Laughter in the Shadows: A CIA Memoir - My grandfather's memoirs
This memoir of a CIA operations officer captures the spirit of the early years of the Agency, a period sometimes described as its 'finest hours.' Using the alias 'St. Martin,' Stuart Methven served in the CIA from the 1950s through the 1970s. The book opens by describing the author's training in the clandestine arts and subsequent assignment to Asia in a country he calls 'Bushido.' There he is involved in numerous operations, including one that takes him under the ocean, and earns his case officer's 'brevet.' A nation-building program in 'Cham' follows, which begins well enough and includes his gaining a tribal leader's confidence by parachuting badly needed supplies to his mountain village. It ends abruptly, however, with a coup d'etat and civil war that forces Methven's evacuation, the first of several during his career.