Review

Lou Berney on ‘November Road’

Growing up in Oklahoma City, Dallas was so close and every summer we would go down there. My parents were fascinated by the Kennedy assassination, so my dad would always drive us through Dealey Plaza and I remember at a very, very young age looking up at the window in the sixth floor of the School Book Depository Building.

Source: San Diego Union

Anticipation is high for Lou Berney’s novel ‘November Road’ 

November RoadI mentioned Lou Berney’s JFK novel November Road the other day, not knowing that this is a Big Book, at least in the publishing world.

It tells of an Oklahoma woman on the run from her husband, an underling to New Orleans-based mobster Carlos Marcello, who is trying to make himself vanish in the wake of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. They’re both heading West, and encounter each other in Las Vegas, where JFK was known to spend some free time.

Source: Anticipation is high for Lou Berney’s novel ‘November Road’ – The Washington Post

Angleton today: Smoke, mirrors, and mass surveillance

James Angleton

James Angleton

In the current issue of the New York Review of Books Max Hastings, conservative British journalist and pundit, contextualizes James Angleton in the history of U.S. intelligence. Hastings writes:

“The Ghost, Jefferson Morley’s shrewd account of Angleton’s career as Langley’s counterintelligence chief from 1954 to 1975, shows the harm that can be done by an energetic spook who is permitted grossly excessive latitude. The Ghost focuses on two manifestations of this.

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The perils of the court historian in the JFK era

Do we need more historians in senior government positions? Arthur Schlesinger provides an interesting test case.

Source: The Perils of the Court Historian–War on the Rocks

Pentagon history documents hostility to JFK in 1963

Michael Swanson, an investment adviser turned JFK researcher, called my attention to “Council of War,” a fascinating official history of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which documents the Pentagon’s resistance to, and resentment of, President Kennedy’s foreign policy, especially on Cuba and Vietnam.

Published by the JCS, the study presents an unvarnished view of an unprecedented mistrust between White House and Pentagon in the year before Kennedy was violently removed from power.

“Read this book and you are reading a real history of the American empire and defense establishment written for future leaders of the Pentagon and armed forces,” writes Swanson, who plans to publish his own study of the Cold War from 1945-1963 in the fall.

Some highlights from “Council of War:”

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‘Creating Chaos’: covert political warfare from Truman to Putin

I’m looking forward to reading Larry Hancock’s new book, Creating Chaos, because he’s a scholar, not (thank god) a conspiracy theorist. And Hancock’s historical perspective clarifies the roots of a new 21st century reality: the rise of hybrid warfare, as waged by intelligence agencies, regardless of ideology

Creating Chaos explores that dark side of statecraft, the covert use of political warfare in international relations – from its early practices during the Great Game between the British and Russian empires, through the Cold War era of ideological confrontation and forward into the hybrid political warfare of the 21st Century

Source: New Book! Creating Chaos/Covert Political Warfare from Truman to Putin 

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Irish Examiner on The Ghost 

In The Ghost, Jefferson Morley, an experienced Washington Post journalist, writes fluently and engagingly about the elusive spymaster James Angleton.

Source: The Ghost by Jefferson Morley – corkucopia

Oswald appeared to be ‘guided by others’

In his response to Thomas Powers review of THE GHOST, Bill Kelly makes a point that Powers is loathe to admit. People who observed Oswald after his defection to the Soviet Union suspected that he had ties to be intelligence world.

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Spy vs. Spy: Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko confronted CIA accuser James Angleton

A new JFK assassination tape found among the new JFK files in the the National Archives yields the previously unknown coda of one of the most famous espionage controversies of the 20th century. Read more

The untold story of James Angleton

James Angleton testifies

James Angleton, spymaster

A reader asks about my  biography of James Angleton:

Q. “Is the first “true” biography (and I’m not doubting you) but is that because of the new information you’ve found or is it that you’re giving a more exhaustive rundown of his entire life which the other biographies lacked?”

A: “Both.”

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The Age on James Jesus Angleton

Jefferson Morley’s account is a compelling study in eminence grise: the spectre in the government machine.

Source: The Ghost review: Jefferson Morley’s life of CIA spymaster James Jesus Angleton

The Spybrary reviews ‘The Ghost’

The Spybrary podcast, which covers espionage fact and fiction, notes that the facts of James Angleton’s CIA empire far exceed how his career is depicted in spy fictions like William F. Buckley’s novel Spy Time and Robert DeNiro’s movie, The Good Shepherd.

“Whatever you think you know about Angleton, I guarantee there’s something in THE GHOST that will surprise you.”

The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel

FrJames Angletonom a review in Mondoweiss

“Angleton was was a leading architect of America’s strategic relationship with Israel that endures and dominates the region to this day,” Jefferson Morley writes in The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton.  More than any other man, the longtime chief of U.S. counterintelligence made possible Israel’s shift “from an embattled settler state into a strategic ally  of the world’s greatest superpower.”

Source: The goy and the golem: James Angleton and the rise of Israel

Minneapolis native’s ‘Ghost’ is a gripping bio of a CIA spy hunter 

Morley at LancerIn Angleton, he has a character beyond the imagination of John LeCarré, perhaps even of Patricia Highsmith.

Source: Minneapolis native’s ‘Ghost’ is a gripping bio of a CIA spy hunter – StarTribune.com

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Woody Harrelson’s ‘LBJ’ is important American History brought to light

In his era, Johnson was rightly vilified in his escalation of the Vietnam War, but in other areas of legislation (the Civil Rights Act, Medicare, Medicaid, the anti-poverty Great Society) LBJ sought to uplift the underclass in this country, based on an empathy that is smartly expressed in the film. The assassination of JFK was a shocking act, and it was Johnson in the aftermath who had to reset the path of a nation.

Source: ‘LBJ’ is Important American History Brought to Light