Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Monte Reel  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Non-Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: in Mattoon, Illinois

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E-Mail: -- Contact through montereelauthor (at)

Illinois Connection

Reel was born in Mattoon. He currently lives in the Chicago area.

Biographical and Professional Information

Monte Reel's writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, and other magazines. He currently writes for Bloomberg Businessweek as part of its Projects & Investigations staff, and previously was a foreign correspondent for The Washington Post.

Published Works

  • The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon, Scribner, 2010
  • Between Man and Beast, Doubleday, 2013
  • A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War, Doubleday, 2018

Selected Titles At Your Library

Between man and beast :
ISBN: 0385534221. OCLC Number:

Doubleday,. New York :. ©2013.

Documents the story of mid-19th-century explorer Paul Du Chaillu, who after three years in the equatorial wilderness of West Africa emerged with definitive proof of the existence of the mythical gorilla, only to be swept up by the heated debate about Darwin's theory of evolution.

A brotherhood of spies :
ISBN: 0385540205. OCLC Number:

. .

"On May 1, 1960, an American U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union just weeks before a peace summit between the two nations. The CIA concocted a cover story for President Eisenhower to deliver, assuring him that no one could have survived a fall from that altitude. And even if pilot Francis Gary Powers had survived, he had been supplied with a poison pin with which to commit suicide. But against all odds, Powers emerged from the wreckage and was seized by the KGB. He confessed to espionage, revealing to the world that Eisenhower had just lied to the American people--and to the Soviet Premier. Infuriated, Nikita Khrushchev slammed the door on a rare opening in Cold War relations. In A Brotherhood of Spies, award-winning journalist Monte Reel reveals how the U-2 spy program, principally devised by four men working in secret, upended the Cold War and carved out a new mission for the CIA. This secret fraternity, made up of Edwin Land, best known as the inventor of instant photography and the head of Polaroid Corporation; Clarence "Kelly" Johnson, a hard-charging taskmaster from Lockheed; Richard Bissell, the secretive and ambitious spymaster; and ace Air Force flyer Powers, set out to replace yesterday's fallible human spies with tomorrow's undetectable eye in the sky. Their groundbreaking clandestine successes and all-too-public failures make this brilliantly reported account a true-life thriller with the highest stakes and the most tragic repercussions."--Dust jacket.

Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagement Availability Agent: Larry Weissman Literary at larry (at)