Charlie Wilson’s War: The Extraordinary Story of How the Wildest Man in Congress and a Rogue CIA Agent Changed the History of Our Times

By George Crile
Read by Christopher Lane

20.45 Hours 09/01/2003 unabridged
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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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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

A Washington Post Bestseller

A Los Angeles Times Bestseller

Winner of the 2004 Audie Award for Best Narration

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.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

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
“Tom Clancy’s fiction pales in comparison with the amazing, mesmerizing story told by George Crile.” Dan Rather, 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
“A gripping read for students of the Cold War, anyone who wants the lowdown on how their tax dollars really get spent, Central Asian junkies, or those who delight in cloaks, daggers, and plausible deniability.” Economist
“Irresistible…Can’t be believed until Crile and his thorough reporting gradually make it clear that yes, it all really happened.” San Francisco Chronicle
“Vibrant storytelling…An entirely new take on Reagan-era history with international sweep and modern implications, neatly laid over the intriguing, untold inner workings of [the CIA].” Houston 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
“Charlie Wilson’s War is a cross between Tom Clancy and Carl Hiaasen, with the distinguishing feature that it’s all apparently true.” Christian Science Monitor
“Crile has raised the bar on books of this sort. It has more political intrigue, more suspense, more intense psychological analysis, and more technological know-how than anything Tom Clancy or Robert Ludlum could fantasize about. And it has something else besides: It’s true.” Charleston Gazette
“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

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: George Crile

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.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction/History
Runtime: 20.45
Audience: Adult
Language: English