The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton
A revelatory new biography of the sinister, powerful, and paranoid man at the heart of the CIA for more than three tumultuous decades.CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton was one of the most important unelected officials in the US government during the 20th century. Virtually untouchable, he operated beyond the view of the public, Congress, and even the president himself. In this gripping biography - the first in over twenty years - Jefferson Morley reveals the extent of Angleton's influence and power during his time at the CIA, from the start of World War II through to the final days of the Cold War.Mentored in the art of spy craft by British MI6 officer Kim Philby, Angleton took to a life of deception exceptionally well, rising quickly through the ranks of the CIA to become chief of counterintelligence, a position he would hold for over 20 years. A former literature student and friend to the poets Ezra Pound and TS Eliot, Angleton was now one of the most powerful men in the country, initiating programs that included the US's first foray into mass surveillance of its citizens. After it was revealed that Philby was a double agent, Angleton became obsessed with hunting for communist moles in his own organisation, a search that nearly destroyed the Agency.Yet during Angleton's seemingly lawless reign, he also proved himself to be a formidable adversary to America's enemies, acquiring a mythic stature within the CIA that continues to this day. Here, Morley uses exclusive interviews with colleagues and friends, and never-before-seen correspondence, to piece together a detailed and fascinating portrait of one of the most influential spies of our times.
- Paperback | 336 pages
- 01 Nov 2017
- Scribe Publications
- Carlton North, Australia
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'The best book ever written about the strangest CIA chief who ever lived. No screenwriter or novelist could conjure a character like Angleton, but Morley's stellar reporting and superb writing animate every page of this work. It's essential history and highly entertaining biography.' - Tim Weiner, National Book Award-winning author of Legacy of Ashes'The Ghost is the compulsively readable, often bizarre true-life story of American spymaster James Jesus Angleton. Capturing the extent of Angleton's eccentricity, duplicity and alcohol-fueled paranoia would have challenged the writing skills of a Le Carre or Ludlum, and Jeff Morley has done it with flair.' - Philip Shenon, author of A Cruel and Shocking Act'James Angleton's real life is the most intriguing, moving, and at times shocking spy story in American history. In The Ghost, Jeff Morley has captured the man in all his brilliant and sometimes delusional eccentricity. Angleton is woven through many of the strangest episodes of the 1950s and 60s - including the Kennedy assassination - in what was invisible thread, until Morley's book. A 'must read' for anyone who wants to understand just how strange and secretive the CIA was at the height of the Cold War.' - David Ignatius, columnist for The Washington Post and author of The Director 'Americans are finally coming to know the Cold War spymasters and other hidden figures who lived their lives in secrecy while shaping our national destiny. The Ghost reveals a fascinating chapter of this hidden history. It is a chilling look at the global power that is wielded in Washington by people who are never known - until a book comes out to spill their secrets.' - Stephen Kinzer, author of The Brothers'Anyone interested in the CIA should not fail to read The Ghost. I encountered James Angleton time and again, not only in the course of research but, one memorable evening, literally. I say `memorable,' but only because - amongst hundreds of interviews I have conducted - he indeed came over as a phantom, seemingly cooperative yet always inscrutable. Nobody has focused on him, mined what can be mined, as Jefferson Morley has now done. Essential reading for anyone intrigued by the vital mysteries of U.S. intelligence at a pivotal time in our history.' - Anthony Summers, Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Eleventh Day
About Jefferson Morley
Jefferson Morley is a journalist and editor who has worked in Washington journalism for over thirty years, fifteen of which were spent as an editor and reporter at The Washington Post. The author of Our Man in Mexico, a biography of the CIA's Mexico City station chief Winston Scott, Morley has written about intelligence, military, and political subjects for Salon, The Atlantic, and The Intercept, among others. He is the editor of JFK Facts, a blog. He lives in Washington, DC.