The Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA

The Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA

by Scott C. Johnson
The Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA

The Wolf and the Watchman: A Father, a Son, and the CIA

by Scott C. Johnson


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What happens when a father asks his son to lie for the greater good?

Growing up, Scott C. Johnson always suspected that his father was different. Only as a teenager did he discover the truth: his father was a spy, one of the CIA’s most trusted officers. At first the secret was thrilling. But over time Scott began to have doubts. How could a man so rigorously trained to deceive and manipulate simply turn off those skills at home? His father had been living a double life for so long that his lies were hard to separate from the truth.

When Scott embarked on a career as a foreign correspondent, he found himself returning to many of the troubled countries of his youth. In the dusty streets of Pakistan and Afghanistan, amid the cold urbanity of Yugoslavia, and down the mysterious alleys of Mexico City, he came face to face with his father’s murky past—and his own complicity in it. Scott learned that his chosen profession was not so different from his father’s: they both worked to gain people’s trust and to uncover their secrets. The only difference was what they did with that information.

In the aftermath of 9/11, father and son found themselves on assignment in Afghanistan and the Middle East, one as a CIA contractor, the other as a reporter for Newsweek. Suddenly, an unsettled Scott was forced to keep his father’s secret all over again. As their professional lives collided, Scott and his father inched toward a personal reckoning, struggling to overcome a lifetime of suspicion and deception.

The Wolf and the Watchman is a provocative, meditative account of truth and duplicity, of manipulation and loyalty. It is also a moving, intensely personal portrait of a bond between father and son that endured in the shadow of one of the world’s most secretive and unforgiving institutions.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780393239805
Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date: 05/20/2013
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 6.40(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Scott C. Johnson was a Newsweek foreign correspondent for twelve years, often providing exclusive war reporting from Iraq, Afghanistan, and other fronts in the Middle East. He also served as Newsweek’s bureau chief in Mexico, Baghdad, and Africa; was part of the team that won the 2003 National Magazine Award for reportage of the Iraq War; and received a 2004 Overseas Press Club Honorable Mention for his reporting from Latin America. He is now a freelance journalist and writer living in Santa Monica, California.

Table of Contents

Prologue xi

Part I

1 New Delhi, 1973 3

2 Belgrade, 1981 12

3 Islamabad, 1983 17

4 Williamsburg, Virginia, 1984 23

5 Southfield, Michigan, 1987 46

6 Madrid, 1992 64

Part II

7 Roaming, 1995 75

8 Paris, 1998 86

9 Washington State, 2001 92

10 Afghanistan, 2001 108

11 Mexico City, 1968 122

12 Mexico City, 2002 137

13 Southern Iraq, 2003 162

14 Sarajevo, 2004 178

15 Baghdad, 2006 189

16 Ramadi, 2006 199

17 Baghdad, 2006 214

18 Washington State, 2006 226

Part III

19 New Hampshire, 2006 239

20 Mexico, 2006 252

21 Washington State, 2007 259

22 Baghdad and Amman, 2008 276

Epilogue 301

Acknowledgments 303

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