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Titles By Scott Anderson
“Enthralling … captivating reading.” —The New York Times Book Review
At the end of World War II, the United States was considered the victor over tyranny and a champion of freedom. But it was clear—to some—that the Soviet Union was already seeking to expand and foment revolution around the world, and the American government’s strategy in response relied on the secret efforts of a newly formed CIA. Chronicling the fascinating lives of four agents, Scott Anderson follows the exploits of four spies: Michael Burke, who organized parachute commandos from an Italian villa; Frank Wisner, an ingenious spymaster who directed actions around the world; Peter Sichel, a German Jew who outwitted the ruthless KGB in Berlin; and Edward Lansdale, a mastermind of psychological warfare in the Far East. But despite their lofty ambitions, time and again their efforts went awry, thwarted by a combination of ham-fisted politicking and ideological rigidity at the highest levels of the government.
One of the Best Books of the Year:
The Christian Science Monitor
The Seattle Times
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A New York Times Notable Book
Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award in Biography
The Arab Revolt against the Turks in World War I was, in the words of T. E. Lawrence, “a sideshow of a sideshow.” As a result, the conflict was shaped to a remarkable degree by a small handful of adventurers and low-level officers far removed from the corridors of power.
At the center of it all was Lawrence himself. In early 1914 he was an archaeologist excavating ruins in Syria; by 1917 he was riding into legend at the head of an Arab army as he fought a rearguard action against his own government and its imperial ambitions. Based on four years of intensive primary document research, Lawrence in Arabia definitively overturns received wisdom on how the modern Middle East was formed.
In 2011, a series of anti-government uprisings shook the Middle East and North Africa in what would become known as the Arab Spring. Few could predict that these convulsions, initially hailed in the West as a triumph of democracy, would give way to brutal civil war, the terrors of the Islamic State, and a global refugee crisis. But, as New York Times bestselling author Scott Anderson shows, the seeds of catastrophe had been sown long before. In this gripping account, Anderson examines the myriad complex causes of the region’s profound unraveling, tracing the ideological conflicts of the present to their origins in the United States invasion of Iraq in 2003 and beyond. From this investigation emerges a rare view into a land in upheaval through the eyes of six individuals—the matriarch of a dissident Egyptian family; a Libyan Air Force cadet with divided loyalties; a Kurdish physician from a prominent warrior clan; a Syrian university student caught in civil war; an Iraqi activist for women’s rights; and an Iraqi day laborer-turned-ISIS fighter. A probing and insightful work of reportage, Fractured Lands offers a penetrating portrait of the contemporary Arab world and brings the stunning realities of an unprecedented geopolitical tragedy into crystalline focus.
The man rode up to Harald’s camp. He had no sword. His horse, a dappled palfrey, gray and white, was meant for pretty riding in the countryside, not war. It had no barding, and this man wore naught for armor, nor had he the colors of the kingdom which he served. While dressed in noble clothes, there was neh sign nor symbol on the man to mark his origin.
The horse was skittish in among the fighting men. And wary were these men upon arrival of the stranger. This, this lonely man, he spoke their languages but naught, and did not stop to make acquaintance with a single one of them. He walked his horse without a hint of nervousness or fret until he was in earshot of the principal men’s tent.
“King Harald, hail. Earl Tostig, hail,” called out the rider. He did not dismount. These Earl and King, now summoned by a man whom no one knew, came out to speak with him.
“What is’t and whence ye from?” Asked Harald.
“I’ve now come to parley for our land,” the rider then replied.
“Th’will be no parley,” answered Tostig. “All this land be ours anon. You’ve lost already harrance .”
“Aye,” replied the rider. “Of this, the thing is plain. This yours. You’ve won it. Killed or turned so many thegns and Earls. But still, the Crown cannot abide by blood what might by good agreement make to pass. Pray, hear our offer, Earl.”
“What offer have ye make?” Earl Tostig asked.
“The Saxon Crown doth hereby offer up the land of Umbria to Tostig, and to make him up an Earl again for perpetuity, and for his sons and sons of sons, to have this land for ever and for ever.”
Tostig and Hardrada took a moment to consider this.
“And what of Norway? What dost Harold offer up his better from the North for all this trouble?” Asked old Hardrade then.
The rider made a mirthless smile. “Six feet of ground, or howsoever much he needs, for he is taller than most other men.” At that, the rider turned his horse around. And then behind him, “What’s thou sayest, Tostig? Shall your men come home?”
The only answers that the rider got were cursing in three languages, and backs of both the men as they returned back to their tents. And so, the rider went.
“Who was that brazen knave?” Asked Hardrade of his second.
“’Twas my brother Harold,” Tostig then replied.
David Richards is a mid-level diplomat assigned to the sleepy, backwater Middle Eastern kingdom of Kutar in 1983. He spends his days on minor development projects and his nights seducing ambassador’s wives. But when news of a tribal skirmish reaches the capital, Richards soon finds himself embroiled in a civil war as Colonel Munn, a pint-sized, blustery Texan assigned to Kutar, organizes a preemptive offensive against the rebellious forces. After Munn is immediately routed and the rebellion seizes control of the capitol, Richards holes up in the ramshackle Moonlight Hotel with fellow expatriates, determined to ride out the conflict despite the growing chaos and destruction that are heading towards them.
This is a stunning and thrilling novel of war and survival from an acclaimed war correspondent.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Scott Anderson's Lawrence in Arabia.