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Author Harden, Blaine, author.

Title King of spies : the dark reign of America's spymaster in Korea / Blaine Harden.

Publication Info. New York, New York : Viking, [2017]
Location Call No. Status
 Naper Blvd. Adult Nonfiction  327.12092 HAR    AVAILABLE
 Nichols Adult Nonfiction  327.12092 HAR    AVAILABLE
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Description viii, 260 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Summary In 1946, master sergeant Donald Nichols was repairing jeeps on the sleepy island of Guam when he caught the eye of recruiters from the army's Counter Intelligence Corps. After just three months' training, he was sent to Korea, then a backwater beneath the radar of MacArthur's Pacific Command. Though he lacked the pedigree of most U.S. spies—Nichols was a 7th grade dropout—he quickly metamorphosed from army mechanic to black ops phenomenon. He insinuated himself into the affections of America’s chosen puppet in South Korea, President Syngman Rhee, and became a pivotal player in the Korean War, warning months in advance about the North Korean invasion, breaking enemy codes, and identifying most of the targets destroyed by American bombs in North Korea. But Nichols's triumphs had a dark side. Immersed in a world of torture and beheadings, he became a spymaster with his own secret base, his own covert army, and his own rules. He recruited agents from refugee camps and prisons, sending many to their deaths on reckless missions. His closeness to Rhee meant that he witnessed—and did nothing to stop or even report—the slaughter of tens of thousands of South Korean civilians in anticommunist purges. Nichols’s clandestine reign lasted for an astounding eleven years. In this riveting book, Blaine Harden traces Nichols's unlikely rise and tragic ruin, from his birth in an operatically dysfunctional family in New Jersey to his sordid postwar decline, which began when the U.S. military sacked him in Korea, sent him to an air force psych ward in Florida, and subjected him—against his will—to months of electroshock therapy. But King of Spies is not just the story of one American spy: with napalmed villages and severed heads, high-level lies and long-running cover-ups, it reminds us that the darkest sins of the Vietnam War—and many other conflicts that followed—were first committed in Korea.
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references (pages 243-249) and index.
Subject Nichols, Donald.
Spies -- United States -- Biography.
Espionage, American -- Korea -- History -- 20th century.
ISBN 9780525429937
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