Larry Kolb was born into a house of spies. Raised all over the world as the son of a high-ranking American spymaster, Kolb learned from his father to think, look, and listen like a spy. "The overworld" was Larry's father's term for the powers-that-be, the figures behind the figureheads who secretly shape the world we live in. Overworld is Larry Kolb's story of his own life-long and intimate interaction with those powers: how his unusual childhood led to his decision to turn down the CIA when they first recruited him, and how his ascent in the international business world-becoming, among other things, Muhammad Ali's agent and friend-became his unlikely path back into the world of espionage.
With friends like Ali, Kolb soon had invitations to the parties, palaces, boardrooms, and bedrooms-especially in the Middle East-of many of the world's wealthiest and most powerful people. Arms traders, coup plotters, gem smugglers, princes, prime ministers, dictators, and tycoons: Kolb had easy entrée to the dealmakers and opinion-makers, the idealistic and not-so-idealistic leaders whose backroom conversations make the world go round. Kolb's extraordinary access made him irresistible to legendary spymaster and CIA co-founder Miles Copeland. Beginning with secret negotiations with the Ayatollah Khomeini and a covert mission to Beirut with Ali to secure the release of an American hostage, Kolb found his way back to the family business, becoming Miles Copeland's eyes and ears in, among other places, Libya, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Pakistan, India, Nicaragua, and Peru.
From the frontlines of the world's covert wars to Miles Copeland's cozy study in the English countryside and the corridors of power in London, Riyadh, Washington, and New York, Kolb takes us on an exclusive tour of the secret world that is all around us, but almost never seen. Unlike any book before it, Overworld casts in genuinely human terms what it means and feels like to be a spy - from the practical to the emotional, it reveals how the world of espionage and covert statecraft actually works, and exposes the dark heart of a life built on betrayals.