About the Author

Kai Bird

The Good Spy is Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer Kai Bird’s compelling portrait of the remarkable life and death of one of the most important operatives in CIA history – a man who, had he lived, might have helped heal the rift between Arabs and the West.


The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames will be released by Crown/Random House on May 20, 2014.


“Kai Bird has produced a compelling and complex narrative that must be read on many levels – including as a detailed account of the immense influence that a truly good man can have on an agency as cynical as the CIA, and as a reminder of a myriad of losses. Robert Ames did not live long enough to get what he most desperately wanted -- a real peace in the Middle East. And America's intelligence agencies no longer seem as welcoming to agents with the wisdom, vision and integrity that Ames exemplified.”


-Seymour Hersh, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Price of Power, The Dark Side of Camelot, and Chain of Command


Kai Bird's last book, Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978, was released by Scribner on April 20, 2010. This book is a meld of personal memoir and history, fusing his early life in Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Egypt with an intimate account of the American experience in the Middle East and the Arab-Israeli tragedy. It was a finalist for the 2011 National Book Critics Circle Award in the category of Autobiography. It was also a Finalist for the 2011 Dayton Literary Peace Prize.


Kai Bird is the co-author with Martin J. Sherwin of the Pulitzer Prize-winning biography, American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer (2005), which also won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Biography and the Duff Cooper Prize for History in London. He wrote The Chairman: John J. McCloy, the Making of the American Establishment (1992) and The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy & William Bundy, Brothers in Arms (1998). He is also co-editor with Lawrence Lifschultz of Hiroshima's Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy (1998). He is the recipient of fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Alicia Patterson Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the Thomas J. Watson Foundation, the German Marshall Fund, the Rockefeller Foundation's Study Center, Bellagio, Italy and the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars in Washington DC. He is an elected member of the Society of American Historians and a contributing editor of The Nation. He lives in Miami Beach with his wife Susan Goldmark.


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Kai Bird is represented by the Ross Yoon Literary Agency in Washington DC,

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BOOKS

  • The Good Spy: The Life and Death of Robert Ames





    April 18, 1983, a bomb exploded ou...Read More

  • Crossing Mandelbaum Gate: Coming of Age Between the Arabs and Israelis, 1956-1978

    Pulitzer Prize-winner Kai Bird's vivid memoir of an American...Read More

  • American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer




    Kai Bird's and Martin J. Sherwin's biogr...Read More

  • The Color of Truth: McGeorge Bundy and William Bundy: Brothers in Arms

    This dual biography of the brothers who were top aides to Pr...Read More

  • The Chairman: John J. McCloy & The Making of the American Establishment




    The definitive biography of John J. McCl...Read More

  • Hiroshima's Shadow: Writings on the Denial of History and the Smithsonian Controversy

    "Hiroshima's Shadow is easily the best overview of the most ...Read More

Kai Bird