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Here is the hidden history of the CIA: why eleven presidents and three generations of CIA officers have been unable to understand the world; why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than he found it; and how these failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security. For sixty years, the CIA has managed to maintain a formidable reputation in spite of its terrible record, burying its blunders in top-secret archives. Its mission was to know the world--when it did not succeed, it set out to change the world instead. Now Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Weiner offers the first definitive history of the CIA, based on more than 50,000 documents, primarily from the archives of the CIA itself, and hundreds of interviews with CIA veterans, including ten Directors of Central Intelligence.--From publisher description.