American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond

American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond

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by E. Howard Hunt, Greg Aunapu, William F Buckley
     
 

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Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White house

Think you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy, one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt

Overview

Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White house

Think you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy, one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt takes you into the covert designs of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon:

  • His involvement in the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and more
  • His work with CIA officials such as Allen Dulles and Richard Helms
    His friendship with William F. Buckley Jr., whom Hunt brought into the CIA
  • The amazing steps the CIA took to manipulate the media in America and abroad
  • The motives behind the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office
  • Why the White House "plumbers" were formed and what they accomplished
  • The truth behind Operation Gemstone, a series of planned black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies
  • A minute-by-minute account of the Watergate break-in
  • Previously unreleased details of the post-Watergate cover-up

Complete with documentation from audiotape transcripts, handwritten notes, and official documents, American Spy is must reading for anyone who is fascinated by real-life spy tales, high-stakes politics, and, of course, Watergate.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
* WHEN I first met E. Howard Hunt in late 2003, I expected to find a grizzled Cold Warrior, and the man who invited me into his Miami home for a weekend of interviews did not disappoint. Yet even though I had spent months exchanging correspondence with him, I was surprised by his keen mind, disarmed by his wit and charm, and entertained by his erudition.
Hunt died last month at 88, and his autobiography, “American Spy,” has been rushed into print. He had resigned himself to the idea that the first two words of his obituary would be “Watergate conspirator,” but in telling his own story, he reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined.
During World War II, Hunt did stints in both the Navy and Army Air Force, and ultimately wound up attached to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which morphed into what would become the CIA, manned by a group of veterans with impeccable WASP credentials. With his Ivy League background and OSS record, Hunt fit right in among the Wall Street lawyers and investment bankers who were recruited for America’s fledgling intelligence service.
The old CIA hand is candid about his role - political, not military - in the 1954 coup against democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. The CIA was determined to thwart Soviet influence in Central America and considered the operation a ringing success, “defenestrating” (Hunt’s word) Arbenz in short order. Unfortunately, the ease with which Arbenz was toppled further swelled the CIA’s enlarging head, and laid the groundwork for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion seven years later.
While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications.
Unlike many of the other principals in the Cuba Project - the agency’s working name for the covert action against Castro—Hunt didn’t lose his job, but he “never recovered psychologically from the Bay of Pigs tragedy.”
If Hunt’s look back on his life harbors any lingering bitterness, it stems from the 33 months he spent in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, of which he writes about in great detail, offering new clarity on how the operation unfolded from the perspective of those who planned it. He had intended to plead guilty, to fall on his sword like a good soldier, but those who were equally guilty received leniency.
With four children to support (his wife died in a 1972 plane crash), Hunt had no choice but to testify through several proceedings to cut his time short. It killed him that Nixon, whom he considered responsible for the whole affair, skipped away with a presidential pardon.
The fifth act of Hunt’s life was spent in 30 years of relative peace as the adored husband and father of a second family. (New York Post, February 25, 2007)

Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir. Hunt (who died recently at 88) recalls the highlights of a long career, from WWII service with the fabled Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—predecessor of the CIA—to a career with the agency itself and a stint as a consultant to the Nixon White House. As a White House operative, Hunt specialized in dirty tricks and break-ins—including the Democratic National Committee's headquarters—and served 33 months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. He claims to have been a magnet for women, especially models, and shamelessly drops the names of the rich and powerful. He also played a key role in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. As for his role in Watergate, he blames his "bulldog loyalty" and con

Publishers Weekly

Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir. Hunt (who died recently at 88) recalls the highlights of a long career, from WWII service with the fabled Office of Strategic Services (OSS)—predecessor of the CIA—to a career with the agency itself and a stint as a consultant to the Nixon White House. As a White House operative, Hunt specialized in dirty tricks and break-ins—including the Democratic National Committee's headquarters—and served 33 months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. He claims to have been a magnet for women, especially models, and shamelessly drops the names of the rich and powerful. He also played a key role in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. As for his role in Watergate, he blames his "bulldog loyalty" and concedes only that he and his fellow conspirators did "the wrong things for the right reasons." In a postscript, Hunt urges reforming the beleaguered CIA in the image of the wartime OSS and its "daring amateurs." Hunt's nostalgic memoir breaks scant new ground in an already crowded field. (Apr.)

Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780471789826
Publisher:
Turner Publishing Company
Publication date:
02/26/2007
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
436,516
Product dimensions:
6.14(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.81(d)

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Hunt reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined. ...While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications." -The New York Post

"Admirable and important...For aficionados of the scandal that ended Nixon's presidency, Hunt offers a compelling scenario, a 'CSI: Watergate.' It is the best moment-by-moment depiction of the June 17, 1972, burglary of Democratic National Committee headquarters I have ever read." -- Boston Globe

Meet the Author

White House "plumber" E. HOWARD HUNT served as a covert operative for the CIA from 1950 until the 1970s, and participated in many of the agency's most secret missions, both abroad and in the United States. He is also the author of more than seventy spy novels.

GREG AUNAPU is a nationally respected journalist, who worked as a freelancer for Time and People magazines for ten years, and has reported for many national news organizations. He is coauthor of two previous books, most recently, Without a Trace.

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American Spy: My Secret History in the CIA, Watergate and Beyond 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
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