Skip to main content

This program is sold out.
Call us at (202) 633-3030 to get on the Wait List.

Don’t miss out on future programs like this.
As a Smithsonian Associates member, you will receive ticket-buying priority.

The Ghosts of Langley: How the CIA’s Leaders Shaped the Agency

Evening Program with Book Signing

Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Code: 1W0018

By its very nature, the Central Intelligence Agency is an organization whose operations and history are necessarily cloaked in secrecy. What can outsiders really expect to learn about how the agency operates? John Prados, a senior fellow of the National Security Archive based at George Washington University, offers a clue: Organizations reflect the characters and personalities of their founders and giants in the field—for better or worse.

Through a critical examination of CIA leaders past and present, Prados offers a window into the often-unknowable workings of the world of Langley. He looks at a series of CIA leaders, including George Tenet, Richard Helms, and Frank Wisner, analyzing their influences on the spirit and direction of the agency both during and after their tenures. In the process, he surveys key operations in modern CIA history—both successful and controversial—and offers insights into the agency’s potential evolution.

Prados, who directs the National Security Archive’s CIA and Vietnam documentation projects, has authored books on international security as well as diplomatic, intelligence, and military history. His newest, The Ghosts of Langley: Into the CIA's Heart of Darkness (The New Press), is available for sale and signing.


S. Dillon Ripley Center
1100 Jefferson Dr SW
Metro: Smithsonian (Mall exit)