Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA

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Lawrence Lawrence Hardcover 372 pages. Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. ESPIONAGE. Mexico City was the Casablanca of the Cold War&emdash; a hotbed of spies, ... revolutionaries, and assassins. The CIA's station there was the front line of the United States' fight against international communism, as important for Latin America as Berlin was for Europe. And its undisputed spymaster was Winston Mackinley Scott. Chief of the Mexico City station from 1956 to 1969, Win Scott occupied a key position in the founding generation of the Central Intelligence Agency, but until now he has remained a shadowy figure. Investigative reporter Jefferson Morley traces Scott's remarkable career from his humble origins in rural Alabama to wartime G-man to OSS London operative (and close friend of the notorious Kim Philby), to right-hand man of CIA Director Allen Dulles, to his remarkable reign for more than a decade as virtual proconsul in Mexico. Morley also follows the quest of Win Scott's son Michael to confront the r Read more Show Less

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Overview

Mexico City was the Casablanca of the Cold War-a hotbed of spies, revolutionaries, and assassins. The CIA's station there was the front line of the United States' fight against international communism, as important for Latin America as Berlin was for Europe. And its undisputed spymaster was Winston Mackinley Scott.

Chief of the Mexico City station from 1956 to 1969, Win Scott occupied a key position in the founding generation of the Central Intelligence Agency, but until now he has remained a shadowy figure. Investigative reporter Jefferson Morley traces Scott's remarkable career from his humble origins in rural Alabama to wartime G-man to OSS London operative (and close friend of the notorious Kim Philby), to right-hand man of CIA Director Allen Dulles, to his remarkable reign for more than a decade as virtual proconsul in Mexico. Morley also follows the quest of Win Scott's son Michael to confront the reality of his father's life as a spy. He reveals how Scott ran hundreds of covert espionage operations from his headquarters in the U.S. Embassy while keeping three Mexican presidents on the agency's payroll, participating in the Bay of Pigs fiasco, and, most intriguingly, overseeing the surveillance of Lee Harvey Oswald during his visit to the Mexican capital just weeks before the assassination of President Kennedy.

Morley reveals the previously unknown scope of the agency's interest in Oswald in late 1963, identifying for the first time the code names of Scott's surveillance programs that monitored Oswald's movements. He shows that CIA headquarters cut Scott out of the loop of the agency's latest reporting on Oswald before Kennedy was killed. He documents why Scott came to reject a key finding of the Warren Report on the assassination and how his disillusionment with the agency came to worry his longtime friend James Jesus Angleton, legendary chief of CIA counterintelligence. Angleton not only covered up the agency's interest in Oswald but also, after Scott died, absconded with the only copies of his unpublished memoir.

Interweaving Win Scott's personal and professional lives, Morley has crafted a real-life thriller of Cold War intrigue—a compelling saga of espionage that uncovers another chapter in the CIA's history.

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What People Are Saying

Anthony Summers
Here is a rare thing, a biography of a C.I.A. chief that neither dodges shameful truths nor throws gratuitous mud. Packed, to boot, with genuine revelations about the crime of the century--the assassination of President Kennedy. A tour-de-force! (Anthony Summers, author of Not in Your Lifetime)
Thomas Powers
Every decade or so, a talented writer provides a genuinely new glimpse into the CIA's shadowy history. Morley's account of legendary spymaster Winston Scott chronicles a life led in secret, stretching from the agency's founding through Scott's tenure as station chief in Mexico City. Morley tells this story with literary energy and an eye for the dark moments when intelligence stops making sense. (Thomas Powers, author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA)
Thomas Powers

Every decade or so, a talented writer provides a genuinely new glimpse into the CIA's shadowy history. Morley's account of legendary spymaster Winston Scott chronicles a life led in secret, stretching from the agency's founding through Scott's tenure as station chief in Mexico City. Morley tells this story with literary energy and an eye for the dark moments when intelligence stops making sense. (Thomas Powers, author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA)

Anthony Summers

Here is a rare thing, a biography of a C.I.A. chief that neither dodges shameful truths nor throws gratuitous mud. Packed, to boot, with genuine revelations about the crime of the century—the assassination of President Kennedy. A tour-de-force! (Anthony Summers, author of Not in Your Lifetime)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780700615711
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas
  • Publication date: 2/14/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Jefferson Morley, formerly the "World Opinion Roundup" columnist, is a veteran Washington journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Review of Books, Readers Digest, Slate, Salon, and other national publications.

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Table of Contents

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Prologue: April 28, 1971

Act I: London

1. Up from Escatawpa

2. The Apprentice Puppet Masters

3. His Friend Philby

Act II: Washington

4. Spies on the Rise

5. Operation Success

6. A New Life

Act III: Mexico City

7. The American Proconsul

8. AMCIGAR

9. Spy as Poet

10. Knight

11. Darkness

12. Wedding in Las Lomas

13. "You Might Have Had a Seven Days in May"

14. A Blip Named Oswald

15. Out of the Loop

16. "The Effect Was Electric"

17. "A Transparent Operation"

18. "I Share That Guilt"

19. An Anonymous Warning

20. The Padrinos

21. Night of the Tlatelolco

22. "The Slidge of Spies and Knaves"

23. A Fall in the Garden

Afterword

Notes

Bibliography

Index

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