A Look Over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency

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Random House Publishing Group, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography - 478 pages
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A Look over My Shoulder begins with President Nixon’s attempt to embroil the Central Intelligence Agency, of which Richard Helms was then the director, in the Watergate cover-up. Helms then recalls his education in Switzerland and Germany and at Williams College; his early career as a foreign correspondent in Berlin, during which he once lunched with Hitler; and his return to newspaper work in the United States. Helms served on the German desk at OSS headquarters in London; subsequently, he was assigned to Allen Dulles’s Berlin office in postwar Germany.

On his return to Washington, Helms assumed responsibility for the OSS carryover operations in Germany, Austria, and Eastern Europe. He remained in this post until the Central Intelligence Agency was formed in 1947. At CIA, Helms served in many positions, ultimately becoming the organization’s director from 1966 to 1973. He was appointed ambassador to Iran later that year and retired from government service in January 1977. It was often thought that Richard Helms, who served longer in the Central Intelligence Agency than anyone else, would never tell his story, but here it is–revealing, news-making, and with candid assessments of the controversies and triumphs of a remarkable career.

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User Review  - carterchristian1 - LibraryThing

Helms career covered many of the development years in the CIA where he rose througjh the ranks to head. This is an essential book in the history of intelligence in the United States, Read full review

A look over my shoulder: a life in the Central Intelligence Agency

User Review  - Not Available - Book Verdict

In a readable account that can be teamed with Thomas Powers's The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (now over 20 years old), Helms, CIA director from 1966 to 1972, has provided ... Read full review

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About the author (2004)

After his retirement, Richard Helms lived in Washington, D.C. He died in October 2002.

William Hood was born in Maine and entered the military in 1942. After serving in the Armored Force and military intelligence, he volunteered for the Office of Strategic Services; he was at the London headquarters of OSS until 1945, when he joined Allen Dulles in Switzerland. He remained in OSS carryover units until CIA was formed. He served abroad and as chief of station, with responsibilities involving Eastern Europe, the USSR, and Latin America, and was executive officer of the Counterintelligence Staff when he retired from CIA. He has published three novels and a nonfiction book, Mole. He divides his time among New York City, Maine, and East Hampton, New York.


From the Hardcover edition.

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