Critical Praise for Disciples


“’Disciples’ is a fantastic book, one of the very finest accounts of wartime spookery… It’s a hell of a good tale, aided immeasurably by Mr. Waller’s skill at disentangling the knotted story lines of his protagonists and his dexterous straightening of the often contradictory accounts of the shadow war’s dauntingly complex machinations… His eye for journalistic color (honed by his stints as a correspondent for Time and Newsweek) turns his solid research into taut narrative…’Disciples’ is a remarkable work of synthesis.” —The Wall Street Journal

“Entertaining and richly detailed…a textured adventure story that emerges from Waller’s command of the archival material and his fluid writing style. That latter gift helps Waller overcome what could have been the cumbersome task of weaving together four distinct war experiences…Waller moves among these biographies with ease.” —The Washington Post

“This book will make a dandy holiday gift for the spy story buff who eats up yarns about the dark side of the world of intelligence and those masters of intrigue who exist inside the web. This is an authoritatively researched and smoothly written tale…’Disciples’ will make good reading for your favorite spy buff.”
—Washington Times

“Entertaining and enlightening… worthy of John le Carré… Writing a single biography of four distinct men is a challenge, but Waller does a fine job relating their stories to one another.” —The Charlotte Observer

“Douglas Waller follows up his best-seller ‘Wild Bill Donovan’… with a ripping WWII sequel, ‘Disciples.’…Waller… drops a discerning dime on a series of backstories of espionage and sabotage provoked by Donovan’s ‘disciples’… Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby and William Casey, [who] later became CIA directors.” –The Buffalo News

“A well-researched, accessible account of America’s foremost spymasters.” —Washington Independent Review of Books

“Eye-opening…Waller keeps the interest high and the pages turning in one of the more interesting spy books this year.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Meticulously researched…Waller’s easygoing writing style and extensive use of primary sources make this work worthwhile for those interested in espionage history.” —Publishers Weekly

“Douglas Waller knows the world of spies and he knows how to tell a story. The World War II adventures of these future spymasters are fascinating and instructive about the moral ambiguities of espionage and covert action. A gripping read from the pen of a master.”—Evan Thomas, author of Being Nixon and Ike’s Bluff

“Allen Dulles, Bill Casey, Bill Colby and Richard Helms became symbols of the CIA’s worst Cold War failures and scandals. Waller vividly chronicles their accomplishments as young OSS operatives who put their lives at risk during World War II. This is an enthralling story of patriotism, courage, dedication, and, at times, reckless panache. Given the trajectory of their postwar lives, it is also a tragedy—a true American tragedy.” —Andrew Nagorski, author of Hitlerland and the forthcoming The Nazi Hunters

“Waller reintroduces us to the legendary spymasters who fought in World War II. In his gripping book, Waller gives us the little known backstories of the future intelligence chiefs and their cunning use of espionage and sabotage. Decades later, accused of bungled operations, crimes, and abuse of power, they would all go to war again, but this time just across the river in Washington.” —James Bamford, bestselling author of The Shadow Factory