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


-- Facebook -- https://www.facebook.com/MonteReelAuthor
-- Twitter -- https://twitter.com/montereel1?lang=en
-- Website -- https://www.montereel.net/
-- Monte Reel on WorldCat -- http://www.worldcat.org/search?q=monte+reel

E-Mail: -- Contact through montereelauthor (at) gmail.com


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 Expand for more information


Titles At Your Library

The Last of the Tribe: The Epic Quest to Save a Lone Man in the Amazon by Monte Reel (2010-06-15)
ISBN: B01K3IHWS6

Scribner. 1733

Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure that Took the Victorian World by Storm
ISBN: 0385534221

Doubleday. 2013

The unbelievably riveting adventure of an unlikely young explorer who emerged from the jungles of Africa with evidence of a mysterious, still mythical beast—the gorilla—only to stumble straight into the center of the biggest debate of the day: Darwin's theory of evolution

In 1856 Paul Du Chaillu marched into the equatorial wilderness of West Africa determined to bag an animal that, according to legend, was nothing short of a monster. When he emerged three years later, the summation of his efforts only hinted at what he'd experienced in one of the most dangerous regions on earth. Armed with an astonishing collection of zoological specimens, Du Chaillu leapt from the physical challenges of the jungle straight into the center of the biggest issues of the time—the evolution debate, racial discourse, the growth of Christian fundamentalism—and helped push each to unprecedented intensities. He experienced instant celebrity, but with that fame came whispers—about his past, his credibility, and his very identity—which would haunt the young man. Grand in scope, immediate in detail, and propulsively readable, Between Man and Beast brilliantly combines Du Chaillu's personal journey with the epic tale of a world hovering on the sharp edge of transformation.

A Brotherhood of Spies: The U-2 and the CIA's Secret War
ISBN: 0385540205

Doubleday. 2018

A thrilling dramatic narrative of the top-secret Cold War-era spy plane operation that transformed the CIA and brought the U.S. and the Soviet Union to the brink of disaster

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 charges, 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 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 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 clandestine successes and all-too-public failures make this brilliantly reported account a true-life thriller with the highest stakes and tragic repercussions.


Speaking Engagements

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

brooklynliterary.com