This is the book the CIA does not want you to read. For over sixty years, the CIA has maintained a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, never disclosing its blunders to the American public. It spun its own truth to the nation while reality lay buried in classified archives. Now, Pulitzer Prize–winning New York Times reporter Tim Weiner offers a stunning indictment of the CIA, a deeply flawed organization that has never deserved America’s confidence.
Legacy of Ashes is based on more than fifty thousand documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA. Everything is on the record. There are no anonymous sources, no blind quotations. With shocking revelations that will make headlines, Tim Weiner gets at the truth and tells how the CIA’s failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security.
This is essential history and fantastic attic historical writing. Not for children or those of more limited attention span because it does ask that you maintain a continuity of 60 years’ history in mind to truly appreciate the enormity- positive and negative- of the events recorded. I found that the author had a surprisingly light touch, never bogs down in minutiae and provides an extremely clear and readable narrative. I’ve read it once, listened twice and recommend it wholeheartedly.
Legacy of ashes
If documentary-style, fact-based information, and the real underworld of espionage is your thing, this could very well be the best book you ever read. Well written and engaging for those curios about the real history of covert services and how they really operate. The amount of research and time that went into producing this is stunning.
Probably better to read this in paper rather than audiobook
While I was initially excited to listen to this Pulitzer finalist, I found the audiobook taxing and dull. I eventually gave it up. With so many names and people to remember, an audiobook is probably not the ideal medium for this book because you can't go back and remind yourself who they're talking about. Three stars gives it the benefit of the doubt, but truthfully I gave it up after 2 hours of listening. I continually found myself wondering, "who was that, again?" and "wait, what was that person's name?" I kept doing the 30-second rewind on my iPod, and eventually found myself zoning out. Would love to try this one again, as a paperback.