Charlie Wilson's War

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Grove Press, 2003 - History - 550 pages
7 Reviews
Charlie Wilson's War was a publishing sensation and a New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times bestseller. In the early 1980s, a Houston socialite turned the attention of maverick Texas congressman Charlie Wilson to the ragged band of Afghan "freedom fighters" who continued, despite overwhelming odds, to fight the Soviet invaders. Wilson, who sat on the all-powerful House Appropriations Committee, managed to procure 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, this book presents an astonishing chapter of our recent past, and the key to understanding what helped trigger the sudden collapse of the Soviet Union and ultimately led to the emergence of a brand-new foe in the form of radical Islam.
 

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Charlie Wilsons War is a great read

User Review  - exlibris101 - Overstock.com

Charlie Wilsons war is a true story about Americas involvment in the RuissianAfgan war and how a U.S. congressman supplied the Afgans weapons and money that enabled the Afgans to drive the Russians out of Afghabistan. Read full review

I'm so happy I picked up this book!

User Review  - tboneecks - Borders

I loved the movie so I decided to go buy the book and it was one of the best purchases I made that year. If you saw the movie and thought, like I did, that it was probably fluffed up by Hollywood ... Read full review

Contents

A Strange Award at Langley
1
A Hot Tub in Las Vegas
8
Defender of Trinity
21
A Rogue Elephant in the Agency Woods
40
A Texas Bombshell
64
The Secret Life of Charlie Wilson
76
The Curse of Aliquippa
89
How the Israelis Broke the Congressmans Heart and He Fell for the Muj
97
No Wasps Need Apply
272
Man of Destiny
285
Mohammeds Arms Bazaar
307
The Senator and His Even Crazier RightWing Friends
324
Techno Holy Warriors
339
The Noblest Smuggling Operation in History
357
Dr Doom Declares Charlie Dead
374
Charlies Irregulars
387

The Station Chief
115
Cocaine Charlie
130
The Congressman Takes His Belly Dancer to the Jihad
139
The Rebirth of Gust Avrakotos
154
The United States v Charles Wilson
170
The Seduction of Doc Long
183
Gusts Secret
194
The Opening Salvo
204
Howard of Afghanistan
216
Cogans Last Stand
233
The Birth of a Conspiracy
247
The Recruitment
261
The Silver Bullet
403
The Other Silver Bullet
422
The Brown Bomber
440
Its My War Goddamn It
455
A Jihad to Remember
470
The Price of Glory
485
Heres to You You Motherfucker
502
Epilogue Unintended Consequences
507
Source Notes
525
Acknowledgments
533
Index
536
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About the author (2003)

George Crile III (March 5, 1945 - May 15, 2006) was an American journalist most closely associated with his three decades of work at CBS News. After studies at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and Trinity College, Hartford, Crile worked as a reporter for Washington columnists Drew Pearson and Jack Anderson, and as the Pentagon correspondent for Ridder Newspapers. Crile came from a line of pioneering surgeons. His grandfather, Dr. George Washington Crile, was a founder of the Cleveland Clinic. His father, Dr. George Crile, Jr., was a leading figure in the United States in challenging unnecessary surgery, best known for his part in eliminating radical breast surgery. Crile was both a producer and reporter for CBS. His career with the company spanned three decades until his death in 2006. Before joining CBS at the age of 31, Crile was Washington Editor of Harper's Magazine. In addition to Harper's, his articles were published in The Washington Monthly, New Times, The Washington Post Outlook Section and The New York Times. In the late 1980s, Crile began the research and reporting on the Afghan War that led to his 2003 best-selling book, Charlie Wilson's War, which tells the story of how the United States CIA funded the only successful jihad in modern history. The book became a New York Times bestseller again in 2015. Crile died at age 61 from pancreatic cancer.

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