David Ignatius is an American journalist and novelist born in Cambridge, Massachusetts on May 26, 1950, to parents Nancy Sharpless and Paul Robert Ignatius, who formerly worked as a Secretary of the Navy, as president of The Washington Post, and a former Air Transport Association President. His father is of Armenian descent and his mother is German and English descent.
David Ignatius has written several true to life spy and suspense thriller novels, many having to do with political themes and the inner workings of intelligence agencies, of which Ignatius has collected background understanding of intelligence operations and foreign affairs through his many years of journalism. He was raised in Washington, D.C., and attended St. Albans School while there.
David Ignatius went to Harvard College and graduated in 1973 magna cum laude. Having been awarded a Frank Knox Fellowship, he also attended Kings College at Cambridge University and received a diploma in the field of economics. He has worked as an associate editor and a columnist for The Washington Post and began as an editor at publication the Washington Monthly before going onto the famed Wall Street Journal, working there for a decade as a reporter. He moved to Washington and there covered such topics as the CIA, Senate, and Justice Department.
He worked for the Journal as a correspondent in the Middle East from 1980-1983, covering the wars in Iraq and Lebanon, before returning to Washington in 1984 and left the Journal for the Post in 1986, working as the editor of the Outlook section from ’86 to ’90. For the next two years, he worked as the foreign editor, becoming assistant managing editor for business news from 1993 to 1999 when he started writing a column on politics and more that was published twice-weekly.
From there, he went on to become the executive editor in Paris of the International Herald Tribune in 2000, coming back into the Post in 2002 and continuing to write a column once a week. Ignatius also formerly worked at Harvard as an adjunct lecturer at the Kennedy School of Government. He is also a Senior Fellow for the Future of Diplomacy program.
Ignatius has published ten novels since then. One of them, Body of Lies, was adapted into a film that was directed by Ridley Scott and starred Russell Crowe and Leonardo DiCaprio. He is the co-host of an online discussion focusing on international issues at the Washington Post’s online site that is called PostGlobal with Fareed Zakaria. He currently lives with his wife, Dr. Eve Thornberg Ignatius, and they have three daughters together.
His first novel was published in 1987 and was called Agents of Innocence, which was described by the C.I.A. as being a novel, “but not fiction”. He has received many honors, including awards from France, Italy, and a lifetime achievement award from the ICFJ.
Ignatius has had writing published in many publications, including The New Republic, New York Times Magazine, Foreign Affairs, The Atlantic Monthly, and The Washington Monthly. He has also frequently been accused of being an apologist for the CIA and covering them in a way that is overwhelmingly positive, including criticizing the Obama administration for investigating torture use during Iraq War interrogations. Opposers say that he has also frequently criticized the approach to intelligence by the CIA and U.S. government, being critical of the Bush administration’s policies on torture.
His novels are compared to classic spy novels, such as those authored by Graham Greene. His only novel not in the espionage genre is The Sun King, published in 1999. His novel The Increment has had film rights acquired by producer Jerry Bruckheimer. His latest novel The Quantum Spy focuses on an international race to build the first quantum computer. Ignatius is teaming up with composer Mohammed Fairouz for a political opera based on the teachings of Machiavelli.
He served in 2012 as an adjunct lecturer teaching a course on international affairs at the JFK School of Government at Harvard University, where he currently serves as a Senior Fellow for their diplomacy program.
He is the author of Agents of Innocence, Siro, The Bank of Fear, Bloodmoney, and more. This is the debut novel that put Ignatius on the map for his spy thrillers. Readers will love diving into this interesting world where alliances shift as quickly as the wind does. Subterfuge goes to a whole new level when it comes to the employees of the CIA.
The main character in Agents of Innocence is Tom Rogers, who works for the C.I.A. and is currently working out of Beirut offices in Lebanon in the sixties and early seventies. He is working to make useful contacts that will help the agency protect their people around the world. Lebanon has different cultures that subscribe to different religious beliefs, and the segregation and different sides are making it seem that another civil war for Lebanon is just a breath away.
His job is to infiltrate the P.L.O. and find a high-level operative, recruiting them to work for the United States. But this may be more difficult than Rogers anticipates, and the price of innocence in a time that has no use for it will be high.
Siro is the second novel by David Ignatius. It was published in 1991. In this novel, the main character Alan Taylor is an agent for the CIA. But when the CIA starts to tighten their restrictions and pull their ranks together to secrecy, his mission may challenge his life and his job alike. Taylor has a mission that is top-secret: his goal is to destabilize the Soviet Union.
As if that weren’t a high enough goal, Taylor finds himself attracted to his new recruit. Anna Barnes is gorgeous, and he thinks that she is starting to develop feelings for him, too. On the way to finishing his mission, Alan crosses legal bounds and even moral ones as he attempts to do his duty. Anna might just have signed up for way more than she originally bargained for in this fast-paced world of danger, politics, agendas, loyalties, and spies. Pick up this book and see what happens for yourself!
Books in order of publication by series:
|Agents of Innocence||(1987)|
|The Bank of Fear||(1994)|
|A Firing Offence||(1997)|
|The Sun King||(1999)|
|Body of Lies||(2007)|