Agee, Philip. On the Run. Secaucus NJ: Lyle Stuart, 1987. 400 pages. (Available from Covert Action Information Bulletin for $10.)In 1968 Philip Agee was finally disgusted with his dirty work as a CIA officer in Ecuador, Uruguay, and Mexico. He submitted a letter of resignation and immediately slipped into Cuba, then went to France and Britain. As he wrote his memoirs while scraping by on handouts, he frequently wondered if some of the people who were helping him could be trusted. The answer was "no" -- a typewriter that one friend loaned him was discovered to contain a homing transmitter. Finally his book "Inside the Company" was published in 1975, launching his career as history's most celebrated anti-CIA activist. The CIA kept harassing Agee, even though he retains his U.S. citizenship and has never been charged with a crime. He was expelled from Britain, France, and Holland, and his U.S. passport was revoked in 1979. Today he lives in Germany, is still trying to get his passport back, and does speaking tours on U.S. college campuses.
While "Inside the Company" chronicles Agee's activities as a CIA officer, "On the Run" is part two of his autobiography. It covers the years between his resignation and the publication of his memoirs, and the succession of legal problems in a number of European countries once he became a celebrity. Besides reading almost like a thriller, this book is also valuable as a history of the anti-CIA movement.
Copeland, Miles. The Game Player: Confessions of the CIA's Original Political Operative. London: Aurum Press, 1989. 294 pages.Miles Copeland (1913-1991) joined the CIA after serving in the Counter-Intelligence Corps during World War II. In 1953 he left the CIA to work for Booz-Allen Hamilton, and then rejoined the CIA in 1955. Two years later he resigned again to become a high-priced oil company consultant, while doing covert favors for the CIA on an as-needed, unofficial basis. Copeland specialized in the Arab countries. He was involved in Syria in 1949, and in the 1950s was an advisor to President Nasser in Egypt. In 1980 he pushed a plan to free the hostages in Iran, and actively supported, along with other spooks, the election of George Bush and Ronald Reagan.
Copeland is immodest about his successes, and disdainful of the CIA's failures, as though they failed only because his advice wasn't solicited or heeded. The ethics of covert activities never enters into the equation. For example, while Copeland found Jimmy Carter to be well-informed and intelligent, he had a low opinion of the Carter presidency because Carter was too principled. For Copeland, this hobbled Carter's capacity for the greatest game on earth, the game of covert manipulation. At least Copeland was garrulous, and if given a choice, preferred to exaggerate his covert acumen rather than keep the CIA's secrets. Many also found him likable, as he continued to grant interviews from his home in the English countryside.
Corn, David. Blond Ghost: Ted Shackley and the CIA's Crusades. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1994. 509 pages.David Corn, the thirty-something Washington editor of The Nation magazine, spent five years on this biography of Theodore Shackley. He interviewed over 250 people, including 100 former CIA officials, while Shackley himself cooperated only to the extent of one brief interview. With 70 pages of end notes, and chapters liberally sprinkled with unpublished CIA names, this is a durable contribution to intelligence history.
For most of his career, Shackley was in the field administering operations from behind a desk. After Germany in the 1950s, he directed the huge Miami station during the war against Castro. Then it was off to Laos, and later Saigon, at the height of those wars. When not in the field, Shackley was administering from CIA headquarters: during the 1970s he helped with the overthrow of Allende in Chile and Whitlam in Australia (both of them elected leaders), and also directed damage control against Philip Agee. This may look like a string of failures, but not for an Agency that prides itself on deniability rather than accountability. Then came the Edwin Wilson scandal -- ironically inconsequential when compared to Shackley's career of covert war-mongering. As an associate of Wilson, Shackley was damaged goods, and Stansfield Turner had all he needed to shunt Shackley's fast-track career off to the side. Blessed deliverance for the world's people.
Goddard, Donald with Coleman, Lester K. Trail of the Octopus: From Beirut to Lockerbie -- Inside the DIA. London: Bloomsbury Publishing, 1993. 326 pages.Lester Coleman began as a reporter, became an agent for the Defense Intelligence Agency in the Middle East (he's fluent in Arabic), and ended as an exile in Sweden after trumped-up passport charges were filed against him in Chicago. The problem was that Coleman, without fully realizing it, had inside information about Drug Enforcement Administration operations in the Middle East, and specifically about DEA arrangements for controlled-delivery baggage handling out of the Frankfurt airport. In other words, what he knew put an different spin on the Lockerbie tragedy, and suggested a degree of U.S. intelligence complicity with the bombing of Pan Am 103.
