Book cover for The Quiet Americans

The Quiet Americans



18 February 2021
1322 minutes
Imprint: Picador


Enthralling . . . Lying and stealing and invading, it should be said, make for captivating reading, especially in the hands of a storyteller as skilled as Anderson . . . the climate of fear and intolerance that it describes in Washington also feels uncomfortably timely.
Anderson’s look at four men who ran covert operations around the globe after World War II is as thrilling as it is tragic, as each man confronts the moral compromises he made in the name of democracy.
In this sweeping, vivid, beautifully observed book, Scott Anderson unearths the devastating secret history of how the United States lost the plot during the Cold War. By focusing on the twisty, colorful lives of four legendary spies, Anderson distills the larger geopolitical saga into an intimate story of flawed but talented men, of the 'disease of empires,' and of the inescapable moral hazard of American idealism and power. It's a hell of a book, with themes about the unintended consequences of espionage and interventionism that still resonate, powerfully, today.
A probing history of the CIA’s evolving role from the outset of the Cold War into the 1960s, viewed through the exploits of four American spies . . . Anderson delivers a complex, massively scaled narrative, balancing prodigious research with riveting storytelling skills . . . An engrossing history of the early days of the CIA.