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

Extended Audio Sample Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden, from the Soviet Invas ion to September 10, 2001 Audiobook, by Steve Coll Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (4,158 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Steve Coll Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2011 ISBN: 9781101548981
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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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Quotes & Awards

  • Certainly the finest historical narrative so far on the origins of al Qaeda in the post-Soviet rubble of Afghanistan . . . Ghost Wars provides fresh details and helps explain the motivations behind many crucial decisions.

    New York Times Book Review

  • “In Ghost Wars, the Washington Post’s managing editor, Steve Coll, takes a long—and long overdue—look at the peaks and valleys of the CIA’s presence in Afghanistan throughout the decades leading to Sept. 10, 2001. It is a well-written, authoritative, high-altitude drama with a cast of few heroes, many villains, bags of cash, and a tragic ending—one that may not have been inevitable.”

    Washington Post

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • One of the 2004 New York Times Book Review 100 Notable Books for Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2004 Cornelius Ryan Award
  • Winner of the 2005 Arthur Ross Book Award

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John Rivera | 2/19/2014

    " Seems dated now that so much more has happened, but the background to the birth of the Taliban and the role of Pakistan's ISI in assisting it is illuminating. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nazar | 2/19/2014

    " Excellent book about how the US intervention into the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan inadvertently led to the rise of the Osama Bin Laden. Very readable for a political/historical book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Corey | 2/10/2014

    " An incredible history of the 25-30 years that led up to Osama bin Laden's 9/11 attacks. What is said is how close we came on several occasions to getting bin Laden. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeff Shear | 1/27/2014

    " Coll set me on fire. Let's get the adjectives aside first: astounding feat of research; brilliantly written; detailed; and, finally, authoritative. Ghost Wars holds the high beams on the second-tier players, the operatives and analysts as well as U.S. sources on the ground. The policy makers have their place in Ghost Wars, but it's the boots-and-dust bunch Coll focuses on. The book narrates the walk-up to 911, without being a tic-toc. This is great historical writing, so good that I've begun two other books (not his) about the rise of non-state actors, discovering a version of history that might have been. My perspective has been altered going forward. For instance, I just read Coll's review of "Zero Dark Thirty," in the 7 Feb 13 issue of the NY Review of Books. With Ghost Wars at my back the movie took new form: it became just another cowboy film. However, I love cowboy movies! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rob | 1/17/2014

    " By far one of the best books I've ever read. Steve Coll is the man! A great lesson on how screwed this country is and how long it's been that way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heidi Hodges | 1/15/2014

    " This is a well-written and factual account of the CIA's actions in the decades leading up to 9/11. It deals with alot of complex situations and therefore can be a bit confusing at times, but all-around is a really great book if you want to educate yourself on foriegn policy the inside info on our governments actions. Lesson learned - our government has not learned any lessons. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 1/14/2014

    " Educational AND a bit depressing. my favorite combination "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robert | 1/10/2014

    " scary because it was real... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 12/2/2013

    " I guess he got the Pulitzer for the research. The writing was lucid and mildly compelling, but it read more like an 800-page news article. I suppose perhaps that was the intent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Richard Schneider | 11/23/2013

    " Incredible outline of what the U.S. is up against in the Middle East. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aaun Abbas | 11/15/2013

    " Good account of what changed the world and where it is heading now. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth W | 10/29/2013

    " FASCINATING. Read as an informational accompaniment to Charlie Wilson's War. Red meat for a foreign affairs novice like me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dick | 10/26/2013

    " Very informative and thought provoking. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Jane | 10/1/2013

    " A very dense read, but well worth the time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Das Greek | 7/16/2013

    " Excellent book. A lot of history I didn't know. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason Dearen | 5/30/2013

    " Vital context for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the rise of bin Laden, etc...Not exactly a page turner, dense and packed with minutiae, but extraordinary. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 3/5/2013

    " I'd really give this book about 3.5 stars. It was very informative and I learned a lot about Afghanistan and intelligence collection. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eamonnpryan | 12/15/2012

    " This book is pretty amazing. It'll give any reader a firm grasp on how the government actually works, including the CIA, and give you a very detailed account of how modern day afghanistan is what it is. Incredibly well written "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Becky | 11/18/2012

    " You know how everyone says the U.S. is hypocritical because we initiatially funded the Taliban and supplied them with weapons. This is the story of how the CIA did that via the Pakistani intelligence agency "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Donald Parker | 9/11/2012

    " Fantastic and scary all at once. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jrohde | 4/5/2012

    " an excellent account of afghanistan and al-quaida leading up to 11 Sept 01 - well documented account of how this entire thing is of our own making!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sanji | 3/17/2012

    " Got to be pretty long winded in the mid to late of the book, but very interesting how the US and Saudi Arabia funded the Afghan Muhajeddin "

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About the Author
Author Steve Coll

Steve Coll is a New York Times bestselling author and Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist. He is the former managing editor of the Washington Post.

About the Narrator

Malcolm Hillgartner is an actor, author, playwright, and professional narrator. Under the name Jahnna N. Malcolm, he and his wife, Jahnna Beecham, have written over one hundred books for young readers; their musicals have played in theaters across America. His audiobook credits include works by Dean Koontz, Nelson Algren, and William F. Buckley Jr.