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The Last Honest Man

The CIA, the FBI, the Mafia, and the Kennedys—and One Senator's Fight to Save Democracy

Regular Price $32

Regular Price $40 CAD

Regular Price $32

Regular Price $40 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around May 9, 2023. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

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On Sale

May 9, 2023

Page Count

480 Pages

ISBN-13

9780316565134

Description

“Gripping … a spectacular piece of reporting that reads like a spy novel with the eloquence of great history.” Ken Burns

Witnesses were mysteriously murdered. The FBI, NSA, CIA, and even the IRS were on the warpath. It was 1975, and a senator named Frank Church stood almost alone in the face of extraordinary abuses of power.
 
For decades now, America’s national security state has grown ever bigger, ever more secretive and powerful, and ever more abusive. Only once did someone manage to put a stop to any of it.

Senator Frank Church of Idaho was an unlikely hero. He led congressional opposition to the Vietnam War and had become a scathing, radical critic of what he saw as American imperialism around the world. But he was still politically ambitious, privately yearning for acceptance from the foreign policy establishment that he hated and eager to run for president. Despite his flaws, Church would show historic strength in his greatest moment, when in the wake of Watergate he was suddenly tasked with investigating abuses of power in the intelligence community. The dark truths that Church exposed—from assassination plots by the CIA, to links between the Kennedy dynasty and the mafia, to the surveillance of civil rights activists by the NSA and FBI—would shake the nation to its core, and forever change the way that Americans thought about not only their government but also their ability to hold it accountable.

Drawing upon hundreds of interviews, thousands of pages of recently declassified documents, and reams of unpublished letters, notes, and memoirs, some of which remain sensitive today, Pulitzer Prize–winning reporter James Risen tells the gripping, untold story of truth and integrity standing against unchecked power—and winning—in The Last Honest Man.

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Praise

“James Risen is one of our country’s greatest investigative reporters, and Frank Church, the senator at the heart of this book, is an American icon—a man of supreme confidence, integrity, and wisdom. The dark truths he exposed about America’s spy agencies are shocking even by today’s standards. A gripping book, The Last Honest Man is a spectacular piece of reporting that reads like a spy novel with the eloquence of great history.”—Ken Burns
The Last Honest Man is a vitally important, timely story about how our elected politicians—few of them perfect—can protect us from tyranny by insisting that presidents, spies, and generals follow the law. It is also a ripping good read: a Washington thriller that reliably sorts fact from myth about the Mafia, JFK, and the CIA, while re-investigating improbable episodes of a tumultuous era.”—Steve Coll, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001 and Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan
“James Risen's engrossing book is more than a biography of a hugely significant senator, more than the resurrection of one of the most influential congressional committees of the 20th century, and more than a colorful tour of the CIA's assassination plots, mafia ties and outrageous mind control experiments. It's a vivid reminder that American democracy is always fragile.”—Jonathan Alter, New York Times bestselling author of The Defining Moment: FDR's Hundred Days and the Triumph of Hope and His Very Best: Jimmy Carter, a Life
“This new biography of one of the Senate's most principled and effectual bulwarks against America's warfare state, by one of America's greatest investigative reporters, couldn't be more engrossing. And as we finally come up for air after a generation of disastrous war, it couldn't be more important.”—Rick Perlstein, New York Times bestselling author of Nixonland: The Rise of a President and the Fracturing of America, The Invisible Bridge: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan, and Reaganland: America's Right Turn 1976–1980
"With The Last Honest Man, James Risen has proven himself to be not just one of America’s greatest investigative reporters but also a great modern historian. And his cast of characters in this page-turner could not be any richer: from its protagonist, Senator Frank Church, one of the most consequential lawmakers of the 20th century, to Kennedy, Nixon, and J. Edgar Hoover and from Martin Luther King to mobster Sam Giancana to the CIA’s notorious 'poisoner in chief,' the sinister Dr. Sidney Gottlieb. Above all else, Risen documents the outrageous abuses of government power that the Church Committee exposed, especially at the CIA and FBI—crimes, and disclosures, that continue to shape our world today."—Philip Shenon, New York Times bestselling author of A Cruel and Shocking Act: The Secret History of the Kennedy Assassination
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