In his previous book, The Gatekeepers, Chris Whipple, a former journalist and TV producer and now a documentary filmmaker, explored the role of White House chiefs of staff in defining the presidencies in which they serve. In The Spymasters, he looks at another group of highly influential Washington officials—those who’ve led the Central Intelligence Agency over the years. While drawing on interviews with most of the ex-directors still alive, the book is not meant, as Whipple says at the start, to be a formal history of the CIA. Rather, it’s an examination of how the directors have shaped the agency and world events. Those who’ve led the agency are a varied bunch, ranging from experienced intelligence officers to former politicians, military commanders, and academics. The best, Whipple contends, have been those who got close to the presidents they served but were never partisan.