A drop of treason Philip Agee and his exposure of the CIA

Jonathan Stevenson, 1956-

Book - 2021

"As the first agent to publicly betray the CIA, Philip Agee was on the run for over forty years--a pariah akin to Edward Snowden. Agee revealed in spectacular detail what many had feared about the CIA's actions, but he also outed and endangered hundreds of agents. Agee relentlessly opposed the CIA and the regimes it backed, whether in America or around the world. In Jonathan Stevenson's words, Agee became "one of history's successful viruses: undeniably effective and imp...ossible to kill." In this first biography of Agee, Stevenson will reveal what made Agee tick, and what made him run"--

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327.1273/Stevenson
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Location Call Number   Status
2nd Floor New Shelf 327.1273/Stevenson (NEW SHELF) Due Jun 18, 2022
Subjects
Published
Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press 2021.
Language
English
Physical Description
337 pages, 4 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 261-325) and index.
ISBN
9780226356686
022635668X
Main Author
Jonathan Stevenson, 1956- (author)
  • A geopolitically charmed life
  • The young spy
  • The consolidation of dissidence
  • Indefinite limbo
  • Agee and the transatlantic Left
  • Uneasy normalization
  • Whipsawed, stalked, tired
  • Posterity for a traitor.
Review by Publisher Summary 1

"As the first agent to publicly betray the CIA, Philip Agee was on the run for over forty years--a pariah akin to Edward Snowden. Agee revealed in spectacular detail what many had feared about the CIA's actions, but he also outed and endangered hundreds of agents. Agee relentlessly opposed the CIA and the regimes it backed, whether in America or around the world. In Jonathan Stevenson's words, Agee became "one of history's successful viruses: undeniably effective and impossible to kill." In this first biography of Agee, Stevenson will reveal what made Agee tick, and what made him run"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Philip Agee’s story is the stuff of a John le Carré novel—perilous and thrilling adventures around the globe. He joined the CIA as a young idealist, becoming an operations officer in hopes of seeing the world and safeguarding his country. He was the consummate intelligence insider, thoroughly entrenched in the shadow world. But in 1975, he became the first such person to publicly betray the CIA—a pariah whose like was not seen again until Edward Snowden. For almost forty years in exile, he was a thorn in the side of his country.   The first biography of this contentious, legendary man, Jonathan Stevenson’s A Drop of Treason is a thorough portrait of Agee and his place in the history of American foreign policy and the intelligence community during the Cold War and beyond. Unlike mere whistleblowers, Agee exposed American spies by publicly blowing their covers. And he didn’t stop there—his was a lifelong political struggle that firmly allied him with the social movements of the global left and against the American project itself from the early 1970s on. Stevenson examines Agee’s decision to turn, how he sustained it, and how his actions intersected with world events.   Having made profound betrayals and questionable decisions, Agee lived a rollicking, existentially fraught life filled with risk. He traveled the world, enlisted Gabriel García Márquez in his cause, married a ballerina, and fought for what he believed was right. Raised a conservative Jesuit in Tampa, he died a socialist expat in Havana. In A Drop of Treason, Stevenson reveals what made Agee tick—and what made him run.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

Philip Agee's story is the stuff of a John le Carré novel'perilous and thrilling adventures around the globe. He joined the CIA as a young idealist, becoming an operations officer in hopes of seeing the world and safeguarding his country. He was the consummate intelligence insider, thoroughly entrenched in the shadow world. But in 1975, he became the first such person to publicly betray the CIA'a pariah whose like was not seen again until Edward Snowden. For almost forty years in exile, he was a thorn in the side of his country.   The first biography of this contentious, legendary man, Jonathan Stevenson's A Drop of Treason is a thorough portrait of Agee and his place in the history of American foreign policy and the intelligence community during the Cold War and beyond. Unlike mere whistleblowers, Agee exposed American spies by publicly blowing their covers. And he didn't stop there'his was a lifelong political struggle that firmly allied him with the social movements of the global left and against the American project itself from the early 1970s on. Stevenson examines Agee's decision to turn, how he sustained it, and how his actions intersected with world events.   Having made profound betrayals and questionable decisions, Agee lived a rollicking, existentially fraught life filled with risk. He traveled the world, enlisted Gabriel García Márquez in his cause, married a ballerina, and fought for what he believed was right. Raised a conservative Jesuit in Tampa, he died a socialist expat in Havana. In A Drop of Treason, Stevenson reveals what made Agee tick'and what made him run.