A Need to Know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family

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9781598740424: A Need to Know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family
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In scenes eerily parallel to the culture of fear inspired by our current War on Terror, A Need to Know explores the clandestine history of a CIA family defined, and ultimately destroyed, by their oath to keep toxic secrets during the Cold War. When Bud Goodall’s father mysteriously died, his inheritance consisted of three well-worn books: a Holy Bible, The Great Gatsby, and a diary. But they turned his life upside down. From the diary Goodall learned that his father had been a CIA operative during the height of the Cold War, and the Bible and Gatsby had been his codebooks. Many unexplained facets of Bud’s childhood came into focus with this revelation.The high living in Rome and London. The blood-stained stiletto in his jewelry case. Bud, as a child, was always told he never had “a need to know.” Or did he? Now, as an adult and a university professor, Goodall attempts to fill in the missing pieces of his Cold War childhood by uncovering a lifetime of family secrets. Who were his parents? What did his father do on those business trips when he was “working for the government?” What betrayal turned a heroic career of national service into a nightmare of alcoholism, depression, and premature death for both of his parents? Slowly, inexorably, Goodall unearths the chilling secrets of a CIA family in A Need to Know. 2006 Best Book Award, National Communication Association Ethnography Division

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From the Author:

Interview with H.L. Goodall, Jr.
Why did you write this book?
There were three reasons. First, as I explain in the preface, I wrote it because I thought my parents deserved a better story than the one I had previously assigned to them. Given that so much of our lives together was shrouded in secrecy and given that I really didn’t know very much about the truth of their lives, I thought it was about time to find out. The second reason, and really the most compelling one, was that my own son had reached an age where he wanted to know about his grandparents and I found myself repeating to him the same half-truths and omissions that I had grown up with. I knew he deserved something better than that. Finally, I wrote it because I wanted to find a relationship to my father that previously had eluded both of us. I tell the story of listening to Bob Edwards interview Pat Conroy on afternoon as I was driving home from work, and hearing Conroy’s account of wanting to write about his father, and feeling a certain connection that truly stopped me in my tracks.

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In scenes eerily parallel to the culture of fear inspired by our current War on Terror, A Need to Know explores the clandestine history of a CIA family defined, and ultimately destroyed, by their oath to keep toxic secrets during the Cold War.

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9781598740417: A Need to Know: The Clandestine History of a CIA Family

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ISBN 10:  1598740415 ISBN 13:  9781598740417
Publisher: Routledge, 2006
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