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The Spymasters

How the CIA's Directors Shape History and Guard the Future

About The Book

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers, an “engaging…richly textured” (The New York Times), behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to run the world’s most powerful intelligence agency. “The best book about the CIA I’ve ever read…one hell of a story” (Christopher Buckley).

With unprecedented access to more than a dozen individuals who have made the life-and-death decisions that come with running the world’s most powerful and influential intelligence service, Chris Whipple tells the story of an agency that answers to the United States president alone, but whose activities—spying, espionage, and covert action—take place on every continent. At pivotal moments, the CIA acts as a counterforce against rogue presidents, starting in the mid-seventies with DCI Richard Helms’s refusal to conceal Richard Nixon’s criminality and through the Trump presidency when a CIA whistleblower ignited impeachment proceedings and armed insurrectionists assaulted the US Capitol.

Since its inception in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency has been a powerful player on the world stage, operating largely in the shadows to protect American interests. For The Spymasters, Whipple conducted extensive, exclusive interviews with nearly every living CIA director, pulling back the curtain on the world’s elite spy agencies and showing how the CIA partners—or clashes—with counterparts in Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Topics covered in the book include attempts by presidents to use the agency for their own ends; simmering problems in the Middle East and Asia; rogue nuclear threats; and cyberwarfare.

A revelatory, well-researched history, The Spymasters recounts seven decades of CIA activity and elicits predictions about the issues—and threats—that will engage the attention of future operatives and analysts. Including eye-opening interviews with George Tenet, John Brennan, Leon Panetta, and David Petraeus, as well as those who’ve recently departed the agency, this is a timely, essential, and important contribution to current events.

About The Author

Photograph by David Hume Kennerly

Chris Whipple is an acclaimed author, political analyst, documentary filmmaker, and speaker. He is a widely recognized authority on how the White House should be run, and is a frequent guest on MSNBC, CNN, and NPR. He has spoken at the Harvard Kennedy School and Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs. He has also contributed essays to The New York TimesThe Washington PostLos Angeles Times, and Vanity Fair. His first book, The Gatekeepers, an analysis of the position of White House Chief of Staff, was a New York Times bestseller. The Spymasters featured interviews with nearly every living CIA Director and was critically acclaimed. Chris’ most recent book, The Fight of His Life, takes us inside the Biden administration as it strives to overcome challenges larger than any that have occurred in decades. Whipple lives in New York City with his wife Cary.

About The Reader

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (September 15, 2020)
  • Length: 12 disks
  • Runtime: 14 hours and 49 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797113395

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