Charlie Wilson's War

  • by George Crile
  • Narrated by Christopher Lane
  • 20 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Charlie Wilson's War is the untold story behind the last battle of the Cold War and how it fueled the rise of militant Islam. George Crile tells how 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.
Moving from the back rooms of the Capitol, to secret chambers at Langley, to arms-dealers conventions, to the Khyber Pass, this book is a detailed and brilliantly reported account of the inside workings of the CIA.

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Audible Editor Reviews

Why we think it's Essential: With shades of both Tom Clancy and Dr. Strangelove, Charlie Wilson's War is the incredible true story of a gregarious Texas Congressman, a shadowy CIA operative, and their campaign to fund the Afghan jihad against the Soviet Union. Christopher Lane's smooth narration compliments George Crile's well-researched chronicle...right through to a riveting coda that reminds us of the operation's very real ramifications. —Ed Walloga

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What the Critics Say



2004 Audie Award Winner, Unabridged Nonfiction
"Crile, a 60 Minutes producer, offers an absorbing, thoroughly detailed look at the largest and most successful CIA operation in U.S. history: the arming of the Mujahideen in Afghanistan." (Booklist)
"An engaging, well-written, newsworthy study of practical politics and its sometimes unlikely players." (Kirkus Reviews)

“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." (AudioFile)
“Put the Tom Clancy clones back on the shelf; this covert-ops chronicle is practically impossible to put down.” (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Best Non-Fiction Book - Extremely Compelling!!!

Charlie Wilson's War (unabridged)is a "must listen" for anyone interested in Middle Eastern current events. At first, I thought that a non-fiction documentary, 20-hour account, of the Afgan struggle against the Soviet Union, had the potential to be a real bore. Man, was I wrong! This is one of those audio books that makes you run extra earings for the wife so you can listen to more and more and more! I would highly recommend this great book by George Crile to any student of history, Middle-Eastern Islamic affairs, and geo-political spy story aficionados.
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- Chuck

The Afghan War:Last Nail in the Soviet Coffin

Charlie Wilson's War is an enormously entertaining and informative history of the secret war that put the final nail in the Soviet coffin, leaving behind a vacuum into which stepped the Taliban and Al Queda. This is a truly great narrative of how we arrived in this post Cold War world with it's new terrorist wars.

(Another great book that addresses some of the same questions is, "All the Shah's Men" by Stephen Kinzer)
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- William Lorenzen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-23-2004
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.