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Old 06-26-2009, 10:40 AM   #1
dwallbaum
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If you thought the movie was OK....

I am of course referring to "Charlie Wilson's War". And if at times the movie seemed to go off in 14 different directions that never got pulled together, well, there was a reason.

I just bought -- yes, BOUGHT -- my first ebook from Amazon. I liked CWW, the movie, but suspicioned there had to be more.

Now, to appreciate all this, we have to jump back a coupla decades when Afghanistan and Pakistan were both our friends. Oh, and there was a Soviet Union. Which we didn't like. Not the Russia of today that we do like.

Charlie Wilson was a representative from a backwater district in Texas who hated Communists. He took it upon himself to free Afghanistan from the Red Army. And this is his story.

Now, normally, you could pass this off as a cheesy bit of fiction and call it a day, but George Crile spent a coupla decades on this work -- he first got interested in Wilson when he worked on "60 Minutes".

And why Crile didn't get a Pulitzer for this I have NO idea. The breadth and depth of his research and writing is staggering. He is able to pull together the antics of Wilson, how the CIA both supports and punishes not only its allies and enemies, but also its employees, discloses how 15 or so people run the country and describes the national appropriations process, along with side journeys into Texas politics, belly dancing and cocaine and hot tubs.

No, not fiction... it is simply one of the very finest examples of history and current events writing I have seen -- oh, yeah.. you also learn how to smuggle AK47s into the US. Hint: it helps if you have a diplomatic passport.

Crile covers a huge amount of ground, but never once looses the reader, and all his digressions make perfect sense and add to the flavor and texture of the tale of this lone congressman and a cast-off CIA officer.

Its Amazon one-click away, for $9.99. Get it now while electrons are still available.

You will finally begin to understand why we are where we are with whom we are.

Don

Last edited by dwallbaum; 06-26-2009 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:47 AM   #2
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Charlie Wilson was a representative from a backwater district in Washington who hated Communists. He took it upon himself to free Afghanistan from the Red Army. And this is his story.
I know I'm picking nits, but shouldn't that read Texas?
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Old 06-26-2009, 11:46 AM   #3
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No, not fiction... it is simply one of the very finest examples of history and current events writing I have seen -- oh, yeah.. you also learn how to smuggle AK47s into the US. Hint: it helps if you have a diplomatic passport.

Crile covers a huge amount of ground, but never once looses the reader, and all his digressions make perfect sense and add to the flavor and texture of the tale of this lone congressman and a cast-off CIA officer.

Thanks for the recommendation. I had not thought to try this book but I think I'll get it and read it this weekend. It sounds much like a couple others I loved - David Halbersham's "The Best and The Brightest" and William Manchester's "The Glory and The Dream".

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Old 06-26-2009, 12:12 PM   #4
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I know I'm picking nits, but shouldn't that read Texas?
Oooppss.. right you are. Will edit. Thanks for the catch!
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:14 PM   #5
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Thanks for the recommendation. I had not thought to try this book but I think I'll get it and read it this weekend. It sounds much like a couple others I loved - David Halbersham's "The Best and The Brightest" and William Manchester's "The Glory and The Dream".
Yeah, a lot of similarity.... though Im currently blowing cold on Manchester... bought two hard-cover (and not cheap) copies of this planned three-volume set of Churchill's biography he was working on... of course EVERYONE was waiting for vol. 3 which covered WWII, and Manchester up and says he is too sick to complete it, and that he knows of no one who could do justice to his notes. So... Manchester up and dies and leaves us stuck with two of three volumes. Hmmph.

Anyway, let me know what you think.

Oh.. the eBook also includes the photos that are (presumably) in the dead tree version - they hold up pretty well in the Kindle.

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