There is also new information about DIA, DEA, and CIA turf wars in the Middle East. DIA keeps their secrets better than the CIA (there's no Congressional oversight), which allows them greater latitude for dirty tricks, and for spying on the DEA and CIA. (For example, Coleman was tasked by the DIA to expose Oliver North to an agent whose relative worked for Al Shiraa, the Beirut news magazine that ran this information on 3 November 1986, and was thereby credited with opening the Iran-contra floodgates for the Western media.) This book is well-written, perhaps because principal author Donald Goddard spent eight years as an editor at the New York Times. Despite this, don't look for it in U.S. bookstores -- you won't find it.
Gritz, James (Bo). Called to Serve. Lazarus Publishing Company (Box 472 HCR-31, Sandy Valley NV 89019), 1991. 647 pages.James (Bo) Gritz is a much-decorated Vietnam special forces veteran who continued working in covert operations after the war. He is convinced that live POWs remain in Southeast Asia, and went into Laos in 1983 to try and rescue some. Pentagon officials made it clear to Gritz that the highest levels of the U.S. government preferred to ignore the evidence. This in turn caused him to reconsider the flag-and-motherhood politics that brought him to Vietnam in the first place. By 1990 he was opposed to the Gulf War and interested in the JFK assassination, and by 1992 he was the Populist Party candidate for President.
Although one might wish for a bit less of Gritz's Green Beret machismo and a few more names of covert cowboys and assorted spooks, this book is, after all, an autobiography. Gritz does add new evidence of U.S. duplicity in the war on drugs by visiting opium warlord Khun Sa in Burma. Khun Sa's perspective on the opium trade implicates U.S. officials such as Richard Armitage. More than once Khun Sa offered to sell his entire crop to the U.S. government in order to keep it off the streets, and has also asked for crop- substitution assistance. But the U.S. showed no interest in Gritz's efforts to mediate the issue, and continued to demonize Khun Sa. As a final insult, the feds then brought silly charges against Gritz himself.
Mangold, Tom. Cold Warrior: James Jesus Angleton, the CIA's Master Spy Hunter. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991. 462 pages.From 1954-1974, legendary OSS-veteran James Jesus Angleton was the CIA's spycatcher-in-chief. Drawing on interviews with more than 200 Agency veterans, British journalist Tom Mangold and researcher Jeff Goldberg shred Angleton's carefully-cultivated wizard's persona. They depict a dangerous fanatic who trashed innocent lives, paralyzed the CIA's crucial Soviet division, and otherwise harmed the cause he claimed to serve. A pseud- Englishman (his mother was Mexican), Angleton was badly suckered by Kim Philby, the British intelligence superstar who was secretly an agent of the KGB. After Philby's defection to Moscow in 1963, the badly-burned Angleton turned the CIA inside out looking for other moles.
Ordinary counterintelligence work virtually halted as Angleton's inner circle harassed loyal intelligence officers, and bounced real defectors back to the KGB as suspected agents. When the Agency came under attack in the 1970s, Director William Colby used Angleton's illegal (and defunct) domestic surveillance program as an excuse to show Angleton the door. Mangold tells this horrific tale calmly -- never stopping to ask whether organizations like the CIA make sad lives like Angleton's inevitable.
-- Steve Badrich
McGehee, Ralph. Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA. New York: Sheridan Square, 1982. 231 pages.Ralph McGehee, a CIA officer in the Far East Division, details a career in the CIA that spanned from 1953 to 1977 and included operations in the Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, and Vietnam. In Taiwan he served as the CIA liaison officer for KMT intelligence services. While in Thailand he worked with Thai counterinsurgency forces to help stem the Communist threat, and during the Vietnam War he served in Saigon supervising case officers. He became depressed by CIA activities in Vietnam, and returned to Thailand as deputy chief of the anti-Communist Party operations branch. An internal political fight with Theodore Shackley resulted in his reassignment out of the Far East Division. He retired four years later and was awarded the Career Intelligence Medal. Ironically, the citation read aloud at the ceremony described his courageous service in Malaysia, a country he had never been in.
