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In Search of Enemies: A CIA Story Paperback – March 17, 1984


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: W. W. Norton; 1st edition (March 17, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393009262
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393009262
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 0.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #477,224 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

John R. Stockwell (1937- ), who lived in Africa for ten of his early years, is a graduate of the University of Texas and an alumnus of the U.S. Marine Corps. After twelve years as a CIA officer, he resigned from the agency on April 1, 1977.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

53 of 58 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Please read this book. It tells all, that you didn't know about the direction and practices of your own country. I attended a lecture by John Stockwell and he pleads for you to not purchase this book but pirate it from your local library. The US government sued him and won the rights to this book so all proceeds go to the CIA or the Federal government. Also read "The Grand Chessboard" This is the blue print for the United States foreign policy. You will be blown away.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By B. Odlum on March 3, 2008
Format: Hardcover
In the last decade, a lot of CIA exposés have been published, with the declassification of many previously unavailable documents. What distinguishes this one is that it was originally published in 1976, which makes it one of the first, and it is written by an extraordinary man who could not have been more personally involved in the subject of his book.

If you are looking for a James Bond genre spy novel, you will be disappointed. If you want to understand, in detail, the actual structure and dynamics of a covert CIA operation, this book is the jackpot. In the early 1970's Mr. Stockwell was in charge of the Angola Task Force. He knows what he is talking about. This book is very direct and hits hard. For the most part Stockwell just presents the facts and allows the reader to decide, but of course the book is written after he experienced a moral rectification and left the CIA. The book is intended as an insider's exposé, and it does a fantastic job. He makes no attempt to justify his own role in the drama, referring to himself as a "villain".

Personally, I found the author to be a fascinating man. He grew up in the heart of the Belgium Congo, where he learned French and Tshiluba, one of the many native languages of the country. Obviously, he got a first hand glimpse of an African nation colonized by a European power. I assume he learned English from his parents, his vocabulary is slightly more extensive than my own.

Later he joined the Marines, and as a reconnaissance officer on a Navy cruise he engaged in covert hydrographic surveys off the western African coast. Afterwards, as a CIA officer, he did a tour of duty in Vietnam, but has apparently had many CIA experiences in many African countries as well.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By VC1983 on March 17, 2010
Format: Paperback
I first read this book 27 years ago as a senior in college. The author spent several days on campus lecturing to a small group of seniors who took part in this particualr seminar course. It was absolutely fascinating. I will read this book again.

Later that year I formally applied to the CIA's training program. I attended a large group orientation meeting - maybe 60 people. In the course of the meeting a list of suggested reading material was passed out to all. During Q & A time I asked the CIA presenter why Stockwell's book was conspicuously absent from the reading list. "Oh, you must be the guy from Vassar." was his only comment. He correctly identified me out of an otherwise anonymous group of applicants just from the question I asked. He knew Stockwell was on campus. He knew I must have attended his class. These guys do their homework. I'll never forget it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By TLR on August 17, 2013
Format: Paperback
Stockwell's book detailed the CIA's failures and deceptions in its involvement in the Angolan civil war. While in the CIA, Stockwell fabricated gruesome stories of Cuban soldiers raping Angolan women, which were planted in the African press and then picked up by the US media.
He recalled that CIA officers overseas fear the US ambassador, nosy neighbors, local police and the press; the KGB is at the bottom of the list. "In my twelve years of case officering I never saw or heard of a situation in which the KGB attacked or obstructed a CIA operation...In fact CIA and KGB officers entertain each other frequently in their homes. The CIA's files are full of mention of such relationships in almost every African station." He was taken to court by the government for writing this book; he lost the battle and all of the book's profits went to the CIA. In the late 1980s he talked about the JFK assassination on Pacifica Radio, and expressed the belief that CIA operatives, including members high up in the Agency, and Cuban exiles were responsible for it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I must confess that it is not an easy book to read. It is about a subject I'm not sure I completel;y understand but I admire Mr. Stockwell's willingness to tell of things that need to brought out in the open. It takes courage to speak out when others are determined to maintain a status quo even when change is needed.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The whole cold war was disturbing enough to live through, but when books like this show the ineptitude of the people who were running the show back then, it makes it hard to stop feeling cold today. Stockwell has given a readable and detailed account of the Angolan situation. I heard about the book while studying politics at University, but this is much more approachable than any academic text book. There is a disturbing reality on every page.
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