Edward Jay Epstein


Epstein, Edward Jay. Agency of Fear: Opiates and Political Power in America. New York: Putnam, 1977.

Petersen: "[P]rovides some coverage of intelligence and internal security aspects of the [drug] problem."


Epstein, Edward Jay. Deception: The Invisible War Between the KGB and the CIA. New York: Simon & Shuster, 1989.

Thomas Powers, NYRB (17 Aug. 1989) and Intelligence Wars (2004), 123-139, calls Deception "a richly suggestive but ultimately inconclusive work, which comes closer than Angleton himself ever did to laying out his case." On the negative side, Epstein "makes no attempt to weigh Angleton's case.... He has an obligation to the reader to pass some sort of judgment on these wild claims, but gives us nothing of the kind." According to London, IJI&C 4.1, this is a "much needed antidote to the overheated rhetoric of the moment [1990]."

To Cram (1993), Epstein's work now has "the smell of attic dust.... The first 105 pages explain Angleton's theories.... The remainder ... describes various forms of deception." The author dismisses glasnost "as simply another massive KGB deception." The book contains "many errors and misinterpretations.... Like Legend, it is propaganda for Angleton and essentially dishonest." It is "[o]ne of many bad books inspired by Angleton after his dismissal that have little basis in fact."

NameBase comments that the "second half of this book examines some major deceptions in the twentieth century: the Soviet 'Trust' in the 1920s, Hitler's armament inventory in the 1930s, Soviet faking for our spy satellites, and the mole wars. Then Epstein looks at Glasnost in the Soviet Union.... Epstein is ... worth reading, even after Angleton has been largely discredited and Epstein's premise is forced to fly in the face of almost all available evidence."

[CIA/Angleton; Russia/Dis&Dec][c]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "Disinformation: Or, Why the CIA Cannot Verify an Arms-Control Agreement." Commentary 74 (Jul. 1982): 21-28. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/whokilled.htm]

"Disinformation, which aims at extending state policy, is a very different concept in Soviet doctrine from propaganda. Whereas disinformation aims at misleading an enemy government into making a disadvantageous decision, propaganda aims at misleading public opinion so that it resists the advantageous decisions of its government. The audience for disinformation is thus government decisionmakers, and the prime channel for reaching this audience is through the intelligence service upon which they rely for their secret information."


Epstein, Edward Jay. Dossier: The Secret History of Armand Hammer. New York: Random House, 1996.

Epstein, Edward Jay. "Edwin Wilson: The CIA's Great Gatsby." Parade Magazine, 18 Sep. 1983. [The online version has a note stating that the article was updated in October 2004.] [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/edwin.htm]


Epstein, Edward Jay. James Jesus Angleton: Was He Right? Fast Track Press/EJE Publications, 2014.

Peake, Studies 58.3 (Sep. 2014), advises caution with regard to this book, both "because of its foregone conclusions" and the existence of "a number of factual errors."


Epstein, Edward Jay. Legend: The Secret World of Lee Harvey Oswald. New York: Reader's Digest/McGraw Hill, 1978.

According to Cram, Angleton was the "major source on Nosenko," and Epstein supports Angleton's theories. The book "has two parts: the first is about Nosenko and Angleton's belief that he was part of a KGB deception operation; the second is about Oswald's sojourn in the Soviet Union.... One of the [book's] chief critics, George Lardner of The Washington Post, wrote: 'What Epstein has written ... is a fascinating, important, and essentially dishonest book.... It is paranoid. It is naive.'" Pforzheimer says this book "leaves more questions unanswered than it answers with respect to the assassination of the President."


Epstein, Edward Jay. "Nosenko: The Red Herring." New York 11 (27 Feb. 1978): 34-35. [Peterson]

[CIA/Angleton; Russia]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "The Plots to Kill Castro." George 5, no. 5 (Jun. 2000): 60-63ff.

The author notes that this article is based "almost entirely on the documentation in the Church Committee report."


Epstein, Edward Jay. "The Riddle of Armand Hammer." New York Times Magazine, 23 Nov. 1981, 68-73, 112, 114, 116, 118, 129, 122.


Epstein, Edward Jay. "The Spy Wars." New York Times Magazine, 28 Sep. 1980, 34 ff. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/spywars.htm]

"While public debate over the CIA ... has narrowly focused on the charge that the agency has abused its power by spying on domestic groups outside its legal purview, the secret concern in intelligence circles ... is that the CIA is not spying effectively on its principal adversary: the Soviet bloc." The author finds the reasons for CIA failures in recruiting Soviet spies in the theories of James Angleton and Tennant Bagley that the CIA had been "penetrated" by Soviet intelligence.


Epstein, Edward Jay. "The Spy Who Came Back From The Dead." Life, Sep. 1986. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/spy.htm]

The author finds parallels between the defection/redefection of Vitaliy Sergeyevich Yurchenko in 1985 and the defection of Yuri Nosenko in 1964.

[CIA/80s/Gen & Angleton/Related]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "War of the Moles: An Interview." 3 parts. New York 11 (27 Feb.-13 Mar. 1978): 28-33, 55-59, 12-13. [Peterson]

[CIA/Angleton; Russia]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "The War Within CIA." Commentary 66 (Aug. 1978): 35-39. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/Colby.htm]

This piece is highly critical of former DCI William Colby's revealing of the CIA's "family jewels." The author suggests that Colby did so in order to generate an excuse to get rid of James Angleton.

[CIA/Angleton; Russia]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "Was Ames Alone?" Wall Street Journal, 8 Mar. 1994. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/archived/amesalone.htm]

Some intelligence "officials placed great faith in the CIA's lie detector tests and other routine security procedures and derided those who had less faith in these defenses -- notably Angleton and his counterintelligence staff -- as 'paranoid,' indulging in 'sick think' or otherwise out of touch with reality. The Ames case demonstrates that such faith was misplaced."


Epstein, Edward Jay. "Was Angleton Right?" Wall Street Journal, 30 Dec. 2004. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/Angletonrightr.htm]

The author uses the publication of former KGB Col. Victor Cherkashin's book [Victor Cherkashin, with Gregory Feifer, Spy Handler (New York: Basic Books, 2004)] to argue that the arrests of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen prove that "Angleton was right." Cherkashin's story "provides a gripping account of [the KGB's] successes in the spy war.... That America's counterespionage apparatus allowed both [Ames and Hanssen] to operate as long as they did is a testament to its complacency as much as to the KGB's cleverness."

[CIA/Angleton; Russia]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "When the CIA Was Almost Wrecked." Parade Magazine [Washington Post], 14 Oct. 1984, 8-11.

Golitsyn case.

[CIA/Angleton; Russia]

Epstein, Edward Jay. "Who Killed the CIA: The Confessions of Stansfield Turner." Commentary 80, no. 4 (Oct. 1985): 53-57. [http://www.edwardjayepstein.com/whokilledcia.htm]

Using Adm. Turner's Secrecy and Democracy: The CIA in Transition (1985) as his launchpad, the author tears into and even ridicules the former DCI's management of the CIA during his 1977-1981 tenure. Because of Epstein's special interest in the case, he also accuses Turner of knowingly "falsifying" the history of the hostile interrogation and extrajudicial incarceration of Yuri Nosenko by blaming it on James Angleton.


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