Thanks to NetGalley and Meier Publishing for the Audiobook ARC!
Age of Secrets is a comprehensive account of the Watergate Era, with a specific emphasis on the empire of Howard Hughes and his connections to the CIA and the US government in general. I found the book to be quite interesting, and learned a lot about some of the key characters from that era.
I’ve long been convinced that many Governments are puppet organisations, manipulated by shadowy players. Conspiracy theories abound and it’s difficult to sort the wheat from the chaff. Age of Secrets is one of the more credible accounts of interventions by named individuals who are playing to a different agenda.
It’s well narrated throughout and kept my attention, but I found the audio version quite difficult to follow. The subject matter is diverse and there are many key players, with Maier’s name cropping up consistently. I had to rewind more than once to follow which ‘side’ he was working for and check my understanding was correct. I think the author was very excited, often rightly, to expose what was really going on and why, but in that excitement became carried away with huge amounts of detail. For the lay reader, at times it was confusing and I wasn’t familiar with the background to some of the events, particularly in the Nixon era. I was intrigued to learn of the scope of Howard Hughes’ involvement in providing cover for nefarious Government activity.
Overall, I found most of the content plausible and persuasive. Possibly a paper version of the book would be easier to follow and cross refer. It’s an exciting insight and I’m sorry I can’t give it 5* but I will give 4. For anyone interested in the machinations of Government at an international level, this is brave attempt to draw out how the public and world is fooled by a few. A lot of food for thought b
This appears to be an updated version of this book including recent developments and events in the life of the main subject, John H. Meier. He was involved in a lot of behind the scenes activities in areas like nuclear disarmament, Howard Hughes, and Watergate.
It appears I'm kind of in the minority regarding this book. Most found it a fascinating read about the USA's secrets and conspiracies. However, I thought there were several problems with the book. First, I think the subject was too broad and ended up very convoluted. I didn't like the organization and storytelling of the book. There were too many players and they just seemed to pop up out of nowhere. I couldn't keep track of who was who and there was a lot of jumping around between scenes. I know that Mr. Meier had his hand in a lot of pies, but I think it should've been whittled down or organized better. Second, the whole thing just read like a badly written spy novel. I understand this was how it may have been done, but how many times could "Go to the third bench, call this number, and ask for Mr. Smith." keep coming up. Finally, I thought it was strange that in the writing, the actual phone numbers that people called were included. I guess the editor didn't see this as a problem, but I thought it was a strange decision.
I'm sorry I couldn't write a more positive review, but I just found too many things that bothered me.
Thank you to Meier Publishing and NetGalley for an ARC audiobook in exchange for an honest review.