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The Ghosts of Langley: Into the CIA's Heart of Darkness

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Institute of World Politics

1521 16th Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20036

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About the Book: The Ghosts of Langley is a provocative and panoramic new history of the Central Intelligence Agency that relates the agency’s current predicament to its founding and earlier years, telling the story of the agency through the eyes of key figures in CIA history, including some of its most troubling covert actions around the world. It reveals how the agency, over seven decades, has resisted government accountability, going rogue in a series of highly questionable ventures that reach their apotheosis with the secret overseas prisons and torture programs of the war on terror. Drawing on mountains of newly declassified documents, the celebrated historian of national intelligence John Prados throws fresh light on classic agency operations from Poland to Hungary, from Indonesia to Iran-Contra, and from the Bay of Pigs to Guantánamo Bay. The halls of Langley, Prados persuasively argues, echo with the footsteps of past spymasters, to the extent that it resembles a haunted house. Indeed, every day that the militarization of the CIA increases, the agency drifts further away from classic arts of espionage and intelligence analysis—and its original mission, while pushing dangerously beyond accountability. The Ghosts of Langley will be essential reading for anyone who cares about the next phase of American history—and the CIA’s evolution—as its past informs its future and a president of impulsive character prods the agency toward new scandals and failures.

About the Author: John Prados is a senior fellow of the National Security Archive, where he directs Documentation Projects on the CIA and on Vietnam. Prados has written thirty books on aspects of intelligence, diplomatic, military and national security. Some of these works include Safe for Democracy, Islands of Destiny: The Solomons Campaign and the Eclipse of the Rising Sun, and The Family Jewels. He has books on the origins of the Iraq war, presidents’ forging national security policy, and White House tapes. Four of his books, most recently Ghosts of Langley, have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize. Prados holds a PhD in Political Science (International Relations) from Columbia University. His papers, articles, and reviews have appeared widely, and he has served as historical consultant on film projects. Prados also designs board games, among them the classic title Third Reich.

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Institute of World Politics

1521 16th Street Northwest

Washington, DC 20036

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