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Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton - Cia's Master Spy Hunter Hardcover – June 15, 1991

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Mangold's first-class biography of James Angleton, CIA counterintelligence chief from 1955 to 1975, who died in 1987, concentrates on Angleton's obsessive search for Soviet double agents within the agency. When the investigation outside his own department failed to produce a "mole," Angleton moved against the counterintelligence staff itself. The result, as Mangold reveals, was an internal-affairs skirmish that claimed several innocent victims. No spy was ever found. The great "molehunt" caused so much damage to Western intelligence that some suspected Angleton himself of being a Soviet agent. Mangold relates the episode involving Yury Nosenko, who defected to the West in 1964; Angleton, convinced he was a Soviet plant, kept him a secret prisoner of the CIA throughout much of the 1960s and tried unsuccessfully to force a "confession" from him. The book is an intriguing account of self-destructive paranoia in America's intelligence community. Mangold is the author of The Tunnels of Cu Chi. Photos.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

A character straight from a John le Carre novel, recently the subject of a PBS Frontline documentary, and still a figure of controversy, Angleton was for 22 years the chief of the CIA's counterintelligence staff. With his neurotic, obsessive, and destructive belief in a master Communist conspiracy and in the penetration of the CIA by Soviet moles, Angleton not only betrayed defectors and ruined his CIA colleagues; wrecked careers and lost lives followed his tread. Based on exhaustive research, Mangold's fascinating account argues persuasively that Angleton did more to damage U.S. intelligence than all the Soviet spies put together. Angleton was "responsible for the loss of priceless intelligence from the very heart of the KGB and the GRU" without ever catching one mole. This book is sure to reopen the bitter major debate over Golitsyn and Nosenko. Reservation: Mangold does not pursue broader questions about the cost of America's Cold War anti-Communist neuroses that drove the country for so many years. For international affairs and espionage collections.
- H. Steck, SUNY at Cortland
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster; First Edition edition (June 15, 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671662732
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671662738
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.4 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #979,159 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

33 of 33 people found the following review helpful By porterd@ultranet.com on December 31, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I read this book several years ago, and found it to be very interesting and worthwhile. James Jesus Angleton was one of the early members of the CIA - a graduate of Yale which, at one time, was one of the primary recruiting grounds for the CIA. Angleton, according to the author, cut a very shadowy figure in an already shadowy world. Some of Mangold's text seems biased against Angleton, such as references to "The Trust" - an early counter intelligence operation created by Feliks Dzerzhinsky, the founder of the Cheka. Angleton placed great emphasis on understanding this old operation. Mangold seems to deride this practice of Angelton's, which I felt was unfairly judgemental. Mangold, however, also describes an operation headed up my Angleton which caused the ruin of some productive CIA officers. All in all, though, the book is very interesting, and manages to submerge the reader into the world of counter intelligence during the cold war era. Counter Intelligence has been described by those who have practiced it as a "Wilderness of mirrors". After reading this book the reader will gain an appreciation, even if only superficial, of how nerve-racking the job could be - not knowing whom you can trust.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Martin Cannon on July 7, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Tom Mangold bases this exciting, well-crafted account not on newsclippings and surmise but on dozens of insider interviews. These interviews must have been authorized from "on high," so it is clear that the Agency had turned against Angleton, or at least had decided to clean up the mess he had left. At the same time, Mangold does not tell the full story. One cannot expect him to do so while maintaining access to all of those sources. For example, there is ample evidence that Angleton ran his own assassination squad. Mangold doesn't tell the story of Angleton's (probable) theft of J. Edgar Hoover's files, as told in Curt Gentry's biography of Hoover. And Mangold doesn't really emphasize the fact that Angleton's "fundamenalist" group included a lot of people outside the Agency. Still, for anyone interested in researching the most devious and fascinating of the founding CIA members -- someone whose paranoia was so destructive that he was eventually accused (wrongly) of being a KGB asset himself -- this book is essential.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By JMC on October 17, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This was one take on JJA that offered some insights not highlighted elsewhere. I found it to be an easy read.
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