The Twilight War: The Secret History of America’s Thirty-Year Conflict with Iran

David Crist, Author
David Crist. Penguin Press, $36 (656p) ISBN 978-1-59420-341-1
Reviewed on: 04/16/2012
Release date: 07/19/2012
Open Ebook - 656 pages - 978-1-101-57234-4
Open Ebook - 656 pages - 978-1-101-57169-9
Paperback - 642 pages - 978-0-14-312367-5
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In this well-researched book, historian and former marine Crist makes the case that the United States is already enmeshed in a hidden war with Iran that has raged unacknowledged for decades. This shadow war is characterized by espionage, assassination plots, and frequent eruptions of open hostilities, and exacerbated by egregious missteps and blunders by both sides. (Crist loses no time in labeling the American invasion of Iraq, for instance, as one of the “worst planned campaigns ever executed by the U.S. military.”) Enriched by hundreds of interviews with key players as well as the author’s own experiences in the Persian Gulf, this is a comprehensive and readable account of American-Iranian hostilities since the 1979 revolution. Crist reveals many previously unreported details of recent maneuverings, such as the provenance of the Stuxnet virus and the backstory of the bizarre case of Shahram Amiri (the nuclear scientist who defected to the U.S. and then posted videos on YouTube claiming that he was being held captive by the CIA), but the broad outlines of the narrative are not nearly as “secret” as the subtitle implies. If there is a moral to this story, it may be that despite the furious machinations of the world’s intelligence agencies, critical change points more often than not hinge on blind luck and happenstance. Agent: The Wiley Agency. (July)
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