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Lost Crusader: The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby
Synopses & Reviews
From his years as America's point man in Vietnam to his mysterious death in 1996, William E. Colby was one of the most enigmatic figures of the Cold War. Whether it was in CIA operations against Russia, anti-Communism in Western Europe, covert action in Southeast Asia, or its involvement in the Watergate affair, Colby stood at the center of the agency's secret activities.
Lost Crusader for the first time uncovers the real story of this master spy, from his beginnings in the OSS to his tumultuous years as Director of Central Intelligence in the 1970s. Reviled by many outside the CIA for his role in Vietnam, he was later cast as a scapegoat by the Nixon White House during the Church and Pike congressional investigations of CIA activities.
Based on extensive research and interviews with key participants, John Prados offers new revelations on the CIA in Western Europe and elsewhere: a fresh analysis of the notorious Phoenix program in Vietnam, and the most authoritative account of agency involvement in the bloody Indonesian coup of 1965 that overthrew Sukarno and brought General Suharto to power. Moreover, Prados has uncovered new evidence on the CIA's role in the 1963 assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and also furnishes the first account of the action at the top level of the CIA during the final demise of South Vietnam in 1975.
A masterful study of a master spy, Lost Crusader offers vital insight into the Cold War, Vietnam, and the inner workings of the CIA.
"John Prados, in a meticulously researched biography of William Colby, has also produced an insightful history of the CIA in Vietnam and in Washington corridors of power. This is a book that delivers far more than the life of a secret man." Thomas B. Allen, co-author of Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage
"Through the prism of Colby's controversial CIA career, Prados has written a gripping and revealing new history of our intelligence Establishment. In the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, as Congress begins to investigate yet another intelligence failure, Lost Crusader is a timely reminder of the importance of knowing our hidden history." Kai Bird, author of The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy & William Bundy, Brothers in Arms and The Chairman: John J. McCloy & The Making of the American Establishment
"[I]n Lost Crusader [Prados] has written a lively narrative that is a fine one-volume introduction to the history of American intelligence." Thomas Powers, author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets
"By portraying William Colby's life in all its nuances, Lost Crusader makes an important contribution to intelligence literature." Washington Post Book World
"Conspiracy buffs will find that his account of Colby's suspicious death in 1996 offers plenty of intiguing possibilities." Kirkus Reviews
"A deeply researched and well-written account of Colby's career....This first book-length study of Colby's career should stand the test of time as a high-quality contribution." Library Journal
"A comprehensive dossier on the espionage career of William Colby, this copiously detailed work comes from an author highly regarded as an intelligence historian. Careful and judicious, Prados never grandstands; instead, he seeks to understand the myriad controversies about CIA activity exposed by congressional investigations in 1975." Booklist
"This is an esssential and provocative addition to works on the CIA." Publishers Weekly
From his years as America's point man in Vietnam to his mysterious death in 1996, William E. Colby was one of the most enigmatic figures of the Cold War. This biography uncovers the story of this master spy, from his beginnings in the OSS to his years as Director of the CIA in the 1970s.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 346-368) and index.
About the Author
John Prados is a senior researcher at the National Security Archive in Washington. He is one of America's leading historians of intelligence and espionage, and the author of ten other books, including Presidents' Secret Wars and Combined Fleet Decoded. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Columbia University.
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