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 - Political Science - 604 pages
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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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FROM THE SHADOWS: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A career undercover man who reached the top of his furtive profession (as director of the CIA from late 1991 through early 1993), Gates sheds considerable light in this wide-angle memoir on the ways ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - ieJasonW - LibraryThing

An interesting book for those reading about national security during the Cold War era. I've not read many accounts like this - from senior policy people after they leave office - but I like this ... Read full review


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About the author (1996)

Robert Michael Gates (born September 25, 1943) is an American statesman and university president who served as the 22nd United States Secretary of Defense from 2006 to 2011. Gates served for 26 years in the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Council, and under President George H. W. Bush was Director of Central Intelligence. Gates was also an officer in the United States Air Force and during the early part of his military career, he was recruited by the CIA. After leaving the CIA, Gates became president of Texas A&M University and was a member of several corporate boards. He served as a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan commission co-chaired by James A. Baker III and Lee H. Hamilton, that studied the lessons of the Iraq War. Gates has won many honorary doctorates from universities, including an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Yale University; his government awards include the Presidential Medal of Freedom. In January 2014, Gates published his autobiography, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, which quickly became a New York Times bestseller.

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