The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames by Kai Bird
What’s it about?
The Good Spy is a biography of long time CIA agent Robert Ames. It follows Ames from his start in the CIA through his many years as an agent in the Middle East.
What did it make me think about?
I found this book fascinating. It shed some light on the history of the Middle East and how U.S. policy has helped to shape the world we live in today. Much of the book is spent on the history of the Israeli- Palestinian conflict. This book illustrates how complex the Middle East always was, and still is today. The Middle East was not, and will not in the future, be an easy place to practice diplomacy.
Should I read it?
I highly recommend it. If you have any interest in the C.I.A. and, or the Middle East, you too will be fascinated. Kai Bird is a Pulitzer Prize winning author and this biography was very readable.
“Some thought Ames had an overt pro-Palestinian prejudice. But in point of fact, most C.I.A. officers who spent any time in the region came to sympathize with the plight of the Palestinian refugees. ‘Like all of us who get to know anything about the Palestinian problem,’ said George Cave, a veteran of more than three decades in the Agency,’ you can’t help but feel sympathy for them….When people ask me what to read about the Arab-Israeli problem I tell the Old Testament.’”
If you like this read-
Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa
The Little Drummer Girl by John LeCarre
some favorites of the last decade
best of winter 2020
best of summer/fall 2019
best of winter/spring 2019
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best of winter/spring 2017-18
best of spring/summer 2017
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on my nightstand
edge of your seat
― Charles William Eliot
3 to 4- I found some aspect of this book redeeming but would not recommend it.
5 to 6- I really enjoyed something about this book (characters, plot, meaning etc.) but it was uneven. Some aspects were stronger than others.
7 to 8- It was a good book. I liked lots of aspects of this book. I would recommend it.
9 to 10- I was sorry to turn the last page. I highly recommend this book!