Ghost Wars
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Ghost Wars : The Secret History of the Cia, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invas Ion to September 10, 2001

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Winner of the 2005 Pulitzer Prize 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. Steve Coll's new book Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016 will be published in February 2018.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 736 pages
  • 137.16 x 205.74 x 43.18mm | 725.74g
  • Penguin USA
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0143034669
  • 9780143034667
  • 59,730

Table of contents

List of Maps
Principal Characters

Prologue: Accounts Receivable - September 1996

Part One: Blood Brothers - November 1979 to February 1989


1. “We’re Going to Die Here

2. “Lenin Taught Us”

3. “Go Raise Hell”

4. “I Loved Osama”

5. “Don’t Make It Our War”

6. “Who Is This Massoud?”

7. “The Terrorists Will Own the World”

8. “Inshallah, You Will Know My Plans”

9. “We Won”

Part Two: The One-Eyed Man Was King - March 1989 to December 1997

10. “Serious Risks”

11. “A Rogue Elephant”

12. “We Are in Danger”

13. “A Friend of Your Enemy”

14. “Maintain a Prudent Distance”

15. “A New Generation”

16. “Slowly, Slowly Sucked into It”

17. “Dangling the Carrot”

18. “We Couldn’t Indict Him”

19. “We’re Keeping These Stingers”

20. “Does America Need the CIA?”

Part Three: The Distant Enemy - January 1998 to September 10, 2001

21. “You Are to Capture Him Alive”

22. “The Kingdom’s Interests”

23. “We Are at War”

24. “Let’s Just Blow the Thing Up”

25. “The Manson Family”

26. “That Unit Disappeared”

27. “You Crazy White Guys”

28. “Is There Any Policy?”

29. “Daring Me to Kill Them”

30. “What Face Will Omar Show to God?”

31. “Many Americans Are Going to Die”

32. “What an Unlucky Country”

Notes
Bibliography
Acknowledgements
Index
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Review Text

"Certainly the finest historical narrative so far on the origins of al Qaeda in the post-Soviet rubble of Afghanistan . . . Ghost Wars provides fresh details and helps explain the motivations behind many crucial decisions." -- The New York Times Book Review

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

"A well written, authoritative, high-altitude drama with few heroes, many villains, bags of cash, and a tragic ending-one that may not have been inevitable."-- The Washington Post
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Review quote

With this book, Coll establishes a reputation as large as that of his "Post" colleague Bob Woodward. ("The Globe and Mail," Toronto) The CIA itself would be hard put to beat his grasp of global events... Deeply satisfying. (Ahmed Rashid, "The New York Review of Books")
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About Steve Coll

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.
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Rating details

10,065 ratings
4.28 out of 5 stars
5 47% (4,725)
4 37% (3,765)
3 13% (1,319)
2 2% (188)
1 1% (68)
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