Risk Taker, Spy Maker - Barry Michael Broman

Risk Taker, Spy Maker

Author: Barry Michael Broman

  • Publication Date: 2020-07-20
  • Category: Political Science


“Broman’s true tales of putting his life on the line recruiting and running spies in a dozen countries are the stuff of action movies.” —Peter Arnett, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Live from the Battlefield

Joining the CIA after fighting in Vietnam as a Marine, Barry Broman’s first posting was war-torn Cambodia. He was present at the fall of Phnom Penh in 1975, escaping just before the Khmer Rouge took power. During his career, he was twice chief of station, once a deputy chief of station, and he supervised an international paramilitary project in support of the Cambodian resistance to Vietnamese invaders. He was actively involved in several assignments in counter-narcotics operations in Southeast Asia including a major bust that yielded 551 kilograms of high-grade heroin from a major drug trafficker. His favorite agent against a variety of hard targets was a fellow whose only demand was that his assignments be “life threatening.” (He survived them all.)

As amazing as the characters Broman has met are the places he’s been, with visits to little-known and rarely seen places like the Naga Hills on the India–Burma border, the world-famous but off-limits jade and ruby mines of Burma, and the isolated Banda Islands of Indonesia, the home of nutmeg.

Broman’s engaging tone is complemented by photographs taken throughout his career, many of them his own, made using the skills he learned as a teenager working for the Associated Press in Southeast Asia—including Marines in action in Vietnam, the ravages of war in Cambodia, and opium buyers forcing growers to sell in Burma.

“[A] remarkable life story.” —Booklist