John le Carré, Iraq War Critic and Legendary Author of Spy Novels, Dies at 89

HeadlineDec 14, 2020

The world-renowned British novelist John le Carré has died at the age of 89. Le Carré established himself as a master writer of spy novels in a career that spanned more than half a century. He worked in the British Secret Service from the late 1950s until the early '60s, at the height of the Cold War — which was the topic of his early novels. His later works focused on the inequities of globalization, unchecked multinational corporate power and the role national spy services play in protecting corporate interests. Le Carré was also a fierce critic of the U.S. response to the 9/11 attacks and the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq. In January 2003, he published a widely read essay called “The United States of America Has Gone Mad”; in 2010, he read excerpts of that essay on Democracy Now!

John le Carré: “How Bush and his junta succeeded in deflecting America’s anger from bin Laden to Saddam Hussein is one of the great public relations conjuring tricks of history. But they swung it. A recent poll tells us that one in two Americans now believe Saddam was responsible for the attack on the World Trade Centre. But the American public is not merely being misled. It is being browbeaten and kept in a state of ignorance and fear.”

Click here to see our full-hour interview with John le Carré when we saw him in London.

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