Image - Inside the CIA's Secret History

Past Event

Annie Jacobsen: Inside the CIA's Secret History

Annie Jacobsen is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative journalist whose work revolves around government secrets. She has published books on a range of topics, including what really goes on inside Area 51; Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists to America; and government-funded research projects on extrasensory perception (ESP) and psychokinesis.

Her latest book delves into one of the most infamously covert agencies in the country: the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins is an unprecedented look inside the Special Activities Division of the CIA, one of the most effective black operations in the world. Through interviews with 42 men and women who served in covert CIA operations, she delivers a shocking exposé of U.S. covert operations with the pace and novelistic skill of a thriller.

Join us for an insider’s view on this controversial and understandably obscure component of American foreign policy and the political, ethical and legal quandaries that have come with it.


 Jacobsen photo © Hilary Jones

May 15, 2019

The Commonwealth Club
110 The Embarcadero
Taube Family Auditorium
San Francisco, 94105
United States

Image - Jacobsen

Annie Jacobsen

Former Contributing Editor, Los Angeles Times Magazine; Author, Surprise, Kill, Vanish: The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies Operators, and Assassins; Twitter @AnnieJacobsen

In Conversation with Quentin Hardy

Head of Editorial, Google Cloud


11 a.m. check-in
noon program
1 p.m. book signing