Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIAby Duane R. Clarridge, Digby Diehl
Clarridge is the highest ranking American spy directly & personally involved in espionage, war, counterterrorism, & intrigue to make public his life. His career began in 1954 when the CIA recruited him from Columbia University. During the next 33 years he became involved in stealing secrets, making war, supporting democratic forces, attacking terrorism, saving lives, & influencing the course of Americas foreign policy. Among other things, he describes the inner workings of the CIA; the creation of his brainchild, the CIAs Counter-Terrorist Center; & his alleged involvement in planning & commanding the Iran-Contra affair.
A well-connected New Englander, Clarridge joined the CIA in 1955. Dispatched to Nepal, the author (then 27) was obliged to learn his offbeat trade on the job, while running a one-man listening post in Katmandu. Subsequently assigned to less remote but still exotic venues like Istanbul, New Delhi, and Rome (where he served as chief of station), Clarridge became a cold warrior par excellence. Adept at cultivating and recruiting sources of useful information, he achieved enough to be recalled to Washington in 1981 as head of the agency's Latin American Division. Inter alia, the author recounts what the CIA did and did not do in arming Nicaragua's Contras. In his straightforward narrative (officially vetted by erstwhile colleagues still at the CIA), Clarridge also details what he knew of the role played by Oliver North in the Contra campaign and the CIA's running battles with a Congress dominated by Democrats who, he says, had an eye for the main political chance. Moving on to the European Division during the mid-1980s, the author was later tapped to create a Counterterrorism Center. Eased out of the agency in 1988 in the wake of the Iran- Contra investigations, he was indicted by Lawrence Walsh. While prepared to fight these charges (essentially, of deceiving the Senate), the author accepted a pretrial pardon in 1992. In reviewing the factors that ended his life as a player in the great game, Clarridge makes a persuasive case for a strong US intelligence capability in an increasingly dangerous world and settles a host of old scores (e.g., with Jacques Chirac, the DEA, and the Tower Commission).
A professional operative's apologia pro vita CIA.
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While this book has some interesting details about life in the CIA, they certainly aren't worth listening to Clarridge's prejudices, his chauvenism, his arrogance and the facts only as he remembers them. He spends more time measuring the attractiveness of the various women in his story than he does discussing the effect of, for example, Kennedy's assination on his work as a CIA operative. Skip this in favor of a more credible text.
I don't usually write reviews on books I have read but to find only one review by someone who bashes a decent attempt to tell a story about a career without compromising the profession and those still within it, then to not even put his name on his short sighted opinion, prompted me to even the field a little.
The inner workings of the C.I.A. and many of the activities encountered by it's people are not available to the public and for very good reason. Mr. Clarridge's story is one I found to be very informative and educational. Much of his career was spent faithfully and loyal to the office of the President of the United States and the security of the United States.
A Spy for All Seasons is a great read for someone interested in the actual and often seldom publicized activities of such a person. Although it may be true that a reader may disagree with some of the politics of the book, Clarridge's or the opposition, one cannot refute that it is an engrossing story and lightyears beyond the mundane of many average folk.
Mr. Clarridge cites many Agency activities as well as the effects it had on his family relationship. He hides nothing and extolls his beliefs, sometimes to the flak of his detractors. The book exposes insights to the makeup of the man. One who excelled at his job, and is sought out today for his opinions on todays world activities.
Since the books release in 1997, Clarridge has predicted in his book many things that have come to pass that are at the front of World's Leadership's attention today.
I recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
I have purposely only signed into an account to refute the absolute dross given in the review by FLUKERF. do nor waste your money on this evil man. instead google 'The War On Democracy' by John Pilger and see what kind of man he truly is, an evil person with absolute no regard for human life. FLUKERF you are obviously employed by the US Govt. to give this pathetic creepy review, and i quote; "informative and educational. Much of his career was spent faithfully and loyal to the office of the President of the United States and the security of the United States." replace US with 3rd Reich and you may get the picture, see the documentary and you will see for yourself the absolute denial of wrongdoing just like Hilter's cronies. what a crock of s***. The audacity to present himself on the cover as some sort of marlon brando or fading movie star is laughable!