The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton

St. Martin's. Oct. 2017. 336p. photos. notes. index. ISBN 9781250080615. $27.99; ebk. ISBN 9781250139108. POL SCI
OrangeReviewStarJames Jesus Angleton (1917-87) was a controversial figure within the American intelligence community, and even has his own entry on the CIA Library website. Journalist Morely (Our Man in Mexico), who has a background of exposing government secrets, here examines how this conservative Yale University student reached the highest echelons of U.S. counterintelligence, started secret mail-opening and domestic surveillance operations against various groups, and may have helped Israel establish its nuclear weapons program. Angleton's exhaustive hunt for Soviet deep penetration agents in the CIA did real damage to the organization. What's fascinating but sad is how his intellectual personality became paranoid and obsessive, leading to isolation and loneliness—similar to what happened to Richard Nixon. Over everything hangs the CIA's knowledge of and possible involvement with Lee Harvey Oswald in Mexico City, before John F. Kennedy's assassination on November 22, 1963. This book can be read in conjunction with the author's earlier work. Well documented with end notes.
VERDICT Easy to read and understand; for those interested in U.S. intelligence history and the Kennedy assassination.
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