The Very Best Men

The Daring Early Years of the CIA
Author: Evan Thomas
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 1439127751
Category: History
Page: 432
View: 8668

Continue Reading →

Drawing on extensive interviews with old spooks and the social friends and family of his subjects, The Very Best Men is a fascinating narrative that brings to life a crucial piece of American history. The Very Best Men is the story of the CIA's early days as told through the careers of four glamorous, daring, and idealistic men who ran covert operations for the government from the end of World War II to Vietnam. Evan Thomas re-creates the personal dramas and sometimes tragic lives of Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, and Desmond FitzGerald, who risked everything to contain the Soviet threat. Within the inner circles of Washington, they were regarded as the best and the brightest. They planned and acted to keep the country out of war -- by stealth and "political action" and to do by cunning and sleight of hand what great armies could not, must not be allowed to do. In the end, they were too idealistic and too honorable, and were unsuited for the dark, duplicitous life of spying. Their hubris and naïveté led them astray, producing both sensational coups and spectacular blunders like the Bay of Pigs and the failed assassination attempts on foreign leaders in the early 1960s. Thomas draws on the CIA's own secret histories, to which he has had exclusive access, as well as extensive interviews, to bring to life a crucial piece of American history.

Strindberg's Star


Author: Jan Wallentin
Publisher: Penguin
ISBN: 1101583584
Category: Fiction
Page: 464
View: 7111

Continue Reading →

A multilayered international thrill ride at breakneck pace, reminiscent of The Rule of Four The Arctic, 1897: Nils Strindberg crashes his hydrogen balloon during the mysterious Andrée Expedition to the North Pole. Germany, 1942: Gruesome and inexplicable experiments are performed on concentration camp prisoners. Sweden, present-day: Cave diver Erik Hall finds a dead body wearing an ancient ankh, buried deep in an abandoned mine. Religious symbol expert Don Titelman seeks out Erik to study the ankh—but finds Erik dead. Don is the prime suspect, and soon he’s being chased across Europe to escape a secret society that will do anything to get their hands on the ankh. . . . In this international bestseller, each of these fascinating strands weaves together to create a mind-blowing cross-genre thriller that includes arctic explorers, a secret railroad network, Norse mythology, Nazis, and ancient symbols—and a shocking secret that’s been hidden for centuries.