Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda

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New York Review of Books, 2004 - History - 504 pages
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The failure to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq has riveted America's attention once again on the question of secret intelligence - how it is gathered and evaluated and how it is ultimately used to determine policies. To understand the current crisis of the CIA, we need to know how the intelligence business works, and no one outside it knows more about its culture than Thomas Powers. The essays collected in this volume range from the exploits of Wild Bill Donovan's OSS during the Second World War, through the CIA's long cold war struggle with its Russian adversary, to the failure to prevent the attacks of September 11. With a new preface and three new essays analysing the Iraq war and its consequences, this updated edition examines urgent questions for an age of terrorism and pre-emptive war. What role should secret intelligence have in the policy debates of a democratic society? Can we trust the CIA to resist White House pressure, give presidents their best estimate without varnish, and then stand by it.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TrgLlyLibrarian - LibraryThing

This book gave me a skipping, skimming sort of overview of significant events for the CIA, FBI, and other intelligence organizations since World War II. I learned some things, but by golly it was a slow read. Read full review

Contents

The Underground Entrepreneur
3
The Conspiracy That Failed
21
Founding Father
45
Phantom Spies at Los Alamos
59
The Plot Thickens
81
Spy Fever
109
The Riddle Inside the Enigma
123
The Bloodless War
141
Soviet Intentions and Capabilities
235
The Ears of America
243
Notes from Underground 237
257
Doing the Right Thing 2 75
275
Last of the Cowboys 2
294
The Bottom Line
295
No Laughing Matter
321
Who Won the Cold War?
333

Saving the Shah
159
PART
169
And After Weve Struck Cuba?
171
The Heart of the Story
185
The Mind of the Assassin
193
The Interesting One
203
Marilyn Was the Least of It
223
PART THREE
233
The Black Arts
357
The Trouble with the Cia
375
Americas New Intelligence War
395
War and Its Consequences
429
The Vanished Case for War
441
Tomorrow the World
459
INDEX
473
Copyright

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About the author (2004)

Thomas Powers is the author of The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms and the CIA (1979), Heisenberg's War: The Secret History of the German Bomb (1993), Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to al-Qaeda (2002; revised and expanded edition, 2004), and The Confirmation (2000), a novel. He won a Pulitzer Prize for National Reporting in 1971 and has contributed to The New York Review of Books, The New York Times Book Review, Harper's, The Nation, The Atlantic, and Rolling Stone. His latest book, The Killing of Crazy Horse, won the 2011 Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. He is currently writing a memoir of his father, who once told him that the last time he met Clare Boothe Luce was in the office of Allen Dulles.

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