Catalogue


American spy : my secret history in the CIA, Watergate, and beyond /
E. Howard Hunt ; with Greg Aunapu ; foreword by William F. Buckley, Jr.
imprint
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, c2007.
description
xii, 340 p.
ISBN
0471789828 (cloth), 9780471789826 (cloth)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, c2007.
isbn
0471789828 (cloth)
9780471789826 (cloth)
general note
Includes index.
catalogue key
6103847
A Look Inside
Excerpts
Flap Copy
For three decades, E. Howard Hunt served his nation, first in the U.S. Navy, then in the OSS and CIA, before being hired by President Nixon's staff, for whom he helped plan the infamous Watergate break-in. Now he reveals what he could only hint at in his seventy-plus spy novels: his role in some of the best known and least understood events in the postwar era. And he does so without spin or excuses. From his early days as an OSS operative in China during World War II, through his decades as a covert cold warrior with the CIA, and on to his fateful years in the Nixon White House, Hunt vividly describes the rigorous training, meticulous planning, and artful deceit that are the meat and potatoes of the espionage game. He offers startling revelations about the CIA's 1954 coup in Guatemala, the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, the agency's covert domestic propaganda campaign, and much more. He also discusses the 1971 break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, reveals his motives for participating in Watergate, even though he thought it was a mistake, and explains why his wife was carrying $10,000 in cash when she died in a plane crash en route to Chicago in 1972. He also reveals that because his daughter failed to follow his directions and dispose of incriminating evidence, he was later able to use these materials and become the star witness against the heads of the Watergate conspiracy. In the post-Watergate years, Hunt became the focus of numerous conspiracy theories suggesting that he: participated in the JFK assassination; wrote the book by George Wallace's would-be assassin; knew the secret "alternative" motive for breaking into the DNC headquarters. Hunt debunks anumber of these accusations and defends himself vigorously against the rest. Based on audiotape transcripts, interviews, handwritten memos, and documents that Hunt has kept over the years, American Spy takes you behind the scenes to meet all of the Watergate conspirators as you've never seen them before. Destined to provoke many new controversies as it puts others to rest, it is the most memorable memoir you'll read this year.
Flap Copy
For three decades, E. Howard Hunt served his nation, first in the U.S. Navy, then in the OSS and CIA, before being hired by President Nixon's staff, for whom he helped plan the infamous Watergate break-in. Now he reveals what he could only hint at in his seventy-plus spy novels: his role in some of the best known and least understood events in the postwar era. And he does so without spin or excuses. From his early days as an OSS operative in China during World War II, through his decades as a covert cold warrior with the CIA, and on to his fateful years in the Nixon White House, Hunt vividly describes the rigorous training, meticulous planning, and artful deceit that are the meat and potatoes of the espionage game. He offers startling revelations about the CIA's 1954 coup in Guatemala, the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion, the agency's covert domestic propaganda campaign, and much more. He also discusses the 1971 break-in of Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office, reveals his motives for participating in Watergate, even though he thought it was a mistake, and explains why his wife was carrying $10,000 in cash when she died in a plane crash en route to Chicago in 1972. He also reveals that because his daughter failed to follow his directions and dispose of incriminating evidence, he was later able to use these materials and become the star witness against the heads of the Watergate conspiracy. In the post-Watergate years, Hunt became the focus of numerous conspiracy theories suggesting that he: participated in the JFK assassination; wrote the book by George Wallace's would-be assassin; knew the secret "alternative" motive for breaking into the DNC headquarters. Hunt debunks a number of these accusations and defends himself vigorously against the rest. Based on audiotape transcripts, interviews, handwritten memos, and documents that Hunt has kept over the years, American Spy takes you behind the scenes to meet all of the Watergate conspirators as you've never seen them before. Destined to provoke many new controversies as it puts others to rest, it is the most memorable memoir you'll read this year.
