From the shadows: the ultimate insider's story of five presidents and how they won the Cold War

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Simon & Schuster, 1996 - Biography & Autobiography - 604 pages
13 Reviews
The only person to rise from entry-level analyst to Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and to serve on the White House staffs of four Presidents, Robert M. Gates knows firsthand the deepest secrets of the Cold War. Drawing on his personal experiences in the CIA and on the National Security Council staff in the White House, as well as on intimate knowledge of CIA documents and activities never before revealed, Gates tells how the Cold War was really fought. From Nixon's detente policy to Reagan's arming of the Mujahedin in their war against the Soviets in Afghanistan, he tells the true story of American policy toward the Soviet Union, placing special emphasis on the White House and the CIA. Gates shows that, contrary to conventional wisdom, there was extraordinary continuity of policy from one President to the next, most strikingly from Carter to Reagan: the former laid the foundations for many of the latter's policies, including CIA covert action in the Third World, efforts to undermine the legitimacy of the Soviet regime at home, continued strategic modernization, and the conduct of economic warfare against the USSR - policies all dramatically expanded and pursued with enthusiasm by Reagan. Brimming with eyewitness accounts of historic meetings, epic internal battles over policy, secret missions, covert operations, and other intelligence activities, From the Shadows challenges much of the conventional wisdom about the events and personalities of the period. Among Gates's revelations: Carter's covert program to encourage the dissident movement and provoke ethnic unrest in the USSR, and how the State Department and the CIA secretly collaborated to block the effort; CIApredictions of a conservative coup against Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Union, two years before these events occurred; CIA and KGB "black operations" against each other; the secret relationship between Pope John Paul II and the Kremlin; the three secret CIA-KGB "summits".

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Review: From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

User Review  - Kurishin - Goodreads

Interesting balance between Cold War storytelling/analysis and politicking. My perception of the Cold War was changed through reading this book and Gates does get into the personalities involved, too. One gets the sense there is so much more that he doesn't or can't write. Read full review

Review: From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

User Review  - Jada Tullos - Goodreads

Well-done blend of fact and some honest opinions. Gates obviously did much research in addition to his personal recollections of the Cold War during the 70s and 80s which makes his book particularly ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Robert M. Gates is President of Texas A&M University. He served as Director of Central Intelligence from 1991 to 1993, where he headed all foreign intelligence agencies of the U.S. and directed the Central Intelligence Agency.

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