The untold story of James Angleton

A reader asks about my forthcoming 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.”

I have found lots and lots of new information about Angleton, none of which appears in the other books about him. Only one of those books, James Jesus Angleton and the Craft of Counterintelligence by Michael Holzman is a true biography. The other good books about Angleton (Cold Warrior by Tom Mangold, Molehunt by David Wise, and Wilderness of Mirrors by David Martin)  are accounts of Angleton’s mole hunt in the late 1960s. As my book will demonstrate, Angleton’s career was much larger than that one episode.

6 comments

  1. Jim Rose says:

    Thanks for the reply! Can’t wait for the book.

  2. David S says:

    Angleton was a silent Titan. It’s good that you’re delving into his remarkable career.

    There was a mini-series, “The Company” that traced the CIA’s adventures and misadventures from post-WW2 Berlin through Hungary in 1956 through the Bay of Pigs to the 1980s – Angleton was portrayed by Michael Keaton. They side-stepped the JFK murder, but remarkably, Angleton comes off looking pretty good (in my opinion).

  3. Bill Banks says:

    Have read other three, but balked on Holzman. Author’s emphasis on FURIOSO [avant guard poetry]and etc killed my interest quickly. Those who majored at Ivy League schools in English may find this fascinating. Amazon quotes THE [London] TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT as offering enthusiasm, a flag for general readers. For my part, I hope to see in your book Ezra Pound examined in a non-poetic fashion and a proper bibliography, so sadly lacking in THE DEVIL’S CHESSBOARD.

    “Holzman’s brisk, uncluttered book offers valuable access to previously untapped material on Angleton, who became the first head of the Counter-Intelligence Staff of the CIA. In particular, it makes incisive use of his years as a student of English at Yale and the influence of him on the New Critics and modernist poets of his day.”―The Times Literary Supplement
    Review

  4. Harold Melvin says:

    Exactly what spies did he catch all those years-Theodore Shackley

  5. Jim F. says:

    Jeff, when will your Angleton book be available? I cannot wait to read it.

    • jeffmorley says:

      The Ghost: The Secret Life of CIA Spymaster James Jesus Angleton will be published in the fall of 2017 by St. Martin’s Press.

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