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2007-02-05:
Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt (Guilty Knowledge) collaborated with journalist Aunapu (Without a Trace) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir. Hunt (who died recently at 88) recalls the highlights of a long career, from WWII service with the fabled Office of Strategic Services (OSS)-predecessor of the CIA-to a career with the agency itself and a stint as a consultant to the Nixon White House. As a White House operative, Hunt specialized in dirty tricks and break-ins-including the Democratic National Committee's headquarters-and served 33 months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. He claims to have been a magnet for women, especially models, and shamelessly drops the names of the rich and powerful. He also played a key role in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. As for his role in Watergate, he blames his "bulldog loyalty" and concedes only that he and his fellow conspirators did "the wrong things for the right reasons." In a postscript, Hunt urges reforming the beleaguered CIA in the image of the wartime OSS and its "daring amateurs." Hunt's nostalgic memoir breaks scant new ground in an already crowded field. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Reviews
Review Quotes
* WHEN I first met E. Howard Hunt in late 2003, I expected to find a grizzled Cold Warrior, and the man who invited me into his Miami home for a weekend of interviews did not disappoint. Yet even though I had spent months exchanging correspondence with him, I was surprised by his keen mind, disarmed by his wit and charm, and entertained by his erudition. Hunt died last month at 88, and his autobiography, "American Spy," has been rushed into print. He had resigned himself to the idea that the first two words of his obituary would be "Watergate conspirator," but in telling his own story, he reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined. During World War II, Hunt did stints in both the Navy and Army Air Force, and ultimately wound up attached to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which morphed into what would become the CIA, manned by a group of veterans with impeccable WASP credentials. With his Ivy League background and OSS record, Hunt fit right in among the Wall Street lawyers and investment bankers who were recruited for America's fledgling intelligence service. The old CIA hand is candid about his role - political, not military - in the 1954 coup against democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. The CIA was determined to thwart Soviet influence in Central America and considered the operation a ringing success, "defenestrating" (Hunt's word) Arbenz in short order. Unfortunately, the ease with which Arbenz was toppled further swelled the CIA's enlarging head, and laid the groundwork for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion seven years later. While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications. Unlike many of the other principals in the Cuba Project - the agency's working name for the covert action against CastroHunt didn't lose his job, but he "never recovered psychologically from the Bay of Pigs tragedy." If Hunt's look back on his life harbors any lingering bitterness, it stems from the 33 months he spent in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, of which he writes about in great detail, offering new clarity on how the operation unfolded from the perspective of those who planned it. He had intended to plead guilty, to fall on his sword like a good soldier, but those who were equally guilty received leniency. With four children to support (his wife died in a 1972 plane crash), Hunt had no choice but to testify through several proceedings to cut his time short. It killed him that Nixon, whom he considered responsible for the whole affair, skipped away with a presidential pardon. The fifth act of Hunt's life was spent in 30 years of relative peace as the adored husband and father of a second family. ( New York Post , February 25, 2007) Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt ( Guilty Knowledge ) collaborated with journalist Aunapu ( Without a Trace ) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir. Hunt (who died recently at 88) recalls the highlights of a long career, from WWII service with the fabled Office of Strategic Services (OSS)predecessor of the CIAto a career with the agency itself and a stint as a consultant to the Nixon White House. As a White House operative, Hunt specialized in dirty tricks and break-insincluding the Democratic National Committee''s headquartersand served 33 months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. He claims to have been a magnet for women, especially models, and shamelessly drops the names of the rich and powerful. He also played a key role in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. As for his role in Watergate, he blames his "bulldog loyalty" and con
