A biography of the spymaster who ran the CIA's counterintelligence operation for twenty years until his downfall
Why read it?
2 authors picked Cold Warrior as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?
The history of the CIA features many fascinating personalities and there are several excellent spy biographies, Thomas Powers on Richard Helms, for example, or Randall Woods on William Colby. But the most complex and compelling of all figures in the Agency’s past must surely be the legendary head of counterintelligence, James Angleton. Again, there are numerous works on Angleton and his obsessive hunt for a top-level Soviet agent in the CIA, but I enjoyed and benefited most from Tom Mangold’s Cold Warrior, an astonishingly detailed and penetrating portrayal of America’s real-life George Smiley.
Veteran BBC reporter Tom Mangold’s book was the most thorough and penetrating biography of James Jesus Angleton – the CIA’s legendary Cold War Counterintelligence chief. Drawing on scores of original interviews and internal intelligence records, Mangold reveals the depths of Angleton’s paranoia, alcoholism, and obsessions – and shows how these devastated both the CIA and Britain’s MI5 for more than a decade.
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