Synopses & Reviews
Through the shadowy persona of "Deep Throat," FBI official Mark Felt became as famous as the Watergate scandal his "leaks" helped uncover. Best known through Hal Holbrook's portrayal in the film version of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein's All the President's Men
, Felt was regarded for decades as a conscientious but highly secretive whistleblower who shunned the limelight. Yet even after he finally revealed his identity in 2005, questions about his true motivations persisted.
Max Holland has found the missing piece of that Deep Throat puzzle—one that's been hidden in plain sight all along. He reveals for the first time in detail what truly motivated the FBI's number-two executive to become the most fabled secret source in American history. In the process, he directly challenges Felt's own explanations while also demolishing the legend fostered by Woodward and Bernstein's bestselling account.
Holland critiques all the theories of Felt's motivation that have circulated over the years, including notions that Felt had been genuinely upset by White House law-breaking or had tried to defend and insulate the FBI from the machinations of President Nixon and his Watergate henchmen. And, while acknowledging that Woodward finally disowned the "principled whistleblower" image of Felt in The Secret Man, Holland shows why that famed journalist's latest explanation still falls short of the truth.
Holland showcases the many twists and turns to Felt's story that are not widely known, revealing not a selfless official acting out of altruistic patriotism, but rather a career bureaucrat with his own very private agenda. Drawing on new interviews and oral histories, old and just-released FBI Watergate files, papers of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, presidential tape recordings, and Woodward and Bernstein's Watergate-related papers, he sheds important new light on both Felt's motivations and the complex and often problematic relationship between the press and government officials.
Fast-paced and scrupulously fact-checked, Leak resolves the mystery residing at the heart of Mark Felt's actions. By doing so, it radically revises our understanding of America's most famous presidential scandal.
"Holland (The Kennedy Assassination Tapes) digs in to another great American mystery: the true character of Mark Felt, a.k.a. Deep Throat, primum mobile of the Watergate scandal's spread to national consciousness and the 20th century's most fabled whistleblower. Holland maintains that Felt was motivated primarily by 'self-interest, rather than a principle.' The then second-in-charge of the FBI was seeking to discredit his boss L. Patrick Gray III, a perceived 'crony' of Nixon, whose appointment from outside the bureau following the death of J. Edgar Hoover was cause for discord within especially for Felt, the heir apparent. As opposed to the transgression itself, the public trauma known as Watergate seeped from insidious rivalries in and around the house that Hoover built. These were the same men who had been involved in COINTELPRO, then the most unrestrained invasion of domestic privacy to date; what the Nixon administration was guilty of could hardly be cause for moral outrage on their part. Holland's storytelling is often less than fluid, his analytical bent tending to intrude on the narrative. That his thesis of frustrated ambition has been around since the '70s is the least of it: no room is allowed the possibility that Felt's motivations evolved right along with public consciousness of the facts he relayed. Still, for the world's haggard realists, those who would seek out Kurtz in the jungle, Holland's attempt to illuminate Deep Throat's motives is compelling. (Mar.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
and#8220;Stories from Langley provides an invaluable behind-the-scenes look at professional life inside the CIA. While many have written about great operational exploits, few have focused on the daily lives and challenges of analysts, support officers, and engineers, members of the organization whose work is as essential if not as glamorous in the public eye. Young men and women wondering about what to expect in these varied CIA careers will find the book fascinating, revealing, and perhaps even enticing.and#8221;and#8212;George Tenet, former director of Central Intelligence for the CIA
and#8220;One of the most difficult aspects of intelligence is trying to convey to outsiders what that lifeand#8212;especially as an analystand#8212;is really like. Most fiction is overblown and inevitably focuses on operations and spying. Stories from Langley is a delightful foray into the actual experiences of a broad range of intelligence officers and fills an important gap in our intelligence literature. Anyone interested in the nuts and bolts of an intelligence career will find this a useful and worthwhile read.and#8221;and#8212;Mark Lowenthal, former assistant director of Central Intelligence for Analysis and Production for the CIA and author of Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy
Reveals for the first time in detail what truly motivated Mark Felt, the FBI's number-two executive, to become the most fabled secret source in American history. Showcases the many twists and turns to Felt's story that are not widely known, revealing not a selfless official acting out of altruistic patriotism, but rather a career bureaucrat with his own very private agenda.
Applicants to the Central Intelligence Agency often asked Edward Mickolus what they might expect in a career there. Mickolus,and#160;a former CIA intelligence officer whose duties also included recruiting and public affairs, never had a simple answer. If applicants were considering a life in the National Clandestine Service, the answer was easy. Numerous memoirs show the lives of operations officers collecting secret intelligence overseas, conducting counterintelligence investigations, and running covert action programs. But the CIA isnand#8217;t only about case officers in far-flung areas of the world, recruiting spies to steal secrets. For an applicant considering a career as an analyst, a support officer, a scientist, or even a secretary, few sources provide reliable insight into what a more typical career at the CIA might look like.
and#160;This collection of the exploits and insights of twenty-nine everyday agency employees is Mickolusand#8217;s answer. From individuals who have served at the highest levels of the agency to young officers just beginning their careers, Stories from Langley reveals the breadth of career opportunities available at the CIA and offers advice from agency officers themselves.
About the Author
EDWARD MICKOLUS is the founder and president of Vinyard Software, Inc., and served in analytical, operational, and management positions at the Central Intelligence Agency for thirty-three years. He is the author or coauthor of two dozen books, including The Terrorist List;and#160;The 50 Worst Terrorist Attacks, 1960and#8211;2014; and The Secret Book of CIA Humor.
Table of Contents
Cast of Characters
1. A Forced Departure: May 1973
2. The "War of the FBI Succession" 1969-1972
3. Felt's Private COINTELPRO: June 1972
4. To Leak or Not to Leak? July 1972
5. Special Agent Woodward: August 1972
6. Retracing the Bureau's Steps: August - October 1972
7. Richard Nixon's Own "Deep Throat": October 1972
8. "A Claque of Ambitious Men": November 1972 - January 1973
9. The Safe Choice: February 1973
10. Gray Self-Destructs: March - May 1973
11. The Making of Deep Throat: 1973-1981