WHEN I first met E. Howard Hunt in late 2003, I expected to find a grizzled Cold Warrior, and the man who invited me into his Miami home for a weekend of interviews did not disappoint. Yet even though I had spent months exchanging correspondence with him, I was surprised by his keen mind, disarmed by his wit and charm, and entertained by his erudition. Hunt died last month at 88, and his autobiography, "American Spy," has been rushed into print. He had resigned himself to the idea that the first two words of his obituary would be "Watergate conspirator," but in telling his own story, he reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined. During World War II, Hunt did stints in both the Navy and Army Air Force, and ultimately wound up attached to the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), which morphed into what would become the CIA, manned by a group of veterans with impeccable WASP credentials. With his Ivy League background and OSS record, Hunt fit right in among the Wall Street lawyers and investment bankers who were recruited for America''s fledgling intelligence service. The old CIA hand is candid about his role - political, not military - in the 1954 coup against democratically elected Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz. The CIA was determined to thwart Soviet influence in Central America and considered the operation a ringing success, "defenestrating" (Hunt''s word) Arbenz in short order. Unfortunately, the ease with which Arbenz was toppled further swelled the CIA''s enlarging head, and laid the groundwork for the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion seven years later. While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications. Unlike many of the other principals in the Cuba Project - the agency''s working name for the covert action against Castro-Hunt didn''t lose his job, but he "never recovered psychologically from the Bay of Pigs tragedy." If Hunt''s look back on his life harbors any lingering bitterness, it stems from the 33 months he spent in prison for his role in the Watergate scandal, of which he writes about in great detail, offering new clarity on how the operation unfolded from the perspective of those who planned it. He had intended to plead guilty, to fall on his sword like a good soldier, but those who were equally guilty received leniency. With four children to support (his wife died in a 1972 plane crash), Hunt had no choice but to testify through several proceedings to cut his time short. It killed him that Nixon, whom he considered responsible for the whole affair, skipped away with a presidential pardon. The fifth act of Hunt''s life was spent in 30 years of relative peace as the adored husband and father of a second family. ( New York Post , February 25, 2007) Career spy, Watergate conspirator and prolific suspense novelist Hunt ( Guilty Knowledge ) collaborated with journalist Aunapu ( Without a Trace ) on this breezy, unrepentant memoir. Hunt (who died recently at 88) recalls the highlights of a long career, from WWII service with the fabled Office of Strategic Services (OSS)-predecessor of the CIA-to a career with the agency itself and a stint as a consultant to the Nixon White House. As a White House operative, Hunt specialized in dirty tricks and break-ins-including the Democratic National Committee''s headquarters-and served 33 months in federal prison for his role in the Watergate scandal. He claims to have been a magnet for women, especially models, and shamelessly drops the names of the rich and powerful. He also played a key role in the disastrous Bay of Pigs operation. As for his role in Watergate, he blames his "bulldog loyalty" and concedes only that he and his fellow conspirators did "the wrong things for the right reasons." In a postscript, Hunt urges reforming the beleaguered CIA in the image of the wartime OSS and its "daring amateurs." Hunt''s nostalgic memoir breaks scant new ground in an already crowded field. (Apr.) ( Publishers Weekly , February 5, 2007)
"Hunt reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined. ...While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications." -The New York Post
"Hunt reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined. ...While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications." -The New York Post "Admirable and important...For aficionados of the scandal that ended Nixon's presidency, Hunt offers a compelling scenario, a 'CSI: Watergate.' It is the best moment-by-moment depiction of the June 17, 1972, burglary of Democratic National Committee headquarters I have ever read." -- Boston Globe
"Hunt reveals a life filled with more acts than F. Scott Fitzgerald could ever have imagined. ...While Hunt generally adopts a tone of cynical bluster, his writing is shot through with rueful threads of reconsideration. While never apologizing for his actions, he does recognize their ramifications." -The New York Post"Admirable and important...For aficionados of the scandal that ended Nixon's presidency, Hunt offers a compelling scenario, a 'CSI: Watergate.' It is the best moment-by-moment depiction of the June 17, 1972, burglary of Democratic National Committee headquarters I have ever read." -- Boston Globe
This item was reviewed in:
Publishers Weekly, February 2007
Booklist, March 2007
Globe & Mail, April 2007
New York Times Book Review, May 2007
New York Times Full Text Review, October 2009
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
E. Howard Hunt brings to life his exploits in the CIA, offering revelations about the agency's Latin American operations - and its manipulation of politics and the media in the US. He concludes by offering advice on how the CIA must now reshape itself to regain its edge and help win the war on terrorism.
