Graham Greene's The Quiet American: Background information when reading The Quiet Americans

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The Quiet Americans

Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War--A Tragedy in Three Acts

by Scott Anderson

The Quiet Americans by Scott Anderson X
The Quiet Americans by Scott Anderson
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  • First Published:
    Sep 2020, 576 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2021, 608 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Peggy Kurkowski
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About this Book

Graham Greene's The Quiet American

This article relates to The Quiet Americans

Vintage cover of The Quiet American featuring a man in a suit lighting a cigaretteThe Quite Americans by Scott Anderson takes its name and inspiration from a highly popular 1955 spy novel by Graham Greene called The Quiet American.

Henry Graham Greene (1904-1991) was an English novelist, short story writer, journalist and playwright whose writing often focused on moral ambiguities set within political contexts. Many of his novels were very popular, especially his thrillers, or as he liked to call them, "entertainments."

Greene enjoyed writing "entertainments" dealing with spycraft and international espionage and was first inspired to write The Quiet American in 1951 after a jeep ride back to Saigon with a young American economic aid official. The young man regaled Greene with a lecture on how the Vietnamese needed to find a "third force" in Vietnam that was neither communist nor colonial, preferably a democratic force. The novel Greene published in 1955 centered around a young American intelligence operative named Alden Pyle and his support for the ...

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