"This marvelously detailed biography of Allen Dulles, one of the few CIA directors who devoted much of his life to intelligence operations, traces much of the history of the United States in the twentieth century through these operations. Dulles's virtues - and weaknesses - are revealed. We are left with a full portrait of an authentic American patriot and statesman."
James Schlesinger, former Director of Central Intelligence and Secretary of Defense
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In a conventionally organized but somewhat superficially sourced biography governed by a subtle patriotic tone, Srodes takes a generally approving view of the man who, more than anybody else, defined the mission of the Central Intelligence Agency. The book's organization is strictly chronological, touching on Dulles's prominent (but not wealthy) ancestry before it chronicles his life (1893-1969). A Washington, D.C., journalist, Srodes (Dream Maker: The Rise and Fall of John Z. De Lorean) undertook the Dulles biography at the urging of the spymaster's sister Eleanor, herself a well-known economist and diplomat until her death at age 101. Dulles has received less attention than his more famous brother, John Foster Dulles, secretary of state under President Eisenhower at the same time Allen was forming the CIA. While Dulles's contemporaries took his extramarital escapades, low profile and sense of humor as signs of frivolity, Srodes sees these actions and traits as just the exterior of a complex man. Furthermore, Srodes argues against the conventional wisdom that Dulles was largely a failure because of U.S. policy toward Cuba (especially the Bay of Pigs), Iran, Indonesia and Vietnam. Rather, Srodes presents Dulles as a capable, moral, loyal, persistent man who left the world a better place. Less notable for its insight into policy than into character, the book is distinguished largely by the access Srodes had to previously restricted family papers, access that gave him an advantage over Dulles's two previous biographers, Leonard Mosley and Peter Grose, neither of whom is mentioned in the bibliography.
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This second biography of Dulles is perceptibly more admiring than was the first (Gentleman Spy by Peter Grose, 1994). Srodes credits Dulles with being ahead of conventional wisdom, for example, in leading American intelligence away from its ad hoc wartime status to sounder bureaucratic footings in the CIA. The issue of intelligence's purposes and organization aside, Srodes delivers the cradle-to-grave narrative. Dulles seemed to have a genetic interest in foreign affairs: his grandfather was a Union general and diplomat, and an uncle was Wilson's second secretary of state. Dulles went from Princeton into the foreign service, which by default doubled its diplomatic function with intelligence gathering. Dulles did both in Vienna, a sensitive post in World War I. He reprised and exceeded his performance in the next world war, as the OSS chief in Switzerland, with Srodes covering his interim careers as lawyer, failed congressional candidate, Council on Foreign Relations bigwig, and CIA director. Competent content-wise, this work's utilitarian style might deflect casual readers but not committed devotees of espionage history. Gilbert Taylor
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Descrizione libro Regnery History, 2000. Paperback. Condizione libro: New. Never used!. Codice libro della libreria P110895262231
Descrizione libro Regnery History. PAPERBACK. Condizione libro: New. 0895262231 New Condition. Codice libro della libreria NEW7.0496504