Legacy of Ashes

  • by Tim Weiner
  • Narrated by Stefan Rudnicki
  • 21 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This is the book the CIA does not want you to read. For the last 60 years, the CIA has maintained a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, never disclosing its blunders to the American public. It spun its own truth to the nation while reality lay buried in classified archives. Now, Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Tim Weiner offers a stunning indictment of the CIA, a deeply flawed organization that has never deserved America's confidence.Legacy of Ashes is based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA. Everything is on the record. There are no anonymous sources, no blind quotations. With shocking revelations that will make headlines, Tim Weiner gets at the truth and tells us how the CIA's failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security.

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What the Critics Say

"Absorbing...a credible and damning indictment of American intelligence policy." (Publishers Weekly)
"A timely, immensely readable, and highly critical history of the CIA, culminating with the most recent catastrophic failures in Iraq." (Mark Bowden, author of Blackhawk Down)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Flawed but Important

This book should be read by anyone interested in the history of the CIA. I have rated this five stars, but this is not the perfect book, just a must read. The author clearly focuses only upon the failures of the CIA and glosses over any successes. Nevertheless, there is substantial value is focusing on failures (of course there is also value is focusing on successes, but that would be a different book). This book also does not seem to go out of its way to suggest tangible changes to improve the CIA.

The material is somewhat dry, and there is some jumping around. The narration is quite good, which helps keep the book interesting. This is not the best book about the CIA, but it is an indispensable viewpoint for anyone who wants to understand the agency.
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- Michael "I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read."

Be Careful to Understand

I'm fairly new to audiobooks, having listened to 8 or so. I've generally relied on reviews for the selection process and have not been disappointed until this selection. I don't usually participate in the review process that is so prevalent in the connected world but I felt strongly enough about my disappointment with this book to say something.

I have to assume the facts and details covered in the book are true. I'd like to assume that the facts and details were fairly presented but the fact that I say this is a clue to the one suspicion that I have.

The book is amazingly well researched. The detail is overwhelming. The research had to have been exhausting. But the basic issue I have is can it be true that the CIA has been as consistently screwed up as depicted?..that the author couldn't come up with one or two situations where the CIA had a successful outcome? Life tells you that just by chance you succeed at something just because things go your way and you fall into a bed of roses. It's the antithesis to the overachiever that stumbles once in awhile. To hear one shortcoming after another for an agency of the government that has generally been viewed as the leader of the free world over the past 80 years starts to sound a little unbelievable. In my opinion the balance just wasn't there. If no balance, or attempt at balance, it doesn't ring true.

When you drive along listening to an audiobook and you realize that you were daydreaming the last 5 minutes and not listening to the book...
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- Cynthia M. Simmons "Cindy"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-03-2007
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.