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Ghost Wars: Book summary and reviews of Ghost Wars by Steve Coll

Ghost Wars

The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001

by Steve Coll

Ghost Wars by Steve Coll X
Ghost Wars by Steve Coll
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Book Summary

To what extent did America's best intelligence analysts grasp the rising threat 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, Coll details the secret history of the CIA's role in Afghanistan, 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.

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Book Awards

  • award image Pulitzer Prize for Letters, Drama and Music, 2005

Reviews

Media Reviews

"It is a well-written, authoritative, high-altitude drama with a cast of few heroes, many villains, bags of cash and a tragic ending -- one that may not have been inevitable." - Washinton Post

"[T]he finest historical narrative so far on the origins of Al Qaeda in the post-Soviet rubble of Afghanistan. " - The New York Times

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Author Information

Steve Coll Author Biography

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 he 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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