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Saturday, April 18, 2015

SHADOW WARRIOR: WILLIAM EGAN COLBY and the CIA (audiobook) by Randall B. Woods

    I have rarely been so glad to have been done with an audiobook as I was with this one.

Published in 2013 by Post Hypnotic Press
Narrated by Michael Puttonen
Duration: 21 hours, 56 minutes

William Egan Colby was present at the beginnings of the CIA and served as an inserted commando with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) in both France and Norway during World War II, pioneering the kind of action he advocated for during his years in the CIA.

William Colby (1920-1996)
he beginning of this audiobook is excellent as it details Colby's life and his World War II exploits. But, as it transitions from World War II to the early years of the Cold War to the Vietnam War the book becomes bogged down, especially in the endless detail about the politics of South Vietnam. Clearly, the Vietnam War was a pivot point for America and for Colby so it should be stressed. However, hours and hours of details about the governing elite of the doomed country were simply tedious.

Colby moves back to America and into the halls of power in the CIA just as the Watergate Crisis is starting to break. America's faith in government was at a low point and people were starting to ask if the CIA should be restrained. Colby had worked his way up to be the Director of the CIA. Colby was as honest as he could be and still keep the CIA open and running as an effective intelligence and counter-intelligence unit. But, once again, the forward momentum of the book is swamped with details. 

Look, I am a high school history teacher. I love history. But, I have rarely been so glad to have done with an audiobook as I was with this one.  Making it worse, the reader, Michael Puttonnen insisted on reading quotes from different politicians of the 1960s and 1970s with in an impersonated voice. His LBJ was subtle, but his Nixon and Kissinger voices were not very good and I found them to be distracting.

I rate this audiobook 2 stars out of 5. I cannot rate it 1 star because I did learn a few things along the way.

Note: I was sent a free copy of the mp3 CD audiobook by the publisher in exchange for a fair review.

It can be found on Amazon.com here: Shadow Warrior: William Egan Colby and the CIA

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