Review: Black Tulip

5 Star, Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, Fiction, Intelligence (Government/Secret)
Amazon Page
Amazon Page

Milt Bearden

5.0 out of 5.0 Stars. Outstanding! Buy Used if Publisher Does Not Reissue

As one of those who served on the Central American Task Force at CIA and in the field, I was fascinated to learn of this book by one of America’s greatest espionage warriors–not only did he run the Afghan war from the field, he was also Chief of the Soviet Division and Chief of Station in Germany, the equivalent of an Olympic “clean sweep.” I read this book critically.

It is simply super, and full of nuances that get better with a second reading. The most important of these is the thoughtful manner in which the fall of the Soviet military in Afghanistan is related to the subsequent weakening of the Soviet hold over Eastern Europe, a hold that eventually broke and led to the unification of Germany and chaos in those portions of Eastern Europe where neither Europe nor the US was ready to help convert communists to capitalists. This is an inspiring book that shows in great detail how covert action–behind the lines action–can serve a great nation. This book will cleanse the palate of all those who soured on covert action as done so badly (and occasionally in violation of the law) in Central America.

Evidently I bought the last used copy, released for public sale by the Indianapolis Public Library–too bad, since we need more young spies from that area and they would have been highly motivated by this book. I hope the publisher reissues it, this is a tale that is much more truth than fiction, and of lasting value to those who would understand the deeper value of covert action in the national service. We still need spies, there is still great evil around the world, and I can only hope that books like this will help the clandestine service recruit those with “the right stuff.”

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