Lost Crusader The Secret Wars of CIA Director William Colby: The True Story of One of Americas Most Controversial Spymasters / Edition 1

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1st Edition, Fine-/Fine Small bookstore sticker inside rear book cover, o.w. clean, tight & bright. NO ink names, bookplates, DJ tears etc. Price unclipped. ISBN 0195128478

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From his years as America's point man in Vietnam to his mysterious death in 1996, William E. Colby was one of the most enigmatic figures of the Cold War. Whether it was in CIA operations against Russia, anti-Communism in Western Europe, covert action in Southeast Asia, or its involvement in the Watergate affair, Colby stood at the center of the agency's secret activities.
Lost Crusader for the first time uncovers the real story of this master spy, from his beginnings in the OSS to his tumultuous years as Director of Central Intelligence in the 1970s. Reviled by many outside the CIA for his role in Vietnam, he was later cast as a scapegoat by the Nixon White House during the Church and Pike congressional investigations of CIA activities.
Based on extensive research and interviews with key participants, John Prados offers new revelations on the CIA in Western Europe and elsewhere: a fresh analysis of the notorious Phoenix program in Vietnam, and the most authoritative account of agency involvement in the bloody Indonesian coup of 1965 that overthrew Sukarno and brought General Suharto to power. Moreover, Prados has uncovered new evidence on the CIA's role in the 1963 assassination of President Ngo Dinh Diem of South Vietnam and also furnishes the first account of the action at the top level of the CIA during the final demise of South Vietnam in 1975.
A masterful study of a master spy, Lost Crusader offers vital insight into the Cold War, Vietnam, and the inner workings of the CIA.

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Editorial Reviews

The Washington Post
By portraying William Colby's life in all its nuances, Lost Crusader makes an important contribution to intelligence literature. — David Wise
Publishers Weekly
This highly detailed look at one of the major spymasters of the post-WWII era is another intriguing work by the prolific Prados (Keepers of the Keys: A History of the National Security Council from Truman to Bush). The book focuses on key moments in Colby's career, which spanned from his early days in the office of the OSS in the 1940s to his replacement as head of the CIA by George Bush in 1975. Prados carefully charts Colby's involvement in this attempt to defeat North Vietnam through "arrests, precisely targeted raids or ambushes" as well as conventional assaults that degenerated into a de facto assassination program. Colby is presented as a "lost crusader" who "never lived down [his] second Vietnam tour and his Phoenix stewardship," both of which haunted him as he took over the CIA during the Watergate era. Prados takes a remarkably sympathetic view of Colby's late career, when he was the subject of Senate investigations into illegal espionage: he calls Colby "the man in the middle, required to respond to Congress but inevitably the focus of Ford administration and CIA resentments." Prados's most controversial argument is that Colby's willingness to work with Congress to reform the CIA "saved the agency" by allowing it additional freedom. This is an essential and provocative addition to works on the CIA. (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
From World War II to his mysterious drowning in 1996, William Colby spent most of his professional career in U.S. intelligence. Prados, a senior researcher in the National Security Archive who has written several books on U.S. espionage, uses numerous primary and secondary sources to provide a deeply researched and well-written account of Colby's career. He goes into great detail about Colby's Vietnam experiences, thereby revealing new information about U.S. intelligence work as the war unfolded. Colby's time as CIA director is also well covered; readers will come to appreciate the epic battles Colby faced during congressional investigations of perceived CIA excesses in the last years of the war. Prados believes that while Colby's candor during the 1975 Church and Pike hearings cost him his job, it ultimately helped save the agency from being dismantled by Congress. This first book-length study of Colby's career should stand the test of time as a high-quality contribution. For academic and large public libraries.-Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Can America find it in its heart to love-or at least forgive-one of the architects of the Vietnam debacle and the Cold War? National Security Archive researcher and espionage historian Prados (The Blood Road, 1998, etc.) hopes so, it would seem: though critical, his long, exhaustive account of William Colby's 30-odd years as a CIA stalwart advances a well-reasoned defense of decisions and events that are now bywords for the indefensible. A notable example is Colby's involvement in Operation Phoenix, the disastrous program to "Vietnamize" the Vietnam War by, among other things, transferring villagers into sealed hamlets to better hinder the comings and goings of Viet Cong agents. Operation Phoenix wasn't his idea, states Prados, even though "Colby's name has been linked to Phoenix ever since." Exploring Colby's views on the 1963 assassination of South Vietnamese president Diem, the outcome of a long series of CIA efforts to control his regime's direction, the author notes that Colby opposed efforts to remove Diem and insisted long afterward that the US could have won the war with Diem still in office. Granted, Colby remained a faithful servant in the CIA's program of inflated order-of-battle and body-count estimates and did his part to widen the war in Laos and Cambodia; he could have done nothing else, suggests Prados, who contends that Colby was made to fall on his sword as agency director largely because of widespread anti-CIA sentiment throughout the government and the nation in the wake of the war and Watergate. Supporters of Richard Helms may find fault with Prados's review of Colby's final days in office, but conspiracy buffs will find that his account of Colby's suspicious death in1996 offers plenty of intriguing possibilities. A thoughtful look at the shadow government, unlikely to win Colby or the CIA any new admirers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780195128475
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2003
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 380
  • Lexile: 1360L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.52 (w) x 9.72 (h) x 1.42 (d)

Meet the Author

John Prados is a senior researcher at the National Security Archive in Washington. He is one of America's leading historians of intelligence and espionage, and the author of ten other books, including Presidents' Secret Wars and Combined Fleet Decoded. He holds a Ph.D. in international relations from Columbia University.

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Table of Contents

Preface ix
Acronyms xv
1. The Mystery of Bill Colby 1
2. Baptism of Fire 7
3. Tianjin to Trondheim 19
4. The Crusade Begins 35
5. Political Action 52
6. Journey to the East 61
7. A Bigger Stage to Play On 89
8. Death in November 105
9. Arc of Crisis 132
10. Exhilaration of War 164
11. Rising from Ashes 189
12. The Fall of Phoenix 207
13. Back to Langley 239
14. The Top Floor 262
15. The Year of Intelligence 297
16. Intelligence in a Free Society 331
Abbreviations Used in References 344
References 346
Index 369
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