AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
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AbeBooks Mitglied seit 1996
Titel: The Confirmation
Verlag: Knopf, US
Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Dust Jacket Included
Auflage: 1st Edition
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A novel of high-stakes political intrigue on the shadowy side of Washington, The Confirmation sheds light on the men who run the Central Intelligence Agency, on investigative journalists, and on government officials fighting for control of the nation's secrets.
The confirmation of the seemingly spotless nominee Frank Cabot as Director of Central Intelligence is jeopardized when Brad Cameron, a young CIA officer looking for evidence of American prisoners left behind after the Vietnam war, uncovers a suppressed report -- a claim by a convicted American spy that Cabot cooperated with the Russians in a shameful cover-up twenty years earlier. As Cabot attempts to clear his name, reporter George Tater digs relentlessly for the story that will revive his career and Cameron doggedly pursues the truth about what happened. The result is a full-scale Washington media circus, as a host of interested parties -- the president, the press, the senators who must vote yea or nay on Cabot's nomination, and Cabot's friends and enemies -- all try to conceal, expose, or spin what he did and why.
Closely paralleling these events is a different kind of conspiracy. A clandestine militia of angry Vietnam vets, convinced that officials in high places have deliberately abandoned American POWs, plot a confrontation -- both clever and rash -- calculated to violently disrupt Cabot's confirmation hearings.
Thomas Powers, the author of books on intelligence and covert history, writes knowingly about how the CIA and its officials operate in the world of Beltway politics. At the heart of this riveting novel is a well-kept secret that, as it emerges, reveals how difficult it is to tell the heroes from the villains, the truth from the lies, the honorable from the self-serving. As Brad Cameron learns, in official Washington doing the right thing may prove to be more dangerous than anything he has done before.
If ever a novel proves the rule that writers should write about what they know, Thomas Powers's first novel is it. Powers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and longtime nonfiction writer on all things clandestine (Heisenberg's War: the Secret History of the German Bomb and The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA, among others) has found a home, should he want it, at the Cloak and Dagger Arms.
Frank Cabot is next in line for the CIA directorship. He already holds the post of acting director, and the president and committee chairman both want him for the job. And with his clean record, all that stands between him and the corner office are the right answers to the right questions--a routine confirmation hearing.
Until the pissing starts. As questions are raised and answers are vetted, Brad Cameron, Cabot's handpicked assistant, finds a missing name, a missing man, and missing records for each, any one of which could put an end to Cabot's confirmation, his career, his reputation, and the careers and reputations of half of official Washington, living and dead.
They laid out everything they knew: the 1978 memos about Golenpolsky and his report of an American in the Gulag, the details added by Terry Tyler, protection of the Golenpolsky file in Akmolinsk records, a flag to the Ames case, and finally Warren DeForest's explanation of what Ames had to do with it.
DeForest had visibly suffered before spilling the beans. Who was Brad? What was he doing here? Working for Cabot? Oh, my God. That created a bit of a--well...
"Look, Myrna, this is going to be a real mess. I think we should save our talk till morning. Will you trust me on this?"
As Brad and his partner--the wonderful septuagenarian Myrna Rashevsky, who deserves a book of her own--defy the spooks, make nice with the Mossad, pull the beards of cold war lions, and schmooze with the likes of Aldrich Ames, Cabot and his supporters are plagued from within and without by investigative reporters, crazed militiamen, alcoholic wives, and indiscreet nieces.
While The Confirmation would benefit from a slightly quicker tempo and a greater sense of urgency (particularly down the homestretch), it remains a sharply plotted work with strong characterization and dialogue that rings true. And how many up-tempo works wouldn't be the better for that? --Michael Hudson
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