Book Author Podcast – The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shape History and the Future by Chris Whipple

The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shape History and the Future by Chris Whipple

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Gatekeepers, a remarkable, behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to run the world’s most powerful intelligence agency, and how the CIA is often a crucial counterforce against presidents threatening to overstep the powers of their office.

Only eleven men and one woman are alive today who have made the life-and-death decisions that come with running the world’s most powerful and influential intelligence service. With unprecedented, deep access to nearly all these individuals plus several of their predecessors, Chris Whipple tells the story of an agency that answers to the United States president alone, but whose activities—spying, espionage, and covert action—take place on every continent. At pivotal moments, the CIA acts as a brake on rogue presidents, starting in the mid-seventies with DCI Richard Helms’s refusal to conceal Richard Nixon’s criminality and continuing to the present as the actions of a CIA whistleblower have ignited impeachment proceedings against Donald Trump.

Since its inception in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency has been a powerful player on the world stage, operating largely in the shadows to protect American interests. For The Spymasters, Whipple conducted extensive, exclusive interviews with nearly every living CIA director, pulling back the curtain on the world’s elite spy agencies and showing how the CIA partners—or clashes—with counterparts in Britain, France, Germany, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Russia. Topics covered in the book include attempts by presidents to use the agency for their own ends; simmering problems in the Middle East and Asia; rogue nuclear threats; and cyberwarfare.

A revelatory, behind-the-scenes look, The Spymasters recounts seven decades of CIA activity and elicits predictions about the issues–and threats—that will engage the attention of future operatives and analysts. Including eye-opening interviews with George Tenet, John Brennan, Leon Panetta, and David Petraeus, as well as those who’ve just recently departed the agency, this is a timely, essential, and important contribution to current events.

About Chris Whipple
Chris Whipple is an acclaimed writer, documentary filmmaker, and speaker. He is the author of the upcoming book, ‘The Spymasters: How the CIA Directors Shape History and the Future,’ to be published by Scribner on September 15, 2020. Highly anticipated, ‘The Spymasters’ is the most thorough and illuminating portrait ever of America’s CIA directors–based on extensive interviews with the directors themselves–those upon whom the country depends to prevent another Pearl Harbor, 9/11, or deadly pandemic. Epic in scope, spanning seven decades of intelligence gathering, espionage and covert warfare, and intimate in detail, featuring indelible portraits of the directors, this is the definitive story of the men–and, currently, the woman–who keep the secrets.

Whipple’s previous book, ‘The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency,’ was a critically acclaimed, New York Times bestseller. The first in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at the men who have been the president’s closest advisers, ‘The Gatekeepers’ was named by both Amazon and Apple as one of their “best books of the year.” The Huffington Post compared it to “classic works by Richard Neustadt, Theodore White and other White House chroniclers.”

A frequent guest on MSNBC and CNN, Whipple has written for the New York Times, Washington Post, Vanity Fair, Politico, the Daily Beast, and many other publications. He is the chief executive officer of CCWHIP Productions, and executive producer of the Showtime film, ‘The Spymasters: CIA in the Crosshairs.’ Whipple was educated at Deerfield Academy and received a Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in history from Yale College. He lives in New York City with his wife Cary.

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