Charlie Wilson's War by George Crile
The Extraordinary Story of the Largest Covert Operation in History

76%

5 Critic Reviews

An engaging, well-written, newsworthy study of practical politics and its sometimes unlikely players, and one with plenty of implications.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

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.
 

About George Crile

See more books from this Author
George is a vetern producer for 60 Minutes. He lives in New York.
 
Published December 1, 2007 by Grove Press. 560 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Travel, War, Romance, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction
Bestseller Status:
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Peak Rank on Mar 22 2015
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Weeks as Bestseller
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Critic reviews for Charlie Wilson's War
All: 5 | Positive: 4 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on May 20 2010

An engaging, well-written, newsworthy study of practical politics and its sometimes unlikely players, and one with plenty of implications.

Read Full Review of Charlie Wilson's War: The Ext... | See more reviews from Kirkus

Publishers Weekly

Excellent
on May 26 2003

...superb writing from Crile, a 60 Minutes producer, will keep even the most vigorous critics of this Contra-like affair reading to the end.

Read Full Review of Charlie Wilson's War: The Ext... | See more reviews from Publishers Weekly

Blog Critics

Good
Reviewed by Deano on Jan 11 2004

Crile’s ability to draw vivid and motivated portrayals of the many people working with Charlie Wilson is one of the defining characteristics of this compulsively readable book.

Read Full Review of Charlie Wilson's War: The Ext... | See more reviews from Blog Critics

Salon

Below average
Reviewed by Charles Tyalor on Jul 21 2003

So "Charlie Wilson's War" is a book divided against itself. Crile's enthusiasm and his large gifts as a storyteller pitted against his critical intelligence. (The book never strikes the balance of satire and celebration PhKaufman acheived in his film of Tom Wolfe's "The Right Stuff.")

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Ben Casnocha

Good
Reviewed by Ben Casnocha on Sep 11 2010

I haven’t seen the movie, but the book (upon which the film is based) is outstanding. Riveting from start to finish — a real-life CIA thriller.

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Reader Rating for Charlie Wilson's War
82%

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