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The Man Nobody Knew. In Search of My Father CIA Spymaster William Colby

Carl Colby 2011

From the beginning of his career as an OSS officer parachuting into Nazi-occupied Europe, William Colby rose through the ranks of “The Company,” and soon was involved in covert operations in hot spots around the globe. He swayed elections against the Communists in Italy, oversaw the coup against President Diem in Saigon, and ran the controversial Phoenix Program in Vietnam, which sparked today’s legacy of counter-insurgency.
Told by William Colby’s son Carl, the story is at once a probing history of the CIA, a personal memoir of a family living in clandestine shadows, and an inquiry into the hard costs of a nation’s most cloaked actions.


  • The New York Times
    "CRITIC'S PICK! Carl Colby's smart, fact-packed film operates on many levels, all riveting. The director, William Colby's son, has assembled a rich, cohesive and balanced account of his father's legacy."
  • Time Out NY
    "Four Stars. Vital. Sheds light...on a legacy of American skullduggery and high-level shenanigans. Its access and acknowledgment of our dark past make for one intimate indictment."
  • Los Angeles Times
    "With a respectful yet keen eye toward the moral pitfalls of patriotic duplicity, this remarkable feat of personalized biography, enhanced by a rich collection of archival clips, [is] both evocative and harrowing."
  • The Wall Street Journal
    "Powerful. Shattering. An absorbing, sometimes appalling course in how U.S. foreign policy evolved and functioned following World War II, how CIA techniques failed in Vietnam, and how American power in Southeast Asia finally foundered."

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