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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

Crile, George

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9780802141248: 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

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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About the Author:

George Crile is a veteran producer for 60 Minutes. He lives in New York with his wife and family.

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Inspired by the courage of the under-armed mujahideen in Afghanistan in their fight against the Soviet Union in the early 1980s, colorful Texas Congressman Charlie Wilson used all his political savvy, and a compliant CIA operative, to instigate the largest covert war in U.S. history. Narrator Christopher Lane effects an even tone and pace, allowing the events of the story to propel the listener through 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. Wilson's war may have helped end the Cold War, but did it embolden the victors, bringing on the current war on terrorism? That answer is left to the listener. R.O. © AudioFile 2008, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine

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