This fiction of independence and innocence survives whatever insidious nexus between state and writer the historical record might offer. Joel Whitney’s recent book, Finks: How the CIA Tricked the World’s Best Writers, offers an enthralling account of the weird, hallucinogenic mix that incorporated the CIA, the Congress for Cultural Freedom (an anti-Communist advocacy group funded by the CIA), and The Paris Review, with its worldwide web of deception ranging from ensnaring Gabriel Garcia Marquez into publishing his fiction in a right-wing magazine to putting select American writers in the “joint emploi” of literature and the CIA.

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