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Lauren Katzenberg

The next time you hear someone dismiss journalism as “fake news,” pass them a copy of Steve Coll’s Directorate S. Coll draws on decades of experience in South Asia, nearly 600 interviews over a decade, and thousands of pages of documents to give the most balanced and comprehensive picture to date of the unraveling of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Few writers can match Coll’s length of time on the topic, range of contacts, or personal knowledge of realities on the ground. Coll, the Pulitzer-winning author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, The Bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century, and On the Grand Trunk Road: A Journey into South Asia, brings decades of experience and an unmatched network of contacts to his work. I suspect, too, that Coll’s extraordinary behind-the-scenes access to CIA officers rests on contacts he developed covering the 1989 Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan and subsequent Stinger recovery program.

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