By Keith Staskiewicz
May 27, 2014 at 04:00 AM EDT

The Good Spy

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When biographer Bird was a boy growing up in a consulate compound in Saudi Arabia, his family lived next door to an unassuming man named Robert Ames. It wasn’t until years later that Bird realized his former neighbor was one of the most important CIA operatives in the Middle East, one whose hard-won contacts in the PLO helped bring the region closer to peace than ever before. In his riveting, illuminating account of Ames’ life and ultimate death in the 1983 embassy bombing in Beirut, Bird pulls back the thick black curtain on the world of clandestine intelligence affairs — a world that turns out to be more blazer-and-pen than cloak-and-dagger, though no less engrossing — to tell the story of one individual’s good work in a not-so-good system. A

The Good Spy

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