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Jesus, My Father, The CIA, and Me

A Memoir. . . of Sorts
Format: Paperback

Availability: In stock

Quick Overview:

In this surprisingly funny and forgiving memoir, Ian reminds us that no matter how different the pieces may be, in the end we are all cut from the same cloth, stitched by faith into an exquisite quilt of grace. 
  “When I first discovered the grainy picture in my mother’s desk—me as a towheaded two year old sitting in what I remember was a salmon-orange-stained lifeboat—I was overwhelmed by the feeling that the boy in the boat was not waving and laughing at the person snapping the photo as much as he was frantically trying to get the attention of the man I am today. The boy was beckoning me to join him on a voyage through the harrowing straits of memory. He was gambling that if we survived the passage, we might discover an ocean where the past would become the wind at our back rather than a driving gale to the nose of our boat. This book is the record of that voyage.” 

When he was sixteen years old, Ian Morgan Cron was told about his father’s clandestine work with the CIA.  This astonishing revelation, coupled with his father’s dark struggles with chronic alcoholism and depression, upended the world of a boy struggling to become a man.  Decades later, as he faces his own personal demons, Ian realizes the only way to find peace is to voyage back through a painful childhood marked by extremes—privilege and poverty, violence and tenderness, truth and deceit—that he’s spent years trying to escape.  

In this surprisingly funny and forgiving memoir, Ian reminds us that no matter how different the pieces may be, in the end we are all cut from the same cloth, stitched by faith into an exquisite quilt of grace. 

 “Simultaneously redemptive and consoling with bright moments of humor . . . this story is chock-full of sacredness and hope. Cron is one of only a few spirituality authors who could articulate these themes as poignantly.”


“Ian Cron writes with astonishing energy and freshness; his metaphors stick fast in the imagination. This is neither a simple memoir of hurt endured, nor a tidy story of reconciliation and resolution. It is—rather like Augustine’s Confessions—a testimony to the unfinished business of grace.”

DR. ROWAN WILLIAMS, Archbishop of Canterbury

“Ian Cron has the gift of making his human journey a parable for all of our journeys. Read this profound book and be well fed, and freed.”

FR. RICHARD ROHR, O.F.M., author of Everything Belongs

“Ian Morgan Cron is a brilliant writer. This is the kind of book that you don’t just read. It reads you.”

MARK BATTERSON, author of In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day

Contributor(s) Ian Morgan Cron
About the Contributor(s) Ian Morgan Cron

Ian Morgan Cron is an author and nationally recognized speaker. His spiritual memoir Jesus, My Father, the CIA, and Me: A Memoir...of Sorts was a Wall Street Journal bestseller and a featured title in the Barnes & Noble Discover Great New Writers program. Ian lives in Tennessee with his wife, and three children. Website:

ISBN-10 0849946107
ISBN-13 9780849946103
Release Date Jun 7, 2011
Weight (lbs) 0.5400
Height 8.38
Width 5.50
Length 272
Length Unit Pages
Publisher Thomas Nelson
Price $15.99
Format Paperback
Language English

Customer Reviews

Review by Mari
Overall Rating
Ian Cron’s dad is an abusive alcoholic who’s friends with a lot of well-dressed suits. Occasionally Ian finds pictures of his dad with celebrities, or say, the president. Ian tries everything to get his dad’s attention, and even risks becoming just like him. Ian’s memoir ranges from all-American to seriously messed up and is sprinkled with stories of his spiritual journey from alter boy to rebel to priest.

I’m nosey, and this book is juicy. Cron’s writing is intelligent, fast-paced and witty. Cron’s dad’s alcoholism messed up their family emotionally and financially. That’s the focus of the story. Cron longs to be close to God from a young age, but wonders if he’s lovable since his own dad doesn't even notice him. That broke my heart. I like Cron’s descriptions of Jesus tying a rope around Cron’s waist as a kid and tethering him his whole life until he draws him back. I love stories where people can’t get away from Jesus, and Cron’s spiritual journey is NOT cliché, trite or untested—fascinating!

I was slightly disappointed by the limited and vague stories of his dad’s CIA affiliation. I kept waiting for a big reveal that never happened, but Cron’s own story is engaging enough that I didn't really mind. Maybe “CIA” shouldn't be in the title. But I admit, that’s why I picked it, and I enjoyed it.

You can find this on my bookshelf next to “My Spy: Memoir of a CIA wife” by Bina C. Kiyonaga. (Posted on 7/16/2013)

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