The rise and fall of a legendary spymaster; Brims with erudite espionage and intelligent intelligence; The ultimate in spy novels - real characters and studied speculation; James Jesus Angleton was an enigma, a secretive man whose power was at its peak during the height of the Cold War. Founder of US counter-intelligence and hunter of moles, his ...
The rise and fall of a legendary spymaster; Brims with erudite espionage and intelligent intelligence; The ultimate in spy novels - real characters and studied speculation; James Jesus Angleton was an enigma, a secretive man whose power was at its peak during the height of the Cold War. Founder of US counter-intelligence and hunter of moles, his name has become synonymous with skulduggery and subterfuge. Angleton pursued his enemies, real and imagined, with a cool, calculating intelligence that was eventually to lead to his downfall. A brilliant re-creation of the world that included Soviet defectors, the traitors Burgess, MacLean, and Philby, and American presidents, Spytime traces the making - and the unmaking - of a man without peer and, at the end, a man without a country to serve.
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Link any Buckley book, every few pages there is a word that even an experienced reader must look up: "grateful ORISONS of history" p.6, "Something eclatant." p.8, "from his eyrie in Bern" p.9, "De mortuis nil nisi bonum" p. 56, "But then there was the fillip" p. 120, "I am a satyr witness" p. 121, "a nice romantic bowdlerization of the world" p. 129, "the dormer window" p. 143, "full Arab aba gowns" p. 149, "as if a tonsure was his purpose" p. 150, "put on his pince-nez" p. 186, "At first there was just the rebab, p. 194, "any hemidemisemiquaver in the Communist line" p. 197, and my favorite "the placid remains of his ardor" p. 211 -- and many more. The story moves quickly, has reasonable coverage of Angleton's early career in Italy, and includes a very surprising ending that I won't spoil for you. Espionage, betrayal, mystery, violence and of course sex -- all the perfect ingredients for an interesting espionage novel, told only as William can.
Sep 6, 2007
Exciting and well written spy novel
I really liked all the references to real-world events of the time. Very interesting and well written...if you like the whole spy thing, you'll enjoy this one!
Publishers Weekly, 2000-05-22 For the second time in little more than a year (following 1999's The Redhunter: A Novel Based on the Life of Senator Joe McCarthy), Buckley offers up a fictional account of an icon in America's war against communism. This time, he focuses on James Jesus Angleton, the head of counterintelligence at the CIA for 20 years. Buckley traces Angleton's career from 1945, when the young Yale graduate was handpicked by Allen Dulles, director of the U.S. Office of Strategic Services in Europe, to work undercover in the Italian resistance, to his firing in 1974, when he was scapegoated for many of the CIA's moral and ethical lapses. Over those 30 years Angleton earned a reputation as a brilliant tactician, capable of discerning the most subtle of hidden motives in the international game of espionage. Yet he was also a man of such obsessive anti-communist fervor that at times it clouded his thinking, providing his enemies with ammunition for their attacks. While Buckley's perspective on Angleton's public and private life is perceptive?the worldly operative's mother was Mexican, and he grew up in Italy and England?the book suffers from glaring gaps in the master spy's biography. The late 1940s and early 1950s, for example, years when Angleton was laying the foundation for his career, are completely skipped over. Buckley also inexplicably derails an otherwise compelling story by cutting away for nearly a quarter of the book to follow one of Angleton's prodigies in action on low-level work in Lebanon in the early 1960s. In general, Buckley's protagonist never manifests the mysterious fascination he radiates in Aaron Latham's Orchids for Mother (1977). 75,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; 3-city author tour. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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