The Wolf and the Watchman
A Father, a Son, and the CIA
By Scott C. Johnson
W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393239805, 304pp.
Publication Date: May 2013
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When Scott embarked on a career as a foreign correspondent, he found himself returning to many of the troubled countries of his youth. In the dusty streets of Pakistan and Afghanistan, amid the cold urbanity of Yugoslavia, and down the mysterious alleys of Mexico City, he came face to face with his father's murky past and his own complicity in it. Scott learned that his chosen profession was not so different from his father s: they both worked to gain people's trust and to uncover their secrets. The only difference was what they did with that information.
In the aftermath of 9/11, father and son found themselves on assignment in Afghanistan and the Middle East, one as a CIA contractor, the other as a reporter for Newsweek. Suddenly, an unsettled Scott was forced to keep his father's secret all over again. As their professional lives collided, Scott and his father inched toward a personal reckoning, struggling to overcome a lifetime of suspicion and deception.
The Wolf and the Watchman is a provocative, meditative account of truth and duplicity, of manipulation and loyalty. It is also a moving, intensely personal portrait of a bond between father and son that endured in the shadow of one of the world's most secretive and unforgiving institutions.
When Scott Johnson was 14, his father told him he was a spy for the CIA. At first it was exciting, but as Johnson grew older, he began to wonder just how much his father was keeping from him. In The Wolf and the Watchman, Johnson explores their complicated relationship. More at NPR.org
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