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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,478 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: George Crile Narrator: Christopher Lane Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Charlie Wilson’s War is the untold story of the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. 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. The arms were secretly procured and distributed with the help of an out-of-favor CIA operative, Gust Avrokotos, whose working-class Greek-American background made him an anomaly among the Ivy League world of American spies. Avrakotos handpicked a staff of CIA outcasts to run his operation and, with their help, continually stretched the Agency’s rules to the breaking point.

Moving from the back rooms of the Capitol, to secret chambers at Langley, to arms-dealers conventions, to the Khyber Pass, Charlie Wilson’s War is a detailed and brilliantly reported account of the inside workings of the CIA.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Tom Clancy’s fiction pales in comparison with the amazing, mesmerizing story told by George Crile.”

    Dan Rather, New York Times bestselling author

  • Charlie Wilson’s War is an amazing tale…with a breathtaking cast of characters worthy of a le Carré novel. Only it’s all true. And just as vivid.”

    Ken Auletta, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A vivid narrative…Charlie Wilson’s War is a behind-the-scenes chronicle of a program that is still largely classified…Few people who remember Wilson’s years in Washington would discount even the wildest tales.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Irresistible…Can’t be believed until Crile and his thorough reporting gradually make it clear that yes, it all really happened.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “Crile’s globe-trotting research and adroit writing have produced a vastly entertaining book that outmuscles most spy novels in its quota of sheer thrills and chills.”

    Seattle Post-Intelligencer

  • “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. Winner of the Audie Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Absorbing, thoroughly detailed…A range of colorful characters…figure in this engrossing account.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Put the Tom Clancy clones back on the shelf; this covert-ops chronicle is practically impossible to put down.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An engaging, well-written, newsworthy study of practical politics and its sometimes unlikely players and one with plenty of implications.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Washington Post Bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times Bestseller
  • Winner of the 2004 Audie Award for Best Narration

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by George | 2/19/2014

    " Should be called " How a pair of retards fucked up the world " A Douchebag congressman who tellingly apent his childhood looking for german planes in Texas and designed his own quasi military dress shirts , and a socially retarded greek american death suad specialist , bond over their love of pussy and killing communists and inadvertantly create Al Quaida , because they didn't like think shit through properly. Retards! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jeremy | 1/31/2014

    " Fascinating. Couldn't believe that what Wilson did was possible. Learned a LOT about the 80's war in Afganistan and was intrigued to see how that contributed to the state of the world in Sep 2001. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tt | 1/27/2014

    " Crile writes in an easy readable manner. The story is borderline unbelieveable and yet too true. The book provides great background information on the current situation in Pakistan and Afghanistan. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Alan Keelan | 1/7/2014

    " Shortly after I finished reading this book Sen Charlie Wilson (D-Tex) died. I thought it was just coincidence, but who knows... "

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About the Author

George Crile (1945–2006) was an award-winning documentary filmmaker and veteran producer for 60 Minutes and 60 Minutes II. Charlie Wilson’s War began as a 60 Minutes profile in 1988.