Since writing this book McGehee has spoken on many college campuses and has been heard many times on radio. In 1984 he began compiling CIABASE, an annotated microcomputer database on CIA operations that contains over 30,000 records and sells for $199. McGehee lives in Herndon, Virginia.
-- Wendell Minnick
Minnick, Wendell L. Spies and Provocateurs: A Worldwide Encyclopedia of Persons Conducting Espionage and Covert Action, 1946-1991. Jefferson NC: McFarland, 1992. 310 pages.Now that the Cold War is over, an encyclopedia has been compiled of those who were accused of betraying their national trust. (A similar effort in NameBase is "Who's Who in Espionage" by Ronald Payne and Christopher Dobson (1984), which isn't nearly as comprehensive and also suffers from an Anglophilic bias.) Wendell Minnick has drawn extensively from public sources -- such as Facts on File (1946-1991) and the other 277 entries in his bibliography -- to present alphabetical descriptions of 627 accused or convicted spies from every corner of the globe. These descriptions range from a couple of sentences to a couple of pages in length, along with a listing of the major sources for each. In the course of these descriptions some 300 additional names are mentioned in passing, so the complete index in back is a welcome feature. A 19-page chronology is also included.
Who needs this book? Cold War historians with an interest in international espionage can use it to quickly ascertain what the public record offers on included individuals. For those who are investigating domestic covert activities (assassinations, political repression, etc.) it is less useful, since the emphasis is on those who were caught in the struggle between nations.
Morgan, Ted. A Covert Life: Jay Lovestone - Communist, Anti-Communist, and Spymaster. New York: Random House, 1999. 402 pages.The Cold War between the Soviet Union and the U.S. began around 1947, and during the 1950s the focus was largely on Communist influence in Western Europe through the trade unions. The CIA pumped money into this battle through the Marshall Plan, and through George Meany and Irving Brown of the American Federation of Labor. The AFL-CIO's American Institute for Free Labor Development received CIA funding during the 1960s and 1970s, and the Free Trade Union Institute received funding from the CIA-inspired National Endowment for Democracy since 1985. As recently as the 2002 coup in Venezuela, the AFL-CIO's American Institute for International Labor Solidarity was headed by Harry Kamberis, who was once ostensibly employed by the State Department, but appears to have been working for the CIA under State Department cover.
Jay Lovestone (1897-1990) was an American Communist who converted to anti-Communism in 1938 and joined the AFL. Meany picked him to run AFL's foreign affairs. This was the beginning of decades of covert intrigue that became public with the opening of Lovestone's papers at the Hoover Institution, and the release of his 5,700-page FBI file. It turns out that Lovestone's spooky career was directed by none other than James Angleton, his close friend and the CIA's head of counterintelligence.
Payne, Ronald and Dobson, Christopher. Who's Who in Espionage. New York: St.Martin's Press, 1984. 234 pages.This is an American edition of a book that was first published in Britain by Harrap Ltd. under the title "The Dictionary of Espionage." Payne and Dobson have covered espionage for the Sunday Telegraph and the Daily Telegraph, and have co-authored other books, including "The Carlos Complex" and "The Falklands Conflict."
The book consists of alphabetical biographies of over 200 famous names in espionage, each varying in length from two paragraphs to a page or more. The scope is broadly international, and the time frame is the Cold War period through 1982. Thus, in the first pages we see Rudolph Abel (a Russian spy), one page, Nahum Admoni (Mossad head in 1982), a half page, Mehmet Agca (who shot the Pope), a half page, and Philip Agee, slightly more than one page. High-level desk officers of various intelligence services are as likely to appear as those who have been caught and shot, or defectors who were briefly in the news and faded into obscurity. The descriptions are concise, well-written, and well-informed. The back of the book has 24 pages that describe the intelligence services of 17 countries.
Persico, Joseph E. Casey: From the OSS to the CIA. New York: Penguin Books, 1991. 601 pages.The author first met William J. Casey in the course of writing an earlier book, Piercing the Reich, on the penetration of Nazi Germany by the Office of Strategic Services (OSS). Casey spent the last part of the war in London and then Paris, running OSS agents into Germany. In 1966 he ran for Congress and lost, having already become a multi-millionaire from his investments. In 1968 he worked for the International Rescue Committee with his good friend Leo Cherne; in 1971 he was appointed chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission by Richard Nixon.
