British Novelist John le Carré on the Iraq War, Corporate Power, the Exploitation of Africa and His New Novel, "Our Kind of Traitor"
Today, we spend the hour with world-renowned British novelist John le Carré, the pen name of David Cornwell. Le Carré’s writing career spans half a century, during which he has established himself as a master spy writer. His latest novel, his twenty-second, is entitled Our Kind of Traitor. David Cornwell worked in the British Secret Services from the late 1950s until the early 1960s, at the height of the Cold War. His third novel, The Spy Who Came in from the Cold, became an international bestseller. As the Cold War ended, le Carré continued to write prolifically, shifting focus to the inequities of globalization, unchecked multinational corporate power, and the role national spy services play in protecting corporate interests. "The things that are done in the name of the shareholder are, to me, as terrifying as the things that are done—dare I say it—in the name of God," le Carré tells Democracy Now! Perhaps best known among his many post-Cold War novels is The Constant Gardener, depicting a pharmaceutical company’s exploitation of unwitting Kenyans for dangerous, sometimes fatal, drug tests. In this rare US interview, le Carré also discusses Tony Blair’s role in the Iraq war, US policy toward Iran, and international money laundering. [includes rush transcript]