Wednesday, November 23, 2022

Five top history books about the CIA

Hugh Wilford is a professor of history at California State University, Long Beach, and author of four books, including America's Great Game: The CIA's Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East and The Mighty Wurlitzer: How the CIA Played America. He lives in Long Beach, California.

[The Page 99 Test: America's Great Game]

At Shepherd Wilford tagged five of the best history books about the CIA, including:
A Question of Standing: The History of the CIA by Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones

There are several general histories of the CIA to choose from (including my own Great Courses video lectures) but this for my money is the best book available right now. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones has been writing about the Agency for years, he’s scholarly yet highly readable, and he plots just the right course between recognizing the CIA’s successes and critiquing its errors. This book is concise but comprehensive, tracing the organization’s origins in the decades before its founding in 1947, and coming all the way down to 2022. A great place to start.
Read about another entry on the list.

The Page 99 Test: A Question of Standing.

--Marshal Zeringue