The Reagan campaign of 1980, which Casey managed, was his springboard into the directorship of the CIA. He was the most controversial director in the agency's history; his hands-on buccaneering style produced dirty fingers in Central America and hostages-for-arms in Iran, despite Congressional prohibitions against such activity. Questions also emerged about Casey's role in the 1980 "October Surprise," an alleged scheme to delay the release of hostages in order to prevent the re-election of President Carter. Casey died on May 6, 1987, just one day after the first witness was called to testify in the Iran-contra investigation. Had he lived, there is no doubt that he would have been a major target of the special prosecutor.
Powers, Thomas. The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA. New York: Pocket Books, 1981. 508 pages.When Allende was elected president of Chile, Nixon gave Richard Helms, CIA director from 1966-1972, his marching orders. "Make the economy scream," read Helms' notes of the September 15, 1970 meeting. Later Helms said, "If I ever carried a marshall's baton in my knapsack out of the Oval Office, it was that day." In early 1973, Helms was asked by Congress whether the CIA was involved in Chile, and he denied it. The coup in Chile happened several months later, and it was nasty. Although the major media swallowed the official denials for another year, cracks in the story began to appear. By 1975 the Church Committee was taking a closer look at Chile, and in 1977 Helms was allowed to plead no contest to two misdemeanor charges for withholding information. Retired CIA officers gave Helms a standing ovation and paid his fine. His attorney Edward Bennett Williams said that Helms would "wear this conviction like a badge of honor," and Helms agreed.
Powers covers much more than Helms and Chile; he follows this quintessential career man through the entire history of the CIA, including the Cold War spying of the 1950s, the assassination attempts in the 1960s, the illegal surveillance of the student movement, and on through Watergate in the 1970s. When it first appeared in 1979, this book was widely regarded as one of the best ever written about the CIA.
Rodriguez, Felix I. and Weisman, John. Shadow Warrior: The CIA Hero of a Hundred Unknown Battles. New York: Simon & Schuster, 1989. 283 pages.In this autobiography, Rodriguez details his relationship with the CIA and the anti-Castro resistance. After escaping Cuba in 1959 he joined the CIA-backed Brigade 2506. Rodriguez missed the Bay of Pigs, having been with a special squad trained to infiltrate into Cuba. In 1967 the CIA recruited him to head a team to hunt down leftist guerrilla Che Guevara in Bolivia. When Che was captured it was Rodriguez who interrogated him. After his execution he took Che's Rolex watch as a souvenir (he still wears it today). The book includes a photo of Che with Rodriguez the day he was captured. In 1971 Rodriguez helped train Provincial Reconnaissance Units for Operation Phoenix in Vietnam. During the 1980's he trained soldiers in El Salvador, and became involved with the Nicaraguan contras, Don Gregg, and vice- president George Bush.
-- Wendell Minnick
Smith, Joseph Burkholder. Portrait of a Cold Warrior: Second Thoughts of a Top CIA Agent. New York: Ballantine Books, 1981. First published in 1976 by G.P. Putnam's Sons. 441 pages.With a career that spanned from 1951 to 1973, Smith served in both the CIA's Far East and Western Hemisphere (Latin America) Divisions. He was assigned to the Far East Division as a Psychological Warfare/Propaganda Expert, and in 1954 was posted to the Singapore station as propaganda chief. In 1956 he served as Malaya desk chief, in 1958 in the Philippines as political action chief, in 1960 as chief of the Propaganda Guidance Section at CIA headquarters, in 1961 on the Venezuelan desk, and then was sent to Argentina to work on a joint propaganda project with the Argentine security agency (SIDE) for four years. In 1967 he served in the Office of Training at CIA headquarters as a propaganda and political action instructor, and in 1969 was assigned to Mexico to help sanitize operations exposed by Philip Agee's book "Inside the Company." Ironically, Agee never mentioned Smith in his book, despite the fact that they had worked together in Latin America.
