Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story
Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks
Date: November 2014
Duration: 12 hours 7 minutes
Jack Devine ran Charlie Wilson’s War in Afghanistan. It was the largest covert action of the Cold War, and it was Devine who put the brand-new Stinger missile into the hands of the mujahideen during their war with the Soviets, paving the way to a decisive victory against the Russians. He also pushed the CIA’s effort to run down the narcotics trafficker Pablo Escobar in Colombia. He tried to warn the director of central intelligence, George Tenet, that there was a bullet coming from Iraq with his name on it. He was in Chile when Allende fell, and he had too much to do with Iran-Contra for his own taste. He also tangled with Rick Ames, the KGB spy inside the CIA, and hunted Robert Hanssen, the mole in the FBI.
Good Hunting: An American Spymaster’s Story is the spellbinding memoir of Devine’s time in the CIA, where he served for more than thirty years, rising to become the acting deputy director of operations, responsible for all of the agency’s spying operations. This is a story of intrigue and high-stakes maneuvering—all the more gripping when the fate of our geopolitical order hangs in the balance. But this book also sounds a warning to our nation’s decision makers: covert operations, not costly and devastating full-scale interventions, are the best safeguard of America’s interests worldwide.
Part memoir, part historical redress, Good Hunting debunks some of the myths surrounding the agency and cautions against its misuses. Beneath the exotic allure—living abroad, running operations in seven countries, and serving successive presidents from Nixon to Clinton—this is a realist’s gimlet-eyed account of the CIA. As Devine sees it, the agency is now trapped within a larger bureaucracy, losing swaths of turf to the military, and most ominous of all, becoming overly weighted toward paramilitary operations after a decade of war. Its capacity to do what it does best—spying and covert action—has been seriously degraded.
“A sophisticated, deeply informed account of real life in the real CIA that adds immeasurably to the public understanding of the espionage culture—the good and the bad.”—Bob Woodward