The Bookplate is continuing their author event series in partnership with Chef Steve Quigg and The Kitchen for the fall season. On Wednesday, October 11th at 6pm, all are invited to The Kitchen and Pub at The Imperial Hotel as The Bookplate and The Starr Center at Washington College welcomes author and government intelligence scholar Jefferson Morley to discuss his book, Scorpions’ Dance.
For the 50th anniversary of the Watergate break-in: The untold story of President Richard Nixon, CIA Director Richard Helms, and their volatile shared secrets that ended a presidency. Scorpions’ Dance by intelligence expert and investigative journalist Jefferson Morley reveals the Watergate scandal in a completely new light: as the culmination of a concealed, deadly power struggle between President Richard Nixon and CIA Director Richard Helms.
Nixon and Helms went back decades; both were 1950s Cold Warriors, and both knew secrets about the disastrous Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba as well as off-the-books American government and CIA plots to remove Fidel Castro and other leaders in Latin America. Both had enough information on each other to ruin their careers.
After the Watergate burglary on June 17, 1972, Nixon was desperate to shut down the FBI’s investigation. He sought Helms’ support and asked that the CIA intervene—knowing that most of the Watergate burglars were retired CIA agents, contractors, or long-term assets with deep knowledge of the Agency’s most sensitive secrets. The two now circled each other like scorpions, defending themselves with the threat of lethal attack. The loser would resign his office in disgrace; the winner, however, would face consequences for the secrets he had kept.
Rigorously researched and dramatically told, Scorpions’ Dance uses long-neglected evidence to reveal a new perspective on one of America’s most notorious presidential scandals.
“In this, his third biography of a senior CIA official, Jefferson Morley’s pen is as sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel, his prose honed by years of sifting through information citizens were never meant to see. He gives us a hidden history.” -Anthony Summers, author of The Arrogance of Power and Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Eleventh Day
“Just when you think you’ve read everything there is to read about Watergate, along comes another analysis seen through a different lens. This is particularly true of Jefferson Morley’s new book Scorpions’ Dance: The President, the Spymaster, and Watergate. Mr. Morley’s lens is the relationship between President Nixon and Richard Helms, CIA director through all but a few months of the Nixon presidency, and it reveals a number of unexploded hand grenades previously undiscovered. The central issue is whether these two men enabled each other. No doubt, there is still more to be learned.” -Gary Hart, United States Senator (Ret.)
“Jefferson Morley’s taut, descriptive prose transports us back in time to relive the momentous events of the 1960s and 1970s, entering the minds of the colorful characters who shaped history to feel what they felt and to reimagine for ourselves the decisions they made and why. His purpose is evident in his open-minded yet relentless pursuit of the truth about the corrosive impact of intelligence covert action on individuals and organizations, and on democracy itself- and to reflect on the consequences of sacrificing truth for the sake of power.” -Rolf Mowatt-Larssen, former CIA operations officer and senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs
Jefferson Morley is a journalist and editor who has worked in Washington, D.C. journalism for over thirty years, fifteen of which were spent as an editor and reporter at The Washington Post. The author of The Ghost, Our Man In Mexico, and Snow-Storm in August, Morley has written about intelligence, military, and political subjects for Salon, Slate, CounterPunch, Just Security, and The Intercept, among others. He lives in Washington, D.C.
For more event details contact The Bookplate at 410-778-4167 or [email protected]. This event is free and open to the public and reservations are not required. The next author event is scheduled for 10/18 with local author Lisa Lynn Biggar. The Kitchen at the Imperial Hotel is located at 208 High Street in Chestertown, Maryland.