Legacy of Ashes is a comprehensive history of the CIA from its beginnings at the end of WWII to the present day, written using only on-the-record sources, many of which, surprisingly, became declassified only in the past few years. Much of the history is familiar: the toppling of democratic governments and their replacement with right-wing dictatorships around the globe (Iraq, Guatemala, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Chile); the incompetence, alcoholism, and madness at the top of the organization (James Angleton, Frank Wisner, Allen Dulles); the interference in democratic elections in western Europe; the torture facilities going back to the 50s and still in operation today; the domestic spying under Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon.

Still, this is really interesting, frightening, enraging stuff. Definitely worth a read.



Book cover

Metadata Info

  • Title: Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA
  • Author: Tim Weiner
  • Published: 2007
  • ISBN: 038551445X
  • Buy: Amazon search
  • Check out: Seattle library
  • Rating: 4.0 stars