Patrick Gauvain (Author Photograph) New York: Grove Press, 2002. First Edition [Stated], First Printing [Stated]. Hardcover. xviii, 364 pages. Endpaper maps. Illustrations. Notes. Bibliography. Index. DJ has a tear at the top of back. Thomas C. Laird (born June 30, 1953) is an American journalist, writer, and photographer who specializes in Tibet. He has photographed and written for the likes of Time and Newsweek. Laird's book, Into Tibet: The CIA’s First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa, was the result of ten years of research regarding the life, work and death of Douglas Mackiernan, the first CIA intelligence officer ever killed in the line of duty. He unearthed thousands of pages of documents from the National Archives in Washington DC, and conducted one hundred hours of interviews with more than two dozen primary sources ranging from CIA members to the Dalai Lama. His second book, a history of Tibet entitled The Story of Tibet: Conversations with the Dalai Lama draws on over 60 hours of conversations with the 14th Dalai Lama, whom he first met in 1993. Derived from a Kirkus review: Laird turns up an intriguing tale of a secret CIA-sponsored expedition (details of which are still largely classified) into Tibet just before the Chinese invasion of 1950. Neither altruism nor defense of democracy prompted the American mission, which put five spies on the ground at considerable risk to themselves. Laird suggests the CIA was rushing to locate Asia’s uranium reserves and convince their owners to side with America, then enjoying a brief postwar monopoly on the manufacture of nuclear weapons. The American spies of 1949–50, Laird writes, had only mixed success, and some of them were killed. The Tibetan guerrillas funded by the CIA after the Chinese invasion fared still worse. Abandoned when the US and China established diplomatic relations in the early 1970s, hundreds of guerrillas died as a result. This story has long been forgotten. Of interest to Cold War specialists and those with a general interest in the main historical topic and geographic area. Condition: Very good / Good.
Keywords: Douglas Mackiernan, CIA, Spy, Lhasa, Tibet, Dean Acheson, Atomic Bomb, Espionage, Nuclear Detection, Frank Bessac, Dalai Lama, Owen Lattimore, Margaret Lyons, Osman Bator, John Hall Paxton, Sinkiang, Uranium, Vasili Zvansov