A fictitious account of an untrained spy’s pivotal role in many of the 20th century’s significant political happenings.
Warner (Lifestyle, 1986) introduces readers to the surprisingly politically adroit character of Winston Bates. In a story that is part Our Man in Havana and part Forrest Gump, recruited spy Winston is lacking in the subtle skills of espionage but still manages to fumble his way into key positions of influence within the post–World War II American political machine. Along the way, he encounters the central actors who shaped U.S. Cold War policies and many of the peripheral characters hidden in the shadows of covert affairs. Helped in large part by his prodigious memory for even the most insignificant details, Winston becomes the preferred aide for two U.S. senators and one president: Lyndon B. Johnson. His proximity to the principal figures of power enables Winston to influence the direction of international happenings, ranging from the Suez Crisis of 1956 to the Iran-Contra Affair. Along with actions that have unforeseen but lasting impacts on American foreign policy, Winston engages in a lively social life where he uses his gift of information retention to participate in Beltway gossip. While continually concerned with when his "handlers" will call on him, Winston’s first-person account of the people he meets and the secrets he hears make for interesting reading. Warner’s skillful descriptions of major political players will intrigue the politico junkie but may be a little too detailed for the casual reader.
An intelligent fictional memoir.