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King of Spies: The Dark Reign of America's Spymaster in Korea Hardcover – October 3, 2017
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"Fascinating account of an espionage pioneer who thrived during the Korean War and then disappeared into disgraced obscurity. . . . The author ably connects his ominous central figure to the larger mysterious, unresolved narrative of the Korean conflict. An engrossing hidden history of wartime espionage, with elements of derring-do and moral barbarity."
“Blaine Harden’s King of Spies is jaw-droppingly good — a quirky, unlikely, thrilling true story of intrigue and daring and depravity told by a master of the genre.”
—David Maraniss, author of Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story
“King of Spies is a dark story of espionage and evil by a wild American military spymaster in Korea, a tale both revelatory and tragic. Blaine Harden's superb book throws open a long-ignored chapter in the Korean War; a compelling and disturbing read, not to be missed.”
—David E. Hoffman, author of The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal
“Blaine Harden has now produced a fascinating trilogy of stranger-than-fiction books about North Korea. His latest, King of Spies, is about a gay, middle school dropout who was one of the few U.S. officials to predict the outbreak of the Korean War and whose espionage activities had a profound impact on the course of the war. You’ve probably never heard of Donald Nichols, but you’ll never forget him after reading King of Spies.”
—Barbara Demick, author of Nothing to Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea
“A thrilling real-life spy story told by a terrific writer.”
—Tim Weiner, author of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
“Blaine Harden has done what no one else thought to do in seven decades: He’s brought us the full, secret, astonishing story of one of the most improbably powerful characters in American history, and he has done so with crystalline writing and in jaw-dropping detail.”
—Steve Twomey, author of Countdown to Pearl Harbor: The Twelve Days to the Attack
“Many accounts of the Korean War are full of mystery, hinting at horrific crimes and large-scale covert operations. King of Spies pierces that mystery through the story of a remarkable American operative who took his mission to mind-boggling extremes. The adventures that fill these pages, from bleak battlefields to the corridors of power, tell us much about how the world really works.”
—Stephen Kinzer, author of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq
Praise for The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot:
"Blaine Harden has done more than anyone else to bring [North Korea] to a mass audience. . . . Thrilling stuff."
—The Washington Post
"A riveting book that makes the history of North Korea accessible to the general reader."
—Wall Street Journal
"An eminently readable picture of our most under-remembered war."
—The Daily Beast
Praise for Escape From Camp 14:
"Harden's book, besides being a gripping story, unsparingly told, carries a freight of intelligence about this black hole of a country."
—Bill Keller, The New York Times
"A remarkable story."
—The Wall Street Journal
"A riveting new biography . . . If you want a singular perspective on what goes on inside the rogue regime, then you must read [this] story."
About the Author
Blaine Harden has served as The Washington Post’s bureau chief in Northeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Africa. He was a national correspondent for The New York Times and has contributed to The Economist, PBS Frontline, Time, and Foreign Policy. He is the author of The Great Leader and the Fighter Pilot; Escape From Camp 14, an international bestseller that has been published in 28 languages; A River Lost; and Africa: Dispatches from a Fragile Continent, which won a Pen American Center citation for a first book of non-fiction.
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