In this thoughtful, entertaining, and often insightful book, a former CIA director explores the delicate give-and-take between the Oval Office and Langley. With the disastrous intelligence failures of the last few years still fresh in Americans minds--and to all appearances still continuing--there has never been a more urgent need for a book like this. In Burn Before Reading, Admiral Stansfield Turner, the CIA director under President Jimmy Carter, takes the reader inside the Beltway to examine the complicated, often strained relationships between presidents and their CIA chiefs. From FDR and Wild Bill Dovan to George W. Bush and George Tenet, twelve pairings are studied in these pages, and the results are eye-opening and provocative. Throughout, Turner offers a fascinating look into the machinery of intelligence gathering, revealing how personal and political issues often interfere with government business--and the nation's safety.
Admiral Stansfield Turner served as director of central intelligence from 1977 to 1981, heading both the Intelligence Community and the CIA. Previously, as an admiral in the U.S. Navy, he served as the commander of the U.S. Second Fleet and president of the Naval War College, and as the commander in chief of NATO's Southern Flank. Admiral Turner is on the faculty of the University of Maryland's Graduate School of Public Policy. He lives in Washington, D.C.