In the noted biography, Flawed Patriot (2006) by former CIA agent and author Bayard Stockton, CIA legend Bill Harvey, was introduced to President John F. Kennedy as "America's James Bond."(1) Harvey was indeed a charismatic legend in the CIA, but two other, almost equally unknown American heroes, could also vie for the title. One of them is Feliz Rodríguez Mendigutía, the indomitable subject of the book, Shadow Warrior, who, among his many other accomplishments, helped track and capture Che Guevara in the jungles of Bolivia in 1967.(2)
The Widow Spy is a real-life thriller that begins with a seemingly typical American housewife, Martha ("Marti") D. Peterson, who in an unusual gesture invites her two teenage children out to lunch. This is twenty years after the main events subsequently depicted in the book. She had remarried and was living what appeared to be the ordinary life of an American wife and mother. But what she flat out confesses to her astonished teenagers is that she worked for the CIA, had been previously married to an unknown American hero, and had a long story to tell them.
A Time to Betray — The Astonishing Double Life of a CIA Agent Inside the Revolutionary Guards of Iran by Reza Kahlili is one of the most heartrending, and at the same time, enthralling accounts I have ever read of courage, dissimulation, and personal suffering in the genre of espionage memoirs.
Antony and Cleopatra is the seventh and final book in the Masters of Rome series of historic novels by Australian author Colleen McCullough. This tome covers the years 41-27 B.C. of the late Roman Republic. At 567 pages, it is shorter than the previous books in the series.
A book published last year by Brian Latell, a professor, scholar, and retired CIA officer who had been active in foreign intelligence for 35 years, has not received the attention it deserves. The book, Castro's Secrets — The CIA and Cuba's Intelligence Machine (2012) relies extensively on information provided by half a dozen Cuban defectors and several retired CIA officers.
On the DVD cover of the movie "The Good Shepherd," former late night, talk show host Larry King wrote in the blurb, "The Best Spy movie ever." He is completely wrong on this one! This film is, perhaps, one of the worst ever, but certainly not the best — not by a long shot! And this is so despite excellent performances by a great cast of actors, including Robert De Niro (Co-producer and Director) and William Hurt, two of my very favorite screen heroes.
The October Horse (2002) is the sixth tome in the Masters of Rome series of historic novels by Australian author Colleen McCullough. It spans the turbulent years of Roman history from 48 B.C. to 41 B.C.
At ninety-eight pages, The JFK Assassination Diary: My Search For Answers to the Mystery of the Century by Edward Jay Epstein is a slim tome, and like most of Epstein's books, it is worth the enthralling read and worth every bit of the price. The tome, clear and concise, is an essential narrative and puzzle-solver for all scholars of JFK and the avid readers of the disturbing assassination.
Caesar — Let the Dice Fly (1997) is the fifth installment of the Masters of Rome historical novel series by author Colleen McCullough. This tome encompasses the period from 54 B.C., when Julius Caesar invaded Gaul and Britannia, and ends with the heinous and treacherous assassination of Pompey the Great in Egypt in 48 B.C.