Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226356686 Will Publish May 2021
An e-book edition will be published.

A Drop of Treason

Philip Agee and His Exposure of the CIA

Jonathan Stevenson

A Drop of Treason

Jonathan Stevenson

328 pages | 6 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 2021
Cloth $27.50 ISBN: 9780226356686 Will Publish May 2021
E-book $27.50 ISBN: 9780226356716 Will Publish May 2021
Philip Agee’s story is the stuff of a John le Carré novel—perilous and thrilling adventures around the globe. He joined the CIA as a young idealist, becoming an operations officer in hopes of seeing the world and safeguarding his country. He was the consummate intelligence insider, thoroughly entrenched in the shadow world. But in 1975, he became the first person to publicly betray the CIA—a pariah whose like was not seen again until Edward Snowden. For almost forty years in exile, he was a thorn in the side of his country.
 
The first biography of this contentious, legendary man, Jonathan Stevenson’s A Drop of Treason is a thorough portrait of Agee and his place in the history of American foreign policy and the intelligence community during the Cold War and beyond. Unlike mere whistleblowers, Agee exposed American spies by publicly blowing their covers. And he didn’t stop there—his was a lifelong political struggle that firmly allied him with the social movements of the global left and against the American project itself from the early 1970s on. Stevenson examines Agee’s decision to turn, how he sustained it, and how his actions intersected with world events.
 
Having made profound betrayals and questionable decisions, Agee lived a rollicking, existentially fraught life filled with risk. He traveled the world, enlisted Gabriel García Márquez in his cause, married a prima ballerina, and fought for what he believed was right. Raised a conservative Jesuit in Tampa, he died a socialist expat in Havana. In A Drop of Treason, Stevenson reveals what made Agee tick—and what made him run.
 
Contents
1 A Geopolitically Charmed Life
2 The Young Spy
3 The Consolidation of Dissidence
4 Indefinite Limbo
5 Agee and the Transatlantic Left
6 Uneasy Normalization
7 Whipsawed, Stalked, Tired
8 Posterity for a Traitor

Acknowledgments
Notes
Selected Bibliography
 
Review Quotes
The Bookseller
“Stevenson portrays Philip Agee’s thrilling story and what made him take action against his country.”
Clay Risen, author of 'The Crowded Hour: Theodore Roosevelt, the Rough Riders and the Dawn of the American Century'
“With A Drop of Treason, Jonathan Stevenson does more than give us a readable, much-needed biography of Philip Agee's wild life, taking us from the lawns of Notre Dame to the streets of Hamburg and the plazas of Havana. By placing Agee's life in the context of the transatlantic left, he illuminates an often-overlooked facet of the Cold War with cloak-and-dagger elan and historical sweep.”
Ali Soufan, former FBI special agent and author of 'The Black Banners (Declassified): How Torture Derailed the War on Terror after 9/11'
“Set against the backdrop of the Cold War, A Drop of Treason reads like a spy thriller, chronicling the life of turned CIA officer Philip Agee. Stevenson masterfully brings together a real-life story of espionage, betrayal, and the dramatic consequences that befell one of the first Americans to publicly turn on the CIA.”
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