From the New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers, a behind-the-scenes look at what it's like to run the world's most powerful intelligence agency, and how the CIA is often a crucial counterforce against presidents threatening to overstep the powers of their office.
If you’re an American, The Spymasters is required reading ... The picture crafted is hardly one of a deep state, which is a narrative peddled by the forty-fifth president. What the reader comes away with is a clear understanding of how the agency works and the important role that the CIA director (DCIA, formerly DCI) and the president have in utilizing its functions. In its simplest end, Whipple’s book is a lesson in understanding an arm of the U.S. government, providing an additional lens for the electorate to be informed ... Whipple uses unprecedented primary sources...to patch together a narrative that is both colorful and comprehensive ... The reader of this book grasps how much power and responsibility the CIA directors have.
[A] genial, engaging portrait of the men and one woman who have run the C.I.A. over the past six decades ... Whipple’s animating interest lies in struggles closer to home — especially the rapport, or lack thereof, between the C.I.A. chief and the commander in chief ... In weighing success and failure, Whipple offers measured, sympathetic, on-the-one-hand-on-the-other-hand tallies of the merits and demerits for each of his spymasters ... Whipple’s book should offer a reminder that the difficulties faced by intelligence officials under Trump are not entirely new.
An expert chronicle of the CIA through the actions of its directors ... readers will not regret time spent on this readable journalistic account, which relies heavily on interviews with living directors and a surprisingly large number of surviving spouses, children, and associates. This lively, opinionated history makes it clear that presidents and CIA directors sometimes deserve each other.