-- Wendell Minnick
Smith, Russell Jack. The Unknown CIA: My Three Decades with the Agency. Foreword by Richard Helms. New York: Berkley Books, 1992. 259 pages.Russell Jack Smith took a Ph.D. from Cornell, and joined the OSS and then the CIA when it began in 1947. He was a member of the board of national estimates (1957-62), director of current intelligence (1962-66), and deputy director for intelligence (1966-71). From 1954-56 he was loaned to the State Department for a tour of duty in Singapore, and from 1971-74 he was a special assistant to the ambassador in New Delhi. Since Smith was with the analytical side of the agency, his two foreign postings apparently had little to do with agency operations; they may have been more like a working vacation from the bureaucratic routine at CIA headquarters.
Smith is proud of his service with the CIA, and believes that covert action has its place if it is a) unanimously approved within government and supported by a majority of the people, b) it is subordinate to diplomatic and overt military action, and c) the covert action must be small and feasibly deniable because otherwise it inflicts damage on the CIA and becomes self-defeating. Congressional oversight is part of the problem because it removes deniability and promotes "irresponsible public debate." In the end, Smith embraces the same amazing elitism that lurks behind all intelligence professionals, which might be paraphrased as "trust us -- we're honorable, we're better informed, and we know what's best for you."
Stich, Rodney and Russell, T. Conan. Disavow: A CIA Saga of Betrayal. Diablo Western Press (P.O. Box 5, Alamo CA 94507, Tel: 800-247-7389), 1995. 392 pages.Hawaii's biggest financial scandal broke in 1983. Bishop, Baldwin, Rewald, Dillingham and Wong was an international investment firm with 152 employees, 34 businesses in the U.S., and interests in 16 other countries. But suddenly investors lost their money. CEO Ronald Rewald, meanwhile, had limousines and bodyguards, and lived in a $2.4 million beach house. When he wasn't playing with the Sultan of Brunei at the firm's polo club, or lunching with Jack Lord, he was cutting deals with tycoon Enrique Zobel of the Philippines, or with Rajiv Gandhi, the son of India's prime minister.
At his trial, Rewald used the "CIA defense" -- the firm was set up by the CIA, and he was following the orders of the local station chief. This was all true (if not exculpatory), and Rewald had the CIA documents to prove it. Officials at Langley sweated and stonewalled at first, and then started playing hardball -- at one point, ABC News reported that the CIA had hired Scott Barnes to assassinate Rewald. Soon the Agency sent their own lawyer, John Peyton, to prosecute the case out of the U.S. Attorney's office and coach the compliant judge. Rewald's CIA documents never made it into the record; he was convicted of fraud and given 80 years. One month after the judge died in 1995, Rewald was paroled after serving ten years.
Thomas, Evan. The Very Best Men: Four Who Dared -- The Early Years of the CIA. New York: Simon & Schuster (Touchstone Edition), 1996. 427 pages.This is a biography of four key cold warriors who shaped the CIA during its early years: Frank Wisner, Desmond FitzGerald, Tracy Barnes, and Richard Bissell. To his credit, author Evan Thomas, the Washington bureau chief of Newsweek magazine, spent two years negotiating with the CIA for the release of files. He also interviewed many friends and relatives of these four. (Since Washington is a small town in these circles, with Thomas a member of the club, he probably he got more than the usual amount of cooperation.) Best of all, this book is well-written and enjoyable.
There isn't terribly much that's new here to interest a close student of CIA history, even as Thomas skillfully adds a personal dimension to the story that was lacking. For those who find it fascinating to know how these four saw themselves, even more than to know what they did, this book is a major contribution. There are good chapters on Guatemala in 1954 and the Bay of Pigs in 1961, and more proof that Robert Kennedy was obsessed with retaliating against Castro after his brother's humiliation. But there is nearly nothing on counterintelligence, nor on cultural and media operations and connections -- presumably because these four were not directly involved.
Thomas, Gordon and Dillon, Martin. Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy: The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul. New York: Carroll and Graf, 2002. 448 pages.Robert Maxwell was a British publishing tycoon who jumped, fell, or was thrown off of his yacht in 1991 and drowned. He was also an agent of influence for Israel's Mossad during the 1980s. When his media empire became financially overextended in the late 1980s, Maxwell began robbing the pension funds of thousands of employees.
