By definition and disposition, the spy presents a daunting challenge to the historian. Expected to be elusive and deceptive, secret agents prefer to swallow written evidence, not preserve it. Then, if they survive to write memoirs, they often aggrandize their achievements at the expense of truth.
Douglas Waller has confronted such obstacles before. His previous books include a biography of William J. “Wild Bill” Donovan, head of the World War II OSS, and a study of future CIA directors who launched their intelligence careers with the same agency.