Declassified: 50 Top-secret Documents that Changed History

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National Geographic Books, 2008 - History - 320 pages
7 Reviews
Culled from archives around the world, the 50 documents in Declassified illuminate the secret and often inaccessible stories of agents, espionage, and behind-the-scenes events that played critical roles in American history. Moving through time from Elizabethan England to the Cold War and beyond, noted author Tom Allen places each document in its historical and cultural context, sharing the quirky and little-known truths behind state secrets and clandestine operations. Each of seven chapters centers on one particular theme: secrets of war, the art of the double cross, spy vs. spy, espionage accidents, and more. Through support and access provided by the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C., this lively history contains never-before-published and hard-to-find documents--printed from scans of the originals wherever possible. These include The Zimmerman Telegram, which led America into World War I; letters from Robert Hanssen to his Soviet spymaster, marking the start of his devastating career as a mole; and papers as recent as the Presidential Daily Brief that announced that Bin Laden was determined to strike the U.S.--delivered in August 2001.

The public interest in state secrets and espionage has been piqued by our current international conflicts, and this engrossing book--well priced and engagingly written for the general reader--will definitely feed that fascination.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - louisste - LibraryThing

Declassified selects and presents 50 documents relating to important events of world history, and gives a few pages of explanation for each event. However the documents themselves do not get the ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Schmerguls - LibraryThing

This book examines 50 documents which "changed history." Two or three pages are devoted to each document--some are documents which I have read whole books on. The prose is National Georgraphic prose ... Read full review


Spying on the Armada
Washington Finds a Spy
Benedict Arnold Becomes a Spy
The Lady Is a Spy
A Golden Export to Canada
TR Remembers the Maine
The Star of DoubleCross
A Diversionary Maneuver
Mincemeat Swallowed Whole
Broadcasting Believable Lies
The Game Against England
Lees Lost Order
Papers from a Corpse

A Telegrams Special Delivery
The Man Who Started a War
Eavesdropping on Roosevelt and Churchill
Planning the Final Solution
Seeking Justice for Saboteurs
Stalin Approves a War
The Pentagon Papers Legacy
16 Troublesome Words
Captain Henrys 50000 Letters
Lincolns Double Agent
Whose Ace of Spies?
The Double Agents Dog
The Spy in the Tunnel
The Pumpkin Papers
The Knight Was a Spy
The MillionDocument Spy
The Soviets Key Man
The Spy Drove a Jaguar
The FBI Mole
George Washingtons Lies
The Trick That Won Midway
The Hollow Nickel
The Beer Barrel Letters
A Map for the Mideast
An Ambassadors Doubts
Secret Notes at Yalta
A Package in the Snow
A Secret Request to Congress
An Enduring Lie
The Dreyfus Affair
The FBI and Trotsky
Tap Tap Tap
Bombs of a New Type
The Magic Messages
The Golden Age of Soviet Espionage
The Family Jewels
For the Presidents Eyes Only
Selected Internet Sites
Illustrations Credits

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About the author (2008)

Thomas B. Allen is the award-winning author of 30 books on subjects ranging from military history to sharks, and is a frequent contributor to National Geographic magazine. His title Spy Book, co-authored with Norman Polmar, is the principal source book for the International Spy Museum in Washington, D.C. Tom Allen lives in Bethesda, Maryland, where he is a founding member of the Writer s Center.

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