- Hardcover: 384 pages
- Publisher: University Press of Kansas (30 April 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0700615717
- ISBN-13: 978-0700615711
- Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.5 x 23 cm
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,769,223 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Our Man in Mexico: Winston Scott and the Hidden History of the CIA Hardcover – 30 Apr 2008
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Every decade or so, a talented writer provides a genuinely new glimpse into the CIA's shadowy history. Morley's account of legendary spymaster Winston Scott chronicles a life led in secret, stretching from the agency's founding through Scott's tenure as station chief in Mexico City. Morley tells this story with literary energy and an eye for the dark moments when intelligence stops making sense. Thomas Powers, author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA ""Here is a rare thing, a biography of a C.I.A. chief that neither dodges shameful truths nor throws gratuitous mud. Packed, to boot, with genuine revelations about the crime of the century - the assassination of President Kennedy. A tour-de-force!"" Anthony Summers, author of Not in Your Lifetime
About the Author
Jefferson Morley, formerly the ""World Opinion Roundup"" columnist for washingtonpost.com, is a veteran Washington journalist whose work has appeared in the Washington Post, New York Review of Books, Readers Digest, Slate, Salon, and other national publications.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
As a key player notes, Scott's nature, actions (and inactions) only acquire true appreciation when evaluated in the context of those turbulent Cold War days. Mexico City was Ground Zero for North and South American espionage of key powers. For the US, it was our only look into Cuba. By the time Lee Oswald visited in Sept/Oct 1963, the Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis were fresh and, in the case of the former, a black eye for the CIA. Scott's actions reporting on that visit, before and after Dallas, are troubling in their own regard. Morley conveys the ultimate "good soldier" who wanted to do his job splendidly but who acquiesced promptly to gag orders from his Langley superiors. Mr. Morley's account here makes a nice sidebar to Shenon's.
But there is so much more to Scott's story--which is also the story of a son wishing to know more about his enigmatic, accomplished father. The research is meticulous. A helpful "cast of characters" appears at the end. The sourcing is good. It must be very difficult to try to tell a life when by definition that life was led deliberately in deception, half-truth, innuendo. What's more, Scott's "memoir" is far from untroubled--and not even accessible in full.
Winston Scott was a good and loving father to his children and step-children. His marital life, though, was unenviable. So much to compartmentalize. It is good to read a biography of a deeply-flawed person who left indelible marks on history.
I strongly recommend Our Man in Mexico to any serious OSS/CIA/JFK historian or researcher who is tired of the far too common books that profess “everyone and their brother” was a co-conspirator or evidence destroyer.
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