A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIA

In This Review

A Spy for All Seasons: My Life in the CIA

by Duane R. Clarridge
Scribner, 1997
432 pp. $27.50
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One of the better spy memoirs in recent years, although the thoughtful reader should approach the genre with some caution. Clarridge's career in the CIA spanned the glory years of the Clandestine Services in that organization: from the mid-1950s until the late 1980s, when, like so many others, he was submerged under the tide of the Iran-Contra scandal. Clarridge was a dashing operator on the front lines of the Cold War. His ominous conclusion that the Clandestine Services "is finished as a really effective intelligence service" might be read as a bitter man's final taunt at those who repaid his courage and accomplishments with a special prosecutor's indictment. Alas, the recent and recurring scandals that have plagued American counterintelligence make one suspect that there is more to his severe conclusion than resentment.