Legacy of Ashes by Tim Weiner
The History of the CIA

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Synopsis

With shocking revelations that made headlines in papers across the country, Pulitzer-Prize-winner Tim Weiner gets at the truth behind the CIA and uncovers here why nearly every CIA Director has left the agency in worse shape than when he found it; and how these profound failures jeopardize our national security.


From the Trade Paperback edition.
 

About Tim Weiner

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Tim Weiner has won the Pulitzer Prize for his reporting and writing on secret intelligence and national security. As a correspondent for The New York Times, he covered the Central Intelligence Agency in Washington and terrorism in Afghanistan, Pakistan, the Sudan, and other nations. Enemies is his fourth book. His Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA won the National Book Award and was acclaimed as one of the year's best books by The New York Times, The Economist, The Washington Post, Time, and many other publications. The Wall Street Journal called Betrayal "the best book ever written on a case of espionage." He is now working on a history of the American military.
 
Published May 20, 2008 by Anchor. 848 pages
Genres: History, Political & Social Sciences, Biographies & Memoirs, War. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Legacy of Ashes

Kirkus Reviews

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Chief executives either ignored or angrily demanded recasting of such good information as the reports that North Vietnam was nowhere near defeat, Soviet missile capacity was overrated and evidence for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq was feeble.

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The New York Times

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Even the agency’s successes have turned out to be failures, says Tim Weiner.

Jul 22 2007 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

The New York Times

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Another was the use in the 1980s of “almost every weapon at the C.I.A.’s command — psychological warfare, sabotage, economic warfare, strategic deception, counterintelligence, cyberwarfare” — in a campaign that “destroyed a vigorous Soviet espionage team, damaged the Soviet economy, and destabi...

Jul 12 2007 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

BC Books

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There's a blurb on the back of Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA in which a Christian Science Monitor reviewer calls it "the scariest book of the year."

Jul 01 2008 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

AV Club

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One of the amusing incongruities of The Bourne Ultimatum, in light of Tim Weiner's devastating new book Legacy Of Ashes: The History Of The CIA, is how the agency looks like a formidable adversary—organized, sophisticated, omnipresent, and capable of running complex operations at a moment's notice.

Aug 16 2007 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

The Bookbag

For another in-depth look at recent American history you might enjoy The Brothers by David Talbot although you might wonder why the theories advanced in Talbot's book about possible CIA involvement in Jack Kennedy's death don't feature in the Weiner book.

Dec 02 2012 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

About.com

Ultimately, we went to war with Iraq, based in large part on "the worst body of work" in the CIA's long history, a national intelligence estimate, "Iraq's Continuing Programs for Weapons of Mass Destruction."

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Bookmarks Magazine

David Wise Critical Summary Tim Weiner, multiple Pulitzer Prize winner, longtime New York Times reporter, and the author of Betrayal: The Story of Aldrich Ames, American Spy (1995) and Blank Check: The Pentagon’s Black Budget (1991) hits his marks in Legacy of Ashes.

Aug 07 2007 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

Socialist Review

Whereas the British Empire generally exercised control over its subject states and territories directly, putting in place colonial administrations, police and prisons, and armies of occupation, the US Empire has generally exercised its control indirectly, through local politicians, generals and p...

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Project MUSE

Instead it instructed the CIA to correlate, evaluate, and disseminate intelligence and to perform "other functions and duties related to intelligence affecting the national security" (Weiner's quotation from the act).

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The Moderate Voice

But while the CIA did plenty of rotten things, Weiner’s inescapable conclusion is that the agency has been extraordinarily incompetent in practically everything it has done since its creation in 1947 from the remnants of the comparatively praiseworthy Office of Strategic Services, and very seldom...

Jan 11 2008 | Read Full Review of Legacy of Ashes: The History ...

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