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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 Paperback – April 22, 2004
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New from Sebastian Junger
The bestselling author of War and The Perfect Storm takes readers on an investigation of how we overcome trauma and seek something bigger than ourselves. Learn more
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Top Customer Reviews
On one level, this book is phenomenal. It is entertaining without end. The characters are so eccentric and their activities so pregnant with danger and political scandal that it almost stretches the bounds of believability. Tom Hanks, that most venerable of Hollywood icons, has purchased the screen rights to this book and plans to play the lead. For once, screenwriters won't have to "punch up" the script to appeal to the mainstream audience (although they still might try).
But that brings us to the other, more disappointing side of "Charlie Wilson's War." It is written in the spirit of a great spy novel, rather than the most exciting history imaginable. The topic is historical and the events described by Crile are all ostensibly historical in nature, but this book isn't "history." Stellar works of modern history - such as Alistair Horne's "A Savage War of Peace" or Stanley Karnow's "Vietnam" - are informative, engaging but above all objective. Grand characters may populate the narrative and some may come off better than others, but ultimately the story tells itself and the reader is left to draw their own conclusions and character analysis. This isn't the case with "Charlie Wilson's War.Read more ›
This book is about impossible personalities prevailing against impossible odds to defeat an impossible foe. It is also impossible to put down. The prose is quick and engaging. George Crile and his crack team drop you immediately into the action, creating a close bond with the book's main protagonists. However, Wilson and Avrokotos are not allowed to completely overshadow the action. Crile brings his expert eye to this historic tale, forged after almost two decades of service as an executive producer at "Sixty Minutes". The result is an easy to follow, orderly read- despite the utter chaos of the region's history, politics, and religious, ethnic, and territorial turmoil.
What makes this book all the more fascinating is the direct connections Crile ties to our present day difficulties with Afghanistan and the larger Islamic world, not to mention the final days of the Soviet empire. For the first time since 9/11, one source ties together the complicated web of covert operations, David and Goliath type odds, and the final missed opportunities into a coherent story. A story that is an object lesson into our current relationships in the Middle East.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Amazing story. Enjoyed the movie but it only scratched the surface, with a lot of momentary scenes that are expanded considerably in the book. Read morePublished 1 month ago by J. Watson
It was ok, author had alot of bias, kind of read like a piece of fiction. Alternate title, 'How a Maverick Congressman helped ignite Jihadism
and create the new bane of... Read more
I loved this book and was surprised how well it flowed and never left me bored. It's an amazing story that I knew little about before reading this. Read morePublished 2 months ago by keith Richards
What an eye opener. With the 2016 elections right around the corner, everyone should read this book. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Karin Smith
An amazing write. Very well informative on how our secret wars are fought for better or worse.Published 4 months ago by W. A. Desbouillons
Could one lone congressman from Texas profoundly influence the future of the Middle East, especially Afghanistan? You bet!Published 4 months ago by John Smelcer