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

Front Cover
Penguin, Dec 28, 2004 - Political Science - 738 pages
21 Reviews
Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified
Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize

“The CIA itself would be hard put to beat his grasp of global events . . . Deeply satisfying.” —The New York Review of Books

From the award-winning and bestselling author of Directorate S, the explosive first-hand account of America's secret history in Afghanistan.

To what extent did America’s best intelligence analysts grasp the rising thread of Islamist radicalism? Who tried to stop bin Laden and why did they fail? Comprehensively and for the first time, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll recounts the history of the covert wars in Afghanistan that fueled Islamic militancy and sowed the seeds of the September 11 attacks. Based on scrupulous research and firsthand accounts by key government, intelligence, and military personnel both foreign and American, Ghost Wars details the secret history of the CIA’s role in Afghanistan (including its covert operations against Soviet troops from 1979 to 1989), the rise of the Taliban, the emergence of bin Laden, and the failed efforts by U.S. forces to find and assassinate bin Laden in Afghanistan.

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Reviews aren't verified, but Google checks for and removes fake content when it's identified

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - antao - LibraryThing

Essential, bloody, real and tragic. One important underlying issue is what this means for the future, because there are similarities between the inflation of the Afghan government with western cash ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LamSon - LibraryThing

This book chronicles the rise of the jihadist movement, starting with mujahedin fighters in Afghanistan during the Soviet occupation in the 1980s. It continues with the rise of the Taliban and the ... Read full review


Praise About the Author
Title Page Copyright Page Dedication
Authors Note Prologue
Were Going to Die Here
Lenin Taught Us
Go Raise Hell
I Loved Osama
Dangling the Carrot
We Couldnt Indict Him
Were Keeping These Stingers
Does America Need the CIA?
You Are to Capture Him Alive
The Kingdoms Interests
We Are at War
Lets Just Blow the Thing Up Chapter 25 The Manson Family

Dont Make It Our War
Who Is This Massoud?
The Terrorists Will Own the World
Inshallah You Will Know My Plans
We Won
Serious Risks
A Rogue Elephant
We Are in Danger
A Friend of Your Enemy
Maintain a Prudent Distance
A New Generation
Slowly Slowly Sucked into It
That Unit Disappeared
You Crazy White Guys
Is There Any Policy?
Daring Me to Kill Them
What Face Will Omar Show to God?
Many Americans Are Going to Die
What an Unlucky Country
Afterword Notes Bibliography

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2004)

Steve Coll is the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Ghost Wars and the dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University, and from 2007 to 2013 was president of the New America Foundation, a public policy institute in Washington, D.C. He is a staff writer for The New Yorker, and previously worked for twenty years at The Washington Post, where he received a Pulitzer Prize for explanatory journalism in 1990. He is the author of seven other books, including On the Grand Trunk Road, The Bin Ladens, Private Empire, and Directorate S.

Bibliographic information