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Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades

Corn, David

17 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0671695258 / ISBN 13: 9780671695255
Published by Simon & Schuster, New York, NY, 1994
From Ground Zero Books, Ltd. (Silver Spring, MD, U.S.A.)

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About this Item

Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 509 p. Illustrations. Notes. Index. Based on once-secret government records and interviews with more than 100 ex-CIA personnel, this fascinating portrait of a real-life George Smiley takes a hard look at the inside workings of the CIA and its most important covert operations From Wikipedia: "David Corn (born February 20, 1959) is an American political journalist and author and the chief of the Washington bureau for Mother Jones. He has been Washington editor for The Nation and appeared regularly on FOX News, MSNBC, National Public Radio, and BloggingHeads. tv opposite James Pinkerton or other media personalities. In February 2013, he was named winner of the 2012 George Polk Award in journalism in the political reporting category for his video and reporting of the "47 percent story, " Republican nominee Mitt Romney's videoed meeting with donors during the 2012 presidential campaign. As an author, Corn's output includes nonfiction and fiction and generally deals with government and politics. Corn has also been a book reviewer. On one occasion, he criticized his own organization when Nation Books published the translation of a controversial French book on Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 attacks. Forbidden Truth: US-Taliban Secret Oil Diplomacy and the Failed Hunt for Bin Laden, by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquie, suggests that the attacks resulted from a breakdown in talks between the Taliban and the United States to run an oil pipeline through Afghanistan. Corn argued that publishing "contrived conspiracy theories" undermined the ability to expose actual governmental misbehavior. Corn's first book was a 1994 biography of longtime Central Intelligence Agency official Ted Shackley. The book used Shackley's climb through the CIA bureaucracy to illustrate how the Agency worked and to follow some of its Cold War-era covert operations. In the Washington Post, Roger Warner called it "an impressive feat of research." Very good in very good dust jacket. Hand written note on The Nation stationary by Corn. Bookseller Inventory # 68839

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's ...

Publisher: Simon & Schuster, New York, NY

Publication Date: 1994

Binding: Hardcover

Edition: First edition. First printing [stated].

About this title


A biography of CIA agent Shackley is also a critical look a the CIA and its conflicting roles of objective intelligence gathering and counter-espionage operations

From Kirkus Reviews:

Nation Washington editor Corn delves thoroughly and with gusto into the career of Ted Shackley, one of the more shadowy CIA agents of the Cold War period. Shackley was the child of a broken home, son of an immigrant woman who bequeathed him his fluent Polish, a skill that landed him his first counterintelligence job in postwar Berlin. An intense but informed and intelligent patriot, he entered the CIA at its inception in 1947. His career, therefore, mirrors the development and fortunes of the agency itself. Shackley was in Miami to orchestrate assassination attempts on Castro; he was in Laos to organize the covert war against the Pathet Lao; he was in Vietnam, where, from his office in the Saigon embassy as chief of the East Asia Division, he earned the nickname ``Blond Ghost.'' (In 1975, back in the States, as he watched TV images of the embassy evacuation, his 11-year-old daughter found him weeping--a rare moment of emotion for a man portrayed here as cold, balanced, and ruthless.) Corn sounds a note of recrimination throughout this biography, which somewhat unfairly lays at Shackley's door such fiascos as the posting by an agency employee of a CIA-forged letter from a Thai Communist rebel to the Thai government in an attempt to foster divisions within that country's left (it was traced back to the CIA and caused a storm of anti-American protest in Thailand). The book might have benefited from the perspective of Shackley himself, who did not consent to be interviewed. By his own admission, Corn has used Shackley's career to open a window into the world of intelligence, and his book succeeds more as an account of the CIA's workings in general than as a portrait of one agent. A fairly absorbing read about the CIA, though the special significance of its protagonist isn't really established. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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