The Lone Gladio’s ability to distill the complexity of the “Deep State” down to its most basic properties is arguably the novel’s greatest achievement. Through a vast array of pieced together narratives, with characters spread out within a wide labyrinth of hidden networks and locations––from Turkey to Vietnam; Washington to Azerbaijan––a comprehensive vision of this veiled reality is meticulously constructed.
The book’s title is also much more than just an obscure allusion to Operation Gladio, the codename for NATO’s secret “stay-behind” army units originally utilized in Western Europe as protection against Soviet invasion after World War II. ...The Lone Gladio pulls readers into a new world still reeling from the contrail left behind by the former pro-active Cold War operation currently in its second phase of revision: Operation Gladio B.
We’ve lived so long under the spell of hierarchy—from god-kings to feudal lords to party bosses—that only recently have we awakened to see not only that “regular” citizens have the capacity for self-governance, but that without their engagement our huge global crises cannot be addressed. The changes needed for human society simply to survive, let alone thrive, are so profound that the only way we will move toward them is if we ourselves, regular citizens, feel meaningful ownership of solutions through direct engagement. Our problems are too big, interrelated, and pervasive to yield to directives from on high.
—Frances Moore Lappé, excerpt from Time for Progressives to Grow Up