Spytime: Library Edition William F. Buckley Jr.

ISBN: 9780786119677

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Spytime: Library Edition  by  William F. Buckley Jr.

Spytime: Library Edition by William F. Buckley Jr.
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This fictional account of the life of James Jesus Angleton, founder of the American counterintelligence establishment, will make readers wish for the humor and high jinks of Blackie Oakes, William F. Buckley Jr.s much more engaging fictional spy. As the novel opens, Angleton is being summarily locked out of the halls of power and plotting his final act: the unmasking of the famed Fifth Man involved in the scandals that rocked England when Guy Burgess, Kim Philby, Donald Maclean, and Anthony Blount were unmasked as traitors.

But before he lets the reader in on the identity of the Fifth Man, Buckley traces Angletons career through his involvement in a number of espionage cases, all rooted in the cold war and apparently chosen to illustrate Buckleys ongoing (and already decided) battle with his favorite nemesis, Soviet communism.

Angletons lifelong obsession with Philby is the engine that drives Spytime, but there are too many miles on it to make what passes for a plot hold the readers interest. On the brighter side, Buckleys erudition puts a fine polish on the chassis. Cold Warrior, Tom Mangolds fine biography of Angleton, is a more evenhanded treatment of the life of this complicated man, but Buckleys is more fun to take to the beach.

--Jane Adams



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