Declassified: 50 Top-Secret Documents That Changed History

Declassified: 50 Top-Secret Documents That Changed History

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by Thomas B. Allen
     
 

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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

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Overview

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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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal

Adult/High School

Allen presents scans of original documents followed by clear commentary detailing the events surrounding the texts. The book covers a wide span of time, making it a resource that will pique the interest of almost any history lover. Highlights include a simple baker uncovering a British spy during the American Revolution, Stalin's support of Kim Il Sung during the Korean War, and a report sent to George W. Bush in August 2001 suggesting the possibility of an attack on U.S. soil organized by Osama bin Laden. Largely focused on the U.S., the volume does include documents and tales from the Soviet Union, Germany, France, Israel, and a handful of other nations. Chapters are arranged by theme, such as "The Secret State" and "Espionage Accidents," making this an easy read. The primary-source material of spy stories, shrewd political moves, and hidden aspects of war shows how conflicts between nations persist during times of peace. The book also serves as a good quick-reference tool. An index allows users to look up documents by nation, major historical figure, and subject. Thought-provoking and enjoyable, this unique collection tells stories often neglected in history class.-Matthew L. Moffett, Pohick Regional Library, Burke, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781426202223
Publisher:
National Geographic Society
Publication date:
05/20/2008
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
765,020
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Meet the Author

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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Declassified: 50 Top-Secret Documents That Changed History 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
efm More than 1 year ago
Enjoyed finding out what had been hidden from history.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book os true though