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LBB Presents ONLINE: Scott Anderson with Julian Sancton - The Quiet Americans

Tuesday, September 1, 7pm CDT
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page

Left Bank Books welcomes veteran war correspondent and author Scott Anderson, who will discuss his new book, The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War--a Tragedy in Three Acts, on Facebook Live at 7pm CDT on September 1. Anderson will be in conversation with Senior Features Editor at Departures magazine Julian Sancton. Join us on our Facebook Page and order a copy of The Quiet Americans from Left Bank Books to support authors and independent bookstores!

From the bestselling author of LAWRENCE IN ARABIA, a gripping history of the early years of the Cold War, the CIA's covert battles against communism, and the tragic consequences which still affect America and the world today

At the end of World War II, the United States dominated the world militarily, economically, and in moral standing - seen as the victor over tyranny and a champion of freedom. But it was clear - to some - that the Soviet Union was already executing a plan to expand and foment revolution around the world. The American government's strategy in response relied on the secret efforts of a newly-formed CIA.

THE QUIET AMERICANS chronicles the exploits of four spies - Michael Burke, a charming former football star fallen on hard times, Frank Wisner, the scion of a wealthy Southern family, Peter Sichel, a sophisticated German Jew who escaped the Nazis, and Edward Lansdale, a brilliant ad executive. The four ran covert operations across the globe, trying to outwit the ruthless KGB in Berlin, parachuting commandos into Eastern Europe, plotting coups, and directing wars against Communist insurgents in Asia.

But time and again their efforts went awry, thwarted by a combination of stupidity and ideological rigidity at the highest levels of the government - and more profoundly, the decision to abandon American ideals. By the mid-1950s, the Soviet Union had a stranglehold on Eastern Europe, the U.S. had begun its disastrous intervention in Vietnam, and America, the beacon of democracy, was overthrowing democratically-elected governments and earning the hatred of much of the world. All of this culminated in an act of betrayal and cowardice that would lock the Cold War into place for decades to come.

Anderson brings to the telling of this story all the narrative brio, deep research, skeptical eye, and lively prose that made LAWRENCE IN ARABIA a major international bestseller. The intertwined lives of these men began in a common purpose of defending freedom, but the ravages of the Cold War led them to different fates. Two would quit the CIA in despair, stricken by the moral compromises they had to make; one became the archetype of the duplicitous and destructive American spy; and one would be so heartbroken he would take his own life.

THE QUIET AMERICANS is the story of these four men. It is also the story of how the United States, at the very pinnacle of its power, managed to permanently damage its moral standing in the world.

"In this sweeping, vivid, beautifully observed book, Scott Anderson unearths the devastating secret history of how the Unites 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." —Patrick Radden Keefe, author of SAY NOTHING
 
“Anderson delivers a complex, massively scaled narrative, balancing prodigious research with riveting storytelling skills…Over the course of the narrative, the author amply shows how the CIA was increasingly pushed to function as an instrument of politically charged ambitions. An engrossing history of the early days of the CIA.” —Kirkus Review (Starred)

Scott Anderson is the author of two novels and four works of nonfiction, including Lawrence in Arabia, an international bestseller which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times Notable Book. A veteran war correspondent, he is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine.

Julian Sancton is a senior features editor at Departures magazine, and has worked at publications including Vanity Fair, Esquire, and Bloomberg Businessweek. He is the author of the upcoming nonfiction book Madhouse at the End of the Earth (Crown), about an ill-fated nineteenth century Antarctic expedition. 

All you need to do to participate is log in to your personal Facebook account, go to Left Bank Books' Facebook Page, "Like" the page, and wait for the livestream to begin on the page (you may need to refresh the page periodically until the stream begins).

Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 7:00pm
Left Bank Books' Facebook Page
The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War--a Tragedy in Three Acts Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780385540452
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - September 1st, 2020