Clark comment: I wanted to enjoy this book, but was in the end disappointed. The author clearly worked hard to capture Bill Harvey and his work and life, and there is no question that doing so was an almost impossible task. However, it seems in some ways that Stockton gathered material in his research that he felt he had to use even if it was not central -- or even germane -- to his story. I almost quit the book when the author went into wildly speculative musings about the Kennedy assassination and, then again, when much space was wasted (to no conclusion) on Harvey's links with Marajen and Michael Chinigo. The Berlin part is interesting, and probably an accurate reflection of work and life in that place at that time. Just as things went downhill after Berlin for Harvey, so do they go downhill for this book after that time. There are just too many "it must have been...," "he was likely to...," and the like for me to feel comfortable that what is being conveyed is on the mark. Legends certainly deserve a legend teller, but we are unlikely to see another biography of Harvey. Therefore, we will have to make do with this book with all its flaws.
For Goulden, Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), "some -- but by no means all -- of [Harvey's] career" is covered in this work. Since "much of Harvey's work was done in the darkest of shadows, one is not going to learn much about the specifics of how he earned his reputation." The reviewer's "one major criticism" of the book concerns Stockton's dragging "David Atlee Phillips into ill-grounded speculation about the assassination of President Kennedy."
Peake, Studies 51.2 (2007), reminds us that "Richard Helms characterized Bill Harvey as aggressive, demanding, and conscientious, with a good knowledge of operations. Flawed Patriot adds meat to these bones while tempering the contrary Angletonian view found in David Martin's Wilderness of Mirrors and the image of Harvey as the 'weird eccentric' portrayed by Norman Mailer in his novel Harlot's Ghost. The story of Harvey's often controversial career has lessons for all readers interested in intelligence."
A review by Chapman, IJI&C 20.4 (Winter 2007), deals more with evaluating Harvey's career as presented by Stockton than with evaluating the author's effort. The reviewer does note, however, that "Stockton builds the cornerstone of the Harvey legend on the Berlin Tunnel.... By Stockton's account, the tunnel was Harvey's brainchild, with him as planner, architect, and engineer, but that is gravely in dispute."
Hickman, I&NS 23.6 (Dec. 2008), comments that "readers who expect a biographical work to get at larger questions will find some disappoitment" with this book. In addition, it "is organized awkwardly (at times, even poorly)"; and Stockton's "incorporation of interviews and primary source material is substandard." This reviewer is also bothered by the author's failure to use more thoroughly Harvey's 1975 testimony to the Church Committee. Bohning, Intelligencer 16.2/67/fn3 (Fall 2008), calls Failed Patriot "[a]n excellent account of the ZRRIFLE program."
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