By Henry Bromell
"Little America opens in Boston today and tells the story of a man in search of the truth about his father’s past, a past locked away in the C.I.A.’s code of silence. Terry Hooper’s father—-Quaker-raised, Yale-educated, a sometime poet, now a retired (is he?) State Department veteran—was, in the 1950s, the C.I.A. station chief in Kurash, a small, newly constituted Middle Eastern country, a country caught in the grip of cold war politics, a country of beautiful and frightening Otherness (Arab women hidden behind their veils, scar-faced men on horseback with curved sabers, and streets that melted in the heat), 90 percent Muslim, lodged like a walnut between Syria and Iraq. Mack Hooper’s assignment: to win the confidence of the King of Kurash, an enigmatic, British-educated desert aristocrat to whom no one, not even the U.S. Ambassador, had been able to get close. In a narrative that moves backward and forward in time, Terry puts together the pieces of the puzzle that has haunted him. Is his father a good man? Was he a friend to the young King, or a diplomat-seducer sent to betray him?"