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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.
©2007 Tim Weiner (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"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

By Jim on 08-23-07

A Must Read/Listen

This is by far the most informative book I have read or listen to for the real details of the CIA. The book does not have an agenda but one gets the sense the author does respect the employees who have put their lives on the line as well as those who daily attempted to protect this country.

This book is aimed at the leadership of the agency for the history of the CIA AND our leaders who we have voted for to guide this country. The book is based on documents, interviews and not a personal bias from the author. What the facts are based on is what is so scary, I have become very skeptical about the agency.

I have always defended the agency and assumed that the government (aka CIA)did what it had too do to keep us safe. This book reveals personal agendas by those in power who wanted revenge for the several defeats we as a county have had, even when it is described as less than a defeat.

It is a long book (21 hours) but well worth the time. For those who still have 9/11 burned into your memories, the story behind the story told in this book will leave you very upset.

I have listen to THE COMPANY and CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR, both relating to the CIA and the abuse of power by those in our government but LEGACY OF ASHES is the best.

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30 of 31 people found this review helpful


By Michael on 07-18-08

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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60 of 64 people found this review helpful

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