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The Good Spy

The Life And Death Of Robert Ames

By Kai Bird

The Good Spy is Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird’s compelling portrait of the remarkable life and death of one of the most important operatives in CIA history – a man who, had he lived, might have helped heal the rift between Arabs and the West.
 
On April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded outside the American Embassy in Beirut, killing 63 people.  The attack was a geopolitical turning point. It marked the beginning of Hezbollah as a political force, but even more important, it eliminated America’s most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East – CIA operative Robert Ames.  What set Ames apart from his peers was his extraordinary ability to form deep, meaningful connections with key Arab intelligence figures. Some operatives relied on threats and subterfuge, but Ames worked by building friendships and emphasizing shared values – never more notably than with Yasir Arafat’s charismatic intelligence chief and heir apparent Ali Hassan Salameh (aka “The Red Prince”). Ames’ deepening relationship with Salameh held the potential for a lasting peace.  Within a few years, though, both men were killed by assassins, and America’s relations with the Arab world began heading down a path that culminated in 9/11, the War on Terror, and the current fog of mistrust.
 
Bird, who as a child lived in the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor when he was twelve years old, spent years researching The Good Spy.  Not only does the book draw on hours of interviews with Ames’ widow, and quotes from hundreds of Ames’ private letters, it’s woven from interviews with scores of current and former American, Israeli, and Palestinian intelligence officers as well as other players in the Middle East “Great Game.”
 
What emerges is a masterpiece-level narrative of the making of a CIA officer, a uniquely insightful history of twentieth-century conflict in the Middle East, and an absorbing hour-by-hour account of the Beirut Embassy bombing.  Even more impressive, Bird draws on his reporter’s skills to deliver a full dossier on the bombers and expose the shocking truth of where the attack’s mastermind resides today.

Format: Book
Author: Bird, Kai
Summary: Drawing on extensive interviews with Ames' widow and quotes from his private letters, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer presents a brilliant narrative of the making of America's most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East.
Title: The good spy : the life and death of Robert Ames / Kai Bird.
Publisher Date: New York : Crown Publishers, [2014]
Subject: Ames, Robert, 1934-1983. United States. Central Intelligence Agency -- Officials and employees -- Biography. Intelligence officers -- United States -- Biography.
Isbn: 9780307889751 0307889750
Current Holds: 0
System Items Available: 3
System Items Total: 8
Call Number: B Ames
Oclc: 857214566
Upc:
Bib Id: 521346

Format: Book
Author: Bird, Kai, author.
Summary: Drawing on extensive interviews with Ames' widow and quotes from his private letters, a Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer presents a brilliant narrative of the making of America's most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East.
Title: The good spy : the life and death of Robert Ames / Kai Bird.
Edition: First edition.
Publisher, Date: New York : Crown Publishers, [2014]
Description: xiv, 430 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 25 cm
Subjects: Ames, Robert, 1934-1983.
Subjects: United States. Central Intelligence Agency -- Officials and employees -- Biography.
Subjects: Intelligence officers -- United States -- Biography.
Notes: Includes bibliographical references (pages [361]-410) and index.
Contents: The making of a spy -- The Agency -- Arabia -- Aden and Beirut -- The Red Prince -- Secret diplomacy -- Headquarters, 1975-79 -- The assassination -- The ayatollahs -- Jimmy Carter and Hostage America -- Bill Casey and Ronald Reagan -- Beirut destiny -- The enigma of Imad Mughniyeh.
LCCN: 2013049480
ISBN: 9780307889751
ISBN: 0307889750
Requests: 0
Available Copies: 3
Total Copies: 8
Call Number: B Ames