Beyond this brief summary, however, there isn't much that can be said with any certainty about Robert Maxwell. The lead author of this biography, Gordon Thomas, has good connections with sources in Israel, but these sources often have their own agendas. In addition, Thomas -- after 43 books and 45 million copies to his credit -- writes as if he was competing with Tom Clancy. Reconstructed dialog and unreliable sources appear everywhere, and the murder scenario at the end seems entirely speculative. This cannot be considered an authoritative biography, even though 54 people were interviewed over two years. The material on Promis, the software program that magically synthesizes every database on earth, came mostly from Ari Ben-Menashe. The Promis chapter in Ben-Menashe's 1992 autobiography was basically unbelievable, which makes it doubly disappointing to see it presented uncritically here.
Trento, Joseph J. Prelude to Terror: The Rogue CIA and the Legacy of America's Private Intelligence Network. New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005. 408 pages.Joseph Trento is a veteran intelligence reporter who can claim inside access for his books. For example, his book "Widows" was co-authored with William R. Corson, who had a long career in U.S. intelligence at a fairly high level. Trento's "Secret History of the CIA" benefitted from interviews with James Angleton, the counterintelligence chief who had a closet full of axes that he spent many years grinding, and who was eventually fired from the CIA. Similarly, "Prelude to Terror" is essentially based on rogue agent Edwin Wilson's account of how he was framed by Ted Shackley. While everything Trento has ever written may be absolutely true, for all we know, he is too close to his sources for our tastes. Internal spook wars may be interesting, but they don't contribute anything to the issue of what the U.S. is doing to the rest of the world. What if all of Trento's sources really do belong in prison? Where does that leave us?
After an exhaustive treatment of Shackley according to Wilson, the last chapter is roughly about the U.S. in Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, and perhaps was thrown into the stew to justify the title of the book. Yes, everything connects to everything else, but whether any of it teaches us anything at all, is a question that Trento does not answer.
Whitney, Craig R. Spy Trader. New York: Times Books - Random House, 1994. 487 pages.When the Berlin Wall came down in late 1989, East German attorney Wolfgang Vogel was still held in high esteem. The West German government was considering him for a merit cross, its highest civilian award, while in the East his associations with Stasi since 1953 had made him rich. Vogel was best known for arranging spy swaps between East and West. By 1993, however, a reunited Germany was considering his career through a different lens. Vogel had negotiated the release of 33,755 former political prisoners and 215,019 of their relatives in exchange for West German government payments that totaled the equivalent of more than two billion dollars from 1964 to 1989. He was charged with corruption and tax evasion, because he profited from Stasi policies that encouraged the detention of dissidents as a means of addressing East Germany's need for hard currency. It seemed to many that this is a bit too close to slave-trading. Vogel, meanwhile, thought he was a hard-working do-gooder who was earning his generous commissions.
In another interesting case that came in the wake of reunification, the former head of Stasi, Markus Wolf, was convicted for treason. But in 1995 the highest German court ruled that such charges were reasonable only if the treasonous acts had been committed on West German soil. It's unclear what effect this might have on Vogel's situation.
Wolf, Markus. Man Without a Face: The Autobiography of Communism's Greatest Spymaster. New York: Times Books - Random House, 1997. 367 pages.Markus Wolf was born in Germany in 1923, raised in the Soviet Union, and for 34 years was the head of foreign intelligence for Stasi, East Germany's intelligence service. It took almost twenty years before Western intelligence knew what he looked like, which explains the title of this book. Stasi was known for its ability to infiltrate the highest levels of the West German government. Good tradecraft explains some of this, the longevity of iron-fisted East German bureaucrats explains more, but finally it seems that many of Stasi's spies were motivated by idealism -- either as Communist Party members, or simply due to the fact that West Germany was revoltingly thick with former Nazis in high positions.
Domestically, East Germany was nearly a police state. But in foreign affairs, where Wolf operated, the moral situation was more ambiguous. KGB interests were necessarily high on Wolf's agenda. On the one hand, Stasi tried to help Cuba, emerging nations in Africa, and Nicaragua, and Wolf describes his visits there. On the other, Stasi involvement in the Middle East led down a slippery slope, and eventually marginal support was given to certain terrorists. In all, Wolf gives a reasonably balanced account of himself, acknowledges his shortcomings, and appears to be more introspective and intelligent than the average bureaucrat.
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