The Good Spy

The Good Spy

The Life and Death of Robert Ames

Large Print - 2014
Average Rating:
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The 1983 attack on the American Embassy in Beirut killed 63 people, including America's most influential and effective intelligence officer in the Middle East -- CIA operative Robert Ames. Kai Bird, who as a child lived in the Beirut Embassy and knew Ames as a neighbor, draws on years of research and hours of interviews to produce a masterpiece-level narrative of the making of a CIA officer and a uniquely insightful history of the Middle East conflict.
Publisher: Waterville, Maine :, Thorndike Press,, 2014
Edition: Large print edition
ISBN: 9781410469182
1410469182
Branch Call Number: LP 327.1273 AME NVD
Characteristics: 727 pages, [28] pages of plates : illustrations ; 23 cm

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MynxCat
Sep 04, 2014

An excellent book that should be required reading, especially since the events discussed are so directly linked to current world events. The Good Spy tells the story of the work of Robert Ames, one man, who had he lived, you cannot help but wonder how the world might be different. One can't help but feel though that this book only scratches the surface - which given the fact that much of the information pertaining to the timeframe is still classified, it is easy to understand why that might be. However, The Good Spy is full of history and stories previously untold. It is a condensed version of the troubles in the Middle-East that will bring many of today's issues in the region into at least partial clarity, especially for younger generations who did not live through the events examined in the book.

b
BlueHippo
Sep 02, 2014

I am on the final few pages of this book and have learned quite a bit from reading it. I msut say, ti is well-written and the characters are well-defined. Here are a couple of things that could have helped this book:

(1) IN the front of the book is "cast of characters"-it should have been much longer.

(2) There should have also been a list of abbreviations and what they mean - I lost track of some of groups because I could not keep them all straight and there was nothing to refer to in order to quickly get the information.

I also found this book to be very pro-Arab and anti-Israel. I would like to think that this was not really the author's bias but just her telling of the facts about how Ames and others felt at the time. I don't know.

d
Diane Suter
Aug 09, 2014

I think the author is a bit too in love with his subject, but this was still an excellent book. Ames may or may not have been the paragon that Bird makes him out to be, but there are a lot of fascinating details in here about just how far governments' secret services will go.

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