Long Description
A legendary CIA operative and central figure in the Watergate scandal at last tells his story World War II covert agent E. Howard Hunt joined the CIA soon after its inception, becoming one of its most valuable operatives until his retirement in 1970. He blazed a trail for the agency in Latin America, helping to orchestrate the successful 1954 coup in Guatemala as well as the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba, which ended in disaster after an ill-fated decision by President John F. Kennedy. During the Nixon administration, he worked with the White House Special Investigations Unit (aka the " plumbers" ). In the aftermath of the Pentagon Papers leak, he masterminded the burglary of Daniel Ellsberg' s psychiatrist' s office in 1971, and, with G. Gordon Liddy, he organized the break-in at the Democratic National Committee' s Watergate headquarters in 1972. Hunt was ultimately convicted of burglary, conspiracy, and wiretapping and served 33 months in prison. Now in his late eighties, Hunt looks back over his storied career, revealing what really happened and debunking the many rumors that have swirled around him. Writing with his characteristic salty wit, he brings to life his exploits in the CIA, offering surprising revelations about the agency' s Latin American operations- and its masterly manipulation of politics and the media in the U.S. He details the " black bag jobs" of the White House plumbers, explains why he agreed to participate in the Watergate burglary- even though he thought it was a bad idea- and sheds new light on the aftermath of the break-in. He sets the record straight on rumors about his first wife' s death andaccusations that have linked him to the JFK assassination and the George Wallace shooting. And finally, he offers an insider' s advice on how the CIA must now reshape itself to regain its edge and help win the war on terrorism. E. Howard Hunt (Miami, FL) is author of more than 70 suspense novels. Greg Aunapu (Miami, FL) has reported for Time, People, and a variety of other national news media.
Main Description
Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White houseThink you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy, one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt takes you into the covert designs of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon: His involvement in the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and more His work with CIA officials such as Allen Dulles and Richard Helms His friendship with William F. Buckley Jr., whom Hunt brought into the CIA The amazing steps the CIA took to manipulate the media in America and abroad The motives behind the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office Why the White House "plumbers" were formed and what they accomplished The truth behind Operation Gemstone, a series of planned black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies A minute-by-minute account of the Watergate break-in Previously unreleased details of the post-Watergate cover-upComplete with documentation from audiotape transcripts, handwritten notes, and official documents, American Spy is must reading for anyone who is fascinated by real-life spy tales, high-stakes politics, and, of course, Watergate.
Main Description
Startling revelations from the OSS, the CIA, and the Nixon White house Think you know everything there is to know about the OSS, the Cold War, the CIA, and Watergate? Think again. In American Spy , one of the key figures in postwar international and political espionage tells all. Former OSS and CIA operative and White House staffer E. Howard Hunt takes you into the covert designs of Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, and Nixon: His involvement in the CIA coup in Guatemala in 1954, the Bay of Pigs invasion, and more His work with CIA officials such as Allen Dulles and Richard Helms His friendship with William F. Buckley Jr., whom Hunt brought into the CIA The amazing steps the CIA took to manipulate the media in America and abroad The motives behind the break-in at Daniel Ellsberg's psychiatrist's office Why the White House "plumbers" were formed and what they accomplished The truth behind Operation Gemstone, a series of planned black ops activities against Nixon's political enemies A minute-by-minute account of the Watergate break-in Previously unreleased details of the post-Watergate cover-up Complete with documentation from audiotape transcripts, handwritten notes, and official documents, American Spy is must reading for anyone who is fascinated by real-life spy tales, high-stakes politics, and, of course, Watergate.
Table of Contents
Forewordp. ix
Introductionp. 1
World War IIp. 3
OSSp. 8
China Stationp. 21
The End of Warp. 28
The Marshall Planp. 34
The CIAp. 44
Mexicop. 52
The Balkans and Operation PB/Successp. 68
Japanp. 85
"Play It Again, Sam"p. 97
Bay of Pigsp. 113
The Assassination of President Kennedyp. 126
The Great Propaganda Machinep. 148
Inside the White Housep. 173
Gemstonep. 191
Colson and McCordp. 198
Watergatep. 210
Watergate Reduxp. 227
Falloutp. 236
Disaster Strikes Twicep. 252
After the Crashp. 269
Sentencingp. 279
The Web Unweavesp. 294
The Memo Bites Backp. 311
The Problem with Langleyp. 323
Indexp. 333
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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