Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
With shocking revelations that made headlines in papers across the country, Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - LibraryThing
A five star topic, with five star research, does not a five star book make. I give Mr. Weiner one star for this 'book,' which is not a book at all. It is a collection of research notes that would be better titled "What the CIA did after the second world war to ruin the world for most people, including its own agents." Though Weiner has done a great job of bringing them together, there's no 'organization' to the facts. The title of each chapter is a quote from someone taken from that chapter; each chapter is split up into oodles of 1-2 page sections that are, again, headed by a quote from someone in from that section. In other words, this is one-damn-thing-after-another history. That's great if you're doing research, but is a torturous read; a friend of mine summed it up nicely: he can write great sentences, but he has no idea how to put sentences together into paragraphs. And the same thing goes for his sections/chapters/book sections/the book's narrative. The general narrative is meant to be "The CIA does too much covert operating and not enough collection and analyzing of data." Which might be true, but given the immense pressure that ever more idiotic American presidents have applied to the Agency, it's hardly the big cause for concern. Maybe *not* trying to murder everyone to the left of Goldwater in South American/Asian/African/Middle Eastern/European politics would be a good idea? Anyway, this is less a review than a warning: I'd advise you to buy this book, and dip into it every now and then. There's no reason to read it cover to cover when you could be reading good, depressing spy novels instead.
Review: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIAUser Review - Goodreads
A detailed description of the depressing cycle of intelligence failures at the CIA. Torn between intelligence gathering and covert activity, uncertain of its priorities, the CIA does neither well ...
WE RAN IT IN A DIFFERENT WAY
I5 A VERY STRANGE WAR
HE WAS LYING DOWN AND HE WAS LYING UP
I7 NOBODY KNEW WHAT TO DO
l8 WE HAD ALSO FOOLED OURSELVES
WED BE DELIGHTED TO TRADE THOSE MISSILES
2O HEY BOSS WE DID A GOOD JOB DIDNT WE?
SAIGON SIGNING OFF
INFFFECTIVE AND SCARED
PART FIVE Victory Without Joy The CIA Under Carter Reagan and George H W Bush 1977 10 1993
IIE SOUGHT TO OVERTHROW THEIR SYSTEM
WE WERE JUST PLAIN ASLEEP
A FREELANCE BUCCANEER
HE WAS RUNNING A GREAT RISK
A con MANS CON MAN
I THOUGHT IT WAS A CONSPIRACY
AN OMINOUS DRIFT
MORE COURAGE THAN WISDOM
THE BEGINNING OF A LONG SLIDE DOWNWARDS 28?
WE KNEW THEN THAT WE COULD NOT WIN THE WAR
A POLITICAL HBOMB
TRACK DOWN THE FOREIGN COMMUNISTS
WHAT THE HELL DO THOSE CLOWNS DO OUT THERE IN LANGLEY?
USC WANTS A MILITARY SOLUTION
WE ARE GOING TO CATCH A LOT OF HELL
TO CHANGE THE CONCEPT OF A SECRET SERVICE
A CLASSIC FASCIST IDEAL
THE CIA WOULD BE DESTROYED