Re: RARA-AVIS: Former Spies as Spy Writers (was Briarpatch)

From: Richard Moore (
Date: 18 Nov 2004

Think tanks are a place where politicians, consultants, issue experts, and intelligence folks "park" between other gigs. One of Thomas' later novels begins with a character who is a terrorism expert being laid off at a think tank. There are full-time think- tankers who stay at the Cato Institute or the Brookings Institute year after year but there are others who "park" there until the next election or the next lengthy job offer surfaces.

Charles McCarry was a speech writer for the Secretary of Labor until he was recruited to the CIA by Allen Dulles. A fine writer with an interesting "day job" career beyond his undercover work with the CIA. He was for years the "writing doctor" at National Geographic magazine, another Washington Institution and he has ghosted at least two high profile political memoirs.

While we are on the subject of spy fiction, my most recent reading includes the novels of the British novelist John Gardner. I was completely charmed by his first novel THE LIQUIDATORS, which was funny as hell as well as exciting, and also impressed with A COMPLETE STATE OF DEATH (which is police not spy). I have now loaded up with another dozen of his novels (none are the James Bond continuations) and can't wait to read more. I think I avoided him because of the Bond novels but that was a mistake. He is quite accomplished.

Richard Moore

--- In, "jimdohertyjr"
<jimdohertyjr@y...> wrote:
> Some follow-up on my comment below:
> > I've heard that Gayle Lynds (Mrs. Michael Collins) has also
> in
> > some capacity for US Intelligence, but, again, I'm not
> > sure of that. Like Bill and Hagberg, Mrs. Lynds first spy
> > were Nick Carter PBO's. In addition to her own stuff, she's
> recently
> > been "completing" Robert Ludlum novels.
> According to her website, Mrs. Lynds is "a former editor with Top
> Secret security clearance at a think tank where her government
> projects ranged from making deserts bloom to designing cutting-
> military hardware that had the capacity to wipe life from entire
> continents."
> That sounds like she was at least on the peripherary of what
> called "The Great Game."

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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 18 Nov 2004 EST