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Manhunt [Hardcover]

Peter Maass
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

From Library Journal

If the story of Edwin Wilson, the ex-CIA agent who came to serve Muammar el-Qaddafi as a freewheeling dealer in explosives and the technologies and tactics of terror, were laid before a reader as fiction, it would be rejected as too bizarre, too grotesque, too unbelievable. And yet the story of Wilson, and of his capture and conviction (featured recently on 60 Minutes ), is not only true but also provides food for thoughtas Maas's absorbing but somewhat blandly written account suggestsabout the subterranean role of America's national security agency. Yet, in light of the Watergate-CIA revelations, perhaps the Wilson story is not so strange after all. Fascinating reading for lovers of spy thrillers; recommended for public libraries. Henry Steck, Political Science Dept., SUNY Coll. at Cortland
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Book Description

The incredible pursuit of a CIA agent turned terrorist by New York Times best-selling author Peter Maas. Edwin P. Wilson was the Great Gatsby of the spook world, the rogue CIA agent who had already begun to amass a fortune while still in U.S intelligence. His lavish estate outside Washington, D.C. was a favoured gathering place for senators and congressmen, admirals and generals, for key intelligence officers. In addition, Wilson was also raking in millions in the service of the godfather of world-wide terrorism - Libya's Colonel Muamar el-Qaddafi. Wilson seemed above the law. Then, US attorney Larry Barcella discovered Wilson's sinister machinations, and in a chase that would go on for nearly four years and over three continents, Barcella began a manhunt that would not end until Wilson was brought to justice. In MANHUNT, Peter Maas went behind the headlines, gaining access to the secret documentation of Wilson's intelligence career, classified federal investigative reports and sealed court records. And in the course of his exhaustive research into the murky bypaths of espionage and deception, he turned over rocks that official Washington would have much preferred remained in place. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars good read April 19 2003
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Maas is a good story teller and he keeps your attention the whole while as he takes you from the beginnings of Wilson's thirst for money at age 8 to his acquisition of prime property in the Washington, D.C. area as a result of his secretive and illegal dealings with foreign powers. Though CIA senior officers were members along with him in phoney corporations he set up to conduct his "import-export" business), any official connection to the CIA while all this was going on isn't clear. Yet the prospect of any CIA connection to Wilson's shipments of thousands of pounds of C-4 (plastique) to Libya and Mohamar Kaddafi is, indeed, very troubling. As the author pointed out, when jets started falling out of the air (Lockerbie) and discos blowing up (Rome), you couldn't help but feel that if not for Wilson, many of these things might not ever have happened. It seems that whereever 20th century evil was to be found, the CIA was either right there, or not too far behind.
This doesn't give you any great insights into the inner workings of the world of spooks, but it is certainly an interesting read and does afford at times a look at how the Justice and State Departments work--or fail to work.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars good read April 19 2003
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Maas is a good story teller and he keeps your attention the whole while as he takes you from the beginnings of Wilson's thirst for money at age 8 to his acquisition of prime property in the Washington, D.C. area as a result of his secretive and illegal dealings with foreign powers. Though CIA senior officers were members along with him in phoney corporations he set up to conduct his "import-export" business), any official connection to the CIA while all this was going on isn't clear. Yet the prospect of any CIA connection to Wilson's shipments of thousands of pounds of C-4 (plastique) to Libya and Mohamar Kaddafi is, indeed, very troubling. As the author pointed out, when jets started falling out of the air (Lockerbie) and discos blowing up (Rome), you couldn't help but feel that if not for Wilson, many of these things might not ever have happened. It seems that whereever 20th century evil was to be found, the CIA was either right there, or not too far behind.
This doesn't give you any great insights into the inner workings of the world of spooks, but it is certainly an interesting read and does afford at times a look at how the Justice and State Departments work--or fail to work.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dirty Business of Spying Nov. 28 2009
By Seth Hettena - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Forget James Bond, Peter Maas' Manhunt shows what a dirty business espionage can be.

Edwin P. Wilson sent more than 40,000 pounds of C-4 explosive, firearms, and ex-Green Berets to Muhammar Qaddafi's regime and establishing a terrorist training school in Libya. Those very same explosives were used to support enemies in attacks aimed at the former colonial powers.

Did the CIA know about it? You bet. At his Virginia estate, Wilson hosted Ted Shackley, a legendary spook, and other budding Iran-Contra figures like Thomas Clines and Maj. Gen. Richard Secord.

Wilson was their patsy. The blurb describes him as the Great Gatsby of the spy world, but he really was a dangerous blowhard who remained outside the reach of U.S. law for years with the help of the fortune he amassed selling arms overseas. A dedicated prosecutor, Larry Barcella, and his team of federal agents finally coaxed him out.

Wilson went to prison arguing that he was working for the CIA all along, and after 20 years, he assembled enough evidence to convince a federal judge that he might be telling the truth. A prosecutor named Ted Greenberg had suborned a perjured CIA affidavit denying that Wilson had anything to do with the agency.

What's amazing about Manhunt, published in 1986, is that this isn't much of a surprise to the reader.

Bottom line: Well-written and extremely well reported, Maas' Manhunt should be on the shelf with other nonfiction spy classics like Wilderness of Mirrors.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed suspense Aug. 17 2006
By William D. Tompkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author is a great storyteller and provides an inordinate amount of details concerning the rougue CIA that is being tracked. It really is amazing how Mr. Maas was able to pull this all together in a great read like this.
5.0 out of 5 stars Eye opening Feb. 7 2013
By K. OLSEN - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
It was a eye opening book when one considers what is currently going on in the middle east today. The weapons and training that was provided to Libya in the mid 70's and the down fall of Qaddafi and the terrorism that spread from that particular location.
4.0 out of 5 stars The late Edwin Wilson Dec 10 2012
By Spud - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Gun-runner supreme - million dollar business - and Peter Maas give you an exciting read - is Frank Terpil out there?
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