Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden

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Penguin UK, Mar 3, 2005 - History - 736 pages
363 Reviews

The news-breaking book that has sent schockwaves through the White House, Ghost Wars is the most accurate and revealing account yet of the CIA's secret involvement in al-Qaeada's evolution.

Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll has spent years reporting from the Middle East, accessed previously classified government files and interviewed senior US officials and foreign spymasters. Here he gives the full inside story of the CIA's covert funding of an Islamic jihad against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, explores how this sowed the seeds of bn Laden's rise, traces how he built his global network and brings to life the dramatic battles within the US government over national security. Above all, he lays bare American intelligence's continual failure to grasp the rising threat of terrrorism in the years leading to 9/11 - and its devastating consequences.


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Great overview; top-notch reporting; great writing. - Goodreads
Educational AND a bit depressing. - Goodreads
Well written and research. - Goodreads
The book reads like a sad movie you know the ending to. - Goodreads
Comprehensive and easy to read. - Goodreads
Big on blow-by-blow, utterly devoid of insight. - Goodreads

Review: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

User Review  - James Hatton - Goodreads

In December, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. The US was covertly present in the conflict to support the Afghan government. Ahmad Shah Massoud was an Afghan freedom fighter, and a key US ... Read full review

Review: Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

User Review  - John Magee - Goodreads

Outstanding non-fic. Unmuddles murky Middle East politics and the quest for UBL. Read full review


Lenin Taught Us
Go Raise Hell
Who Is This Massoud?
SeriousRisks 11 Rogue Elephant 12 AreinDanger 13 FriendofYour Enemy
Does America Need the CIA?
PART THREE THE DISTANT ENEMY January 1998to September 102001
You Are to Capture Him Alive 22 The Kingdoms Interests 23 We Areat War 24 Lets Just Blow the Thing Up
The Manson Family 26 That Unit Disappeared 27 You Crazy White Guys 28 Is There Any Policy?
Daring Meto Kill Them 30 What Face WillOmar ShowtoGod? 31 Many Americans AreGoingtoDie
What an Unlucky Country Afterword
Bibliography Acknowledgments Index


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About the author (2005)

Steve Coll, winner of a 1990 Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism, has been managing editor of the Washington Post since 1998 and covered Afghanistan as the Post's South Asia bureau chief between 1989 and 1992. Coll is the author of four books, including On the Grand Trunk Road and The Taking of Getty Oil.

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