The Life of William Egan Colby
By Randall B. Woods
(Basic Books, Hardcover, 9780465021949, 560pp.)
Publication Date: April 2013
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In Shadow Warrior, eminent historian Randall B. Woods presents a gripping biography of one of the most fascinating and controversial figures of the postwar period: William Egan Colby. World War II commando, Cold War spy, Saigon CIA station chief, and eventual CIA director under Nixon and Ford, Colby played a critical role in some of the most pivotal events in twentieth-century history. Despite his strong commitments to global democracy and economic and social justice, Colby was also drawn to the darker side of American power. He ultimately came clean about many of the CIA’s illegal activities and died under suspicious circumstancesa murky ending to a life spent in shadows.
Drawing on multiple new sources, including numerous interviews with members of Colby’s family, Woods has crafted a definitive biography that brilliantly captures the moral and strategic ambiguities of the postwar world.
Randall B. Woods is John A. Cooper Distinguished Professor of History at the University of Arkansas. Author or coauthor of ten books, including LBJ: Architect of American Ambition and Fulbright: A Biography, which won the Robert D. Ferrell Prize, Woods lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.