Reactions

“Scott Johnson has written a fine book of unusual honesty. In The Wolf and the Watchman he grapples with his beloved father’s secret life and the profound consequences it has had in his own. This is an extraordinary story, astonishingly well-told.”  – Jon Lee Anderson, author of Che Guevara.

“Scott Johnson has fashioned a vivid and compelling memoir of his life, father and career that spans continents, wars and the covert secret world. This is a story about blood and love, and how family life and public life refract and rebound off one another.” — Dexter Filkins, author of The Forever War.

“Scott Johnson’s stunning memoir could be ripped from the pages of a John Le Carre novel. What if your father is a spy? Johnson answers this question by telling his own incredible tale in this beautifully written debut. He brings a journalist’s eye to exploring a childhood of intrigue and secrets inside the CIA, and adulthood spent as a war correspondent in the world’s most dangerous places, from Kabul to Mexico City to Baghdad. How do we live with lies? Does the truth really set us free? Can we really know our fathers? A fascinating, important, book by one of the great American foreign correspondents of his generation.” – Michael Hastings, contributing editor to Rolling Stone and New York Times bestselling author of The Operators: The Wild and Terrifying Inside Story of America’s War in Afghanistan.

“A beautifully written memoir, and a cautionary tale about double lives. I couldn’t put this book down.” – Robert Baer, former CIA case officer and author of See No Evil and Sleeping With the Devil.

Scott Johnson has written an aching, lyrical father-son story of the spy world that is dark and intriguing. – Evan Thomas, author of The War Lovers.

“With haunting imagery and admirable candor, Scott Johnson unfolds a coming of age story in the shadow of the CIA. This brave and memorable book provides a rare glimpse at the private life of a spy and digs into the love, lies and ambiguities between father and son. The resulting work is a globetrotting adventure with a bittersweet aftertaste.’ – Megan Stack, author of Every Man in This Village is a Liar.

“Scott Johnson has written a mesmerizing book about a mysterious father, a son’s search for truth, and the hidden motives of hearts and souls. Part spy story and part love story, The Wolf and the Watchman is beautifully written, deeply moving, and compulsively readable.’ – David Finkel, author of The Good Soldiers.

“Scott Johnson’s moving account of life with a covert CIA dad is very much worth your reading–for its important discussion of the consequences of secrets on ordinary Americans and particularly CIA families.” – Joel Whitney, editor of Guernica Magazine.