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Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA Hardcover – March 11, 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Here is a rare thing, a biography of a C.I.A. chief that neither dodges shameful truths nor throws gratuitous mud. Packed, to boot, with genuine revelations about the crime of the century--the assassination of President Kennedy. A tour-de-force!" -- Anthony Summers

"Every decade or so, a talented writer provides a genuinely new glimpse into the CIA's shadowy history. Morley's account of legendary spymaster Winston Scott chronicles a life led in secret, stretching from the agency's founding through Scott's tenure as station chief in Mexico City. Morley tells this story with literary energy and an eye for the dark moments when intelligence stops making sense." -- Thomas Powers

From the Back Cover

"Every decade or so, a talented writer provides a genuinely new glimpse into the CIA's shadowy history. Morley's account of legendary spymaster Winston Scott chronicles a life led in secret, stretching from the agency's founding through Scott's tenure as station chief in Mexico City. Morley tells this story with literary energy and an eye for the dark moments when intelligence stops making sense."--Thomas Powers, author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA

"Here is a rare thing, a biography of a C.I.A. chief that neither dodges shameful truths nor throws gratuitous mud. Packed, to boot, with genuine revelations about the crime of the century--the assassination of President Kennedy. A tour-de-force!"--Anthony Summers, author of Not in Your Lifetime

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: University Press of Kansas (March 11, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0700615717
  • ISBN-13: 978-0700615711
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,104,732 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As a former longtime employee of CIA, I can attest that this book conveys a true picture of the goings on within the agency. The story focuses on the life of Win Scott, who rose to become station chief in Mexico City for many years. Meticulously researched and documented, the book relates how the "company" evolved from wartime OSS in London. We learn about some key operations in postwar Europe and in Central America, and about how counter-intelligence works.
Building his story by telling exactly who did what and when, this author has achieved an authentic history of the period through the assassination of President Kennedy and afterward. The CIA's contacts with Oswald in the weeks before the shooting in Dallas,
and the subsequent stonewalling, withholding and even destruction of information are all spelled out so the reader is aware of what pieces of history are still hidden.
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Format: Hardcover
...peeling off layer after layer, we (well, those who still care, but I understand there are quite numerous around the world...) can now forty five years after the facts have a much better, much clearer understanding of what took place in Dallas.

The review above says it all. The book is on one level, the personnal history of the search of a son (adopted, it turns out..) for his mysterious, elusive father.

The fact that the father in question happenned to be Win Scot, head of the CIA Mexico station in the Sixties (the biggest CIA operation targeted at Soviet and Cuban interest outside the US) when Oswald, according to the official story, popped up there and started making himself noticed just a few weeks before Dallas, transforms what would be a mere personnal quest into something of historical importance.

Author Morley is known, appropriately, for his groundbreaking work bringing to light most notably the very strange story of George Joannides' s dealing with the DRE. Morley's work definitely showed how the CIA, deceptively, put Joannides in charge of contacts with the HSCA regarding Cuban matters, without ever mentioning his previous responsabilities as Focal Officer for the DRE during the latter part of November 63...

Students of JFK's assassination may remember that the DRE was very heavily involved in the early attempts to paint Oswald as a Communist Pro-Castro assassin, participating in a conspiracy.

Joannides's field reports on the DRE activities for the relevant period are still missing, and are the subject of a FOIA lawsuit by Morley....
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This author contacted a family member (of mine) for info on the family member's possible role in CIA activities in Mexico in preparation for this book. I appreciate the author's integrity. This is an excellent book, providing a unique perspective in the ongoing search for the truth regarding JFK's assassination. I highly recommend this book. Way to go, Mr. Morley.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A very well researched and entertaining biography of one of the founders of the CIA. As an American having lived in Mexico City during the 1960s and 70s, many of the names and faces were familiar, and all of the events ring true.
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Format: Hardcover
This very well-documented book tells you in precise and unnerving detail how C.I.A.operatives work and what they knew about Oswald in Mexico before the Kennedy assassination -- a lot more than you knew befoe. It is particularly convincing because it's personal, the real story of a man who lived his life inside that system of power, accountable to no one. It's a page-turner with unrecognized spies (everyone?), double agents, stolen loves, a son wants to know his father, a loyal secretary, a dangerous wedding, enough destroyed documents to make you weep and an ending that sets up for a sequel we hope can come from further investigation by this diligent author. Highly recommended for everyone, not just specialists, but there is plenty here for them as well.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
What a pleasure to read a fact-based, well researched, and completely documented book that covers, not only the JFK assassination, but the early soldiers of the WW II - OSS. Many of these same OSS people became the CIA’s senior management team by 1963. Unlike most books on these subjects, Mr. Morley allows the reader to draw their own conclusion(s). There are no wild-eyed, self-perpetuated, illogical theories here – only substantiated and referenced facts.
I strongly recommend Our Man in Mexico to any serious OSS/CIA/JFK historian or researcher who is tired of the far too common books that profess “everyone and their brother” was a co-conspirator or evidence destroyer.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Hats off to Jefferson Morley. This is expert journalism that ventures close to the death star without being tainted by radiation. There is nothing here that smells of sensationalism or of exploitation. In fact, while reading this I actually started to feel admiration for the vast majority of the men and women of the CIA. At the same time, I do increasingly have a bad feeling about James Jesus Angleton.

Did Angleton plot to kill JFK? Did one of his little schemes merely fly behind his control? Was Oswald working for the KGB? How could he have fallen off the radar screen?

These questions are not answered in the book. But after reading this book you will want the answers.
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