05-27-15 Member Since 2014

    UK expat, married, kids, writer.

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    "Badly edited audio spoils it"
    Where does Ghost Wars rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    It's a decent enough book but it's heavily aimed at Afghanistan with a sprinkling of information on the CIA and Bin Laden.


    Has Ghost Wars turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Not at all.


    What about Malcolm Hillgartner’s performance did you like?

    Excellent narrator, let down by sloppy editing. Sentences cut off before words are finished. Lines repeated.


    If you could give Ghost Wars a new subtitle, what would it be?

    A history of Afghanistan


    Any additional comments?

    Overly long.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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