The news-breaking book that has sent shockwaves through the Bush White House, Ghost Wars is the most accurate and revealing account yet of the CIA's secret involvement in al-Qaeda's evolution. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 2005.
Prize-winning journalist Steve Coll has spent years reporting from th
e Middle East, accessed previously classified government files and interviewed senior US officials and foreign spymasters. Here he gives the full inside story of the CIA's covert funding of an Islamic jihad against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, explores how this sowed the seeds of Bin Laden's rise, traces how he built his global network and brings to life the dramatic battles within the US government over national security. Above all, he lays bare American intelligence's continual failure to grasp the rising threat of terrorism in the years leading to 9/11 - and its devastating consequences.
Steve Coll is President & CEO of New America Foundation, and a staff writer at The New Yorker magazine. Previously he spent 20 years as a foreign correspondent and senior editor at The Washington Post, serving as the paper's managing editor from 1998 to 2004.
He is author six books, including The Deal of the Century: The Break Up of AT&T (1986); The Taking of Getty Oil (1987); Eagle on the Street, based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning account of the SEC's battle with Wall Street (with David A. Vise, 1991); On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia (1994), Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 (2004); and The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century (2008).
Mr. Coll's professional awards include two Pulitzer Prizes. He won the first of these, for explanatory journalism, in 1990, for his series, with David A. Vise, about the SEC. His second was awarded in 2005, for his book, Ghost Wars, which also won the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross award; the Overseas Press Club award and the Lionel Gelber Prize for the best book published on international affairs during 2004. Other awards include the 1992 Livingston Award for outstanding foreign reporting; the 2000 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Award for his coverage of the civil war in Sierra Leone; and a second Overseas Press Club Award for international magazine writing.
Mr. Coll graduated Phi Beta Kappa, Cum Laude, from Occidental College in 1980 with a degree in English and history. He lives in Washington, D.C.