Magnificent book because it is so applicable to today's world. Graham Greene writes espionage books and this is no exception. The Quiet American is about the effect the superpowers have when they intervene in the politics of the developing nations. Death and mayhem ensue. This books is about Vietnam during the last days of French colonial rule and how Pyle, the quiet American, believes that "democracy" is the way to save Vietnam from communism. Pyle's philosophy is that it doesn't really matter who gets hurt as long as democracy takes control. Sounds very much like today's philosophy! His "covert" actions, which everyone seems to know about, will eventually lead to his murder.I find the book prophetic because it was written and published before the American involvement in Vietnam. The jaded British journalist warns Pyle of the dangers of interfering with other countries' politics and supporting the thugs who are rebelling against local authorities. The result of American intervention led to the futile war we waged in Vietnam. The only reason I did not give the book five stars was I found the narration of the story confusing. It goes back and forth in time and sometimes Graham does not indicate which time he is writing about...you have to guess for several paragraphs.