William Colby & the CIA: The Secret Wars of a Controversial Spymaster
It is surprising that no one previous to John Prados attempted a biography of quintessential cold warrior William Colby, because his story is in many ways also the story of the CIA. From Italy to Vietnam, to the military coup in Indonesia, to Watergate, the prosecution of Richard Helms,... show more
It is surprising that no one previous to John Prados attempted a biography of quintessential cold warrior William Colby, because his story is in many ways also the story of the CIA. From Italy to Vietnam, to the military coup in Indonesia, to Watergate, the prosecution of Richard Helms, investigations of CIA assassination plots, and the drugging and surveillance of unwitting Americans, Colby was there, on the ground or deeply involved at headquarters.The GuardianWilliam E. Colby was one of the most enigmatic figures of the Cold War and a central player in the operations of the Central Intelligence Agency. While publicly appearing as a calm bureaucrat, behind the scenes Colby helped orchestrate some of CIA's most controversial operations. His mysterious death even added to the aura. In the wake of new questions relating to CIA activities since 9/11which John Prados discusses in his new prefaceColby's story provides crucial lessons for a nation that still struggles to reconcile intelligence methods with democratic principles.Prados tracks Colby's life and career from early years in the OSS to his tumultuous tenure as Director of Central Intelligence in the 1970s. Reviled by many outside the CIA for his role in Vietnamand inside it for his cooperation with probes of the agencyColby was cast as a scapegoat by the Ford White House during the Church and Pike congressional investigations. In addition, Prados offers fresh insights and new perspectives on Colby's involvement in the notorious Phoenix program in Vietnam and in the bloody Indonesian coup of 1965 that overthrew President Sukarno and brought General Suharto to power, as well as on theCIA's role in the 1963 assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and on the actions of high-level CIA officials during the final demise of South Vietnam in 1975.A masterful study of a master spy, William Colby and the CIA also offers a vital and timely history of the
Publish date: October 8th 2009
Publisher: University Press of Kansas
Pages no: 380
Edition language: English
Must admit it; Did not finish this book. Not because it was not worth reading - John Prados is always good for a readable book, one of my favorite authors - but because the subject did not get to me at the time I read it. But I will give it a try at a later time, for sure.