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.”

I have found lots and lots of new information about Angleton, none of which appears in the other books about him. You can order the book here.

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.

8 thoughts on “The untold story of James Angleton”

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

      1. Please note the following errors in this book – Mary Pinchot Meyer did NOT live on N Street. She lived on 34th Street. Her art studio was behind her sister Tony and Ben Bradlee’s home (which was on N Street). Tony Bradlee was NOT Tony Meyer Bradlee – but rather Tony Pinchot Bradlee – Antoinette Eno Pinchot Pittman Bradlee more formally. Careless errors!

  1. 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

  2. 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).

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