Regular price: $30.09

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

During his first visit to Langley, the CIA's Virginia headquarters, President Donald Trump told those gathered, "I am so behind you...there's nobody I respect more", hinting that he was going to put more CIA operations officers into the field so the CIA could smite its enemies ever more forcefully. But while Trump was making these promises, behind the scenes the CIA was still reeling from blowback from the very tactics that Trump touted - including secret overseas prisons and torture - that it had resorted to a decade earlier during President George W. Bush's war on terror. Under the latest regime it seemed that the CIA was doomed to repeat its past failures rather than put its house in order.

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.

©2017 John Prados (P)2017 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"John Prados, who knows more than anyone else about the CIA, has written a book that summarizes four decades of his research and relates a tale that is always gripping, often dismaying, frequently infuriating, and suddenly more timely than ever." (H.W. Brands, New York Times best-selling author of The First American)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    4
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1

Story

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    6
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    1
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A great book

It is a great analysis of the history of the agency. One can agree or disagree with the analysis, but is is reasonable and balanced analysis nonetheless. Highly recommended for an overview of the agency’s history!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Slanted

What would have made The Ghosts of Langley better?

The writer obviously has a politcal lean which presents itself in this documentary style book, turning it into an opinion piece, I prefer those books that tell the complete story and allows me to establish my own opinions. I do not like books that have a political expression as they tend to be a mixture of fsct and fictional opinion.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Sorrow I bought it

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

very informative but very, very dry.

well researched, but I felt like I was listening to a public policy lecture, worth a listen if you're a spy nerd.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting and Detailed but Confusing

I learned a lot about the CIA I didnt know from torture to Iran-Contra to torture and more. I put torture in there twice because the author brings up the CIA's torture scandal often in the book. He tells the story from the point of view of the different Agency chiefs and key personnel so ot doesnt follow a chronological order of events. He often returns to the same major scandal many times as he tells it feom a different persons perspective. This can be confusing because he'll jump decades forward and backward as he switches to a new agency person but often referencing rhe same people and scandals. It is still a very informative and detailed book. I didnt find it too politically biased, it did seem to attack republican presidents but mostly because the scandals happened on their watch, he does hit Obama for the investigation into torture and drone strikes bit he attacks Reagan, Bush 1 & 2, and Nixon alot with very little mention of Carter or Clinton.