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From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

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Overview

The only person to rise from entry-level analyst to Director of the CIA and to serve on the White House staffs of four Presidents, Robert M. Gates is uniquely qualified to tell the unprecedented inside story of the Cold War. Drawing on his access to classified information and top-level involvement in policy decisions, Gates lays bare the hidden wars and operations the United States waged against communism worldwide.

Ever certain that the fifty-year struggle with the Soviet Union...

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From the Shadows: The Ultimate Insider's Story of Five Presidents and How They Won the Cold War

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Overview

The only person to rise from entry-level analyst to Director of the CIA and to serve on the White House staffs of four Presidents, Robert M. Gates is uniquely qualified to tell the unprecedented inside story of the Cold War. Drawing on his access to classified information and top-level involvement in policy decisions, Gates lays bare the hidden wars and operations the United States waged against communism worldwide.

Ever certain that the fifty-year struggle with the Soviet Union was indeed a war, Gates makes candid appraisals of Presidents, key officials, and policies of the period. From the Shadows is the classic memoir of a career CIA officer at the center of power at a time when the threat of global annihilation informed our every move.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Gates, director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1991 to 1993, rose from entry level to the top. His insider's account of the Cold War, CIA operations and the unraveling of the Soviet Union is sprinkled with revelations. We learn that 1983 was "the most dangerous year in U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations"; that President Bush telephoned Boris Yeltsin in the Russian parliament building during the 1991 attempted coup; that for months the CIA predicted a coup attempt against Gorbachev-a warning that he ignored. Gates characterizes former CIA director William Casey as coming to the CIA "primarily to wage war against the Soviet Union." Both the KGB and the CIA, Gates divulges, sponsored countless "black operations"-forgeries, lies, dirty tricks and other covert propaganda activities designed to embarrass and discredit the other side. We also learn that during Gorbachev's 1987 visit to Washington, a collateral secret summit took place-Gates, then CIA deputy director, met with KGB foreign operations chief Vladimir Kryuchkov; they secretly met again in Moscow in 1989 when Kryuchkov was head of the KGB. Gates also candidly discusses how the agency's contemptuous treatment of Congress, evasive briefings and deceptions eroded public confidence. (May)
Kirkus Reviews
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 in which the craft of intelligence influenced government policy during the height of the Cold War.

Focusing on the undeclared conflict that pitted the US against the USSR and its client states in venues ranging from Afghanistan to Poland, the author offers a notably candid chronological evaluation of what his agency contributed (or did not contribute) to the last 25 years of America's war against Communism. He also provides telling detail on the homefront hostilities in which CIA officials battled their counterparts at other agencies, justifiably wary lawmakers, and investigative reporters to remain in the good graces of the White House. Gates also explains that d├ętente was the Nixon administration's pragmatic response to the CIA's failure to foresee the Soviet military buildup that began during the late 1960s, producing a singular shift in the global balance of power. He goes on to show that there was appreciably more continuity than is generally perceived between the Carter and Reagan eras, as far as effective challenges to Moscow's zeal for geopolitical adventurism were concerned. Covered as well are the CIA's prescient take on Mikhail Gorbachev's ouster, the agency's surprise at the overnight success of the Velvet Revolution that signalled the end of the Warsaw Pact, the cost of institutional lapses (including the treachery of Aldrich Ames), and the several secret CIA-KGB summits. The vetted text delivers a surprising measure of jocose particulars and tricks-of-the-trade disclosures. Nor does Gates neglect to settle some scores with out-of-office mandarins (George Schultz and others) who beat him into print.

A silent-service veteran's genuinely engrossing from-the- inside-out appraisal of an eventful period in the history of the US and the wider world.

From Barnes & Noble
The former director of the CIA, whose service spanned six presidencies, recounts the unprecedented inside story of America's and the agency's role in the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and in Eastern Europe. Writing from the unique perspective of nearly 30 years in government, as well as intimate knowledge of CIA documents and activities never before revealed, Gates tells how the Cold War was really fought, from the Nixon to Bush administrations. He also provides eyewitness accounts of historic meetings, secret missions, internal battles, and more. B&W photos.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781416543367
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster
  • Publication date: 1/9/2007
  • Pages: 608
  • Sales rank: 314,364
  • Product dimensions: 6.12 (w) x 9.25 (h) x 1.38 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction 15
Pt. 1 1969-1974: Detente - The Years of Smoke and Mirrors
1 Washington and Moscow: 1969 27
2 So This Was "Detente"? 39
Pt. 2 1975-1980: The Mask of Soviet Ascendancy
3 American Paralysis 53
4 The "Third World" War 64
5 Planting Lethal Seeds 85
6 MUTS, Spies, and Dissidents 97
7 Defense and Arms Control: Advantage USSR 105
8 1979: Cold War, Hot War - East War, West War 118
9 Carter Turns to CIA 135
10 The Mask of Soviet Ascendancy, the Reality of Vulnerability 170
Pt. 3 1981-1986: The Resurgence of the West
11 The Reawakening 183
12 Reagan's Sword: Casey at CIA 198
13 Turning the Tables 226
14 1983: The Most Dangerous Year 258
15 The War in Washington, 1983: Shultz Against the Field 278
16 Central America, 1983-1984: Our Own Worst Enemy 293
17 Passages: Last Gasp of the Soviet Old Guard 317
18 1985: Reagan and Gorbachev - the Best of Enemies 327
19 The Third World Competition, 1985-1986: Washington Pours It On 346
20 Intelligence Wars 357
Pt. 4 1986-1991: Liberation and History's Dustbin
21 Gorbachev's Uncertain Trumpet, 1986-1987 375
22 Diversions 390
23 Geneva to Washington 404
24 Ending the "Third World" War 427
25 Gorbachev: Destroying the Soviet System 438
26 The "Velvet Revolutions" of 1989: The Avalanche of Liberation 449
27 Together at Last: Bush and Gorbachev 472
28 Destruction of the "Evil Empire" 508
29 A Joyless Victory 532
Reflections 553
Notes 577
Index 581
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2013

    A great summary of the "cold war."

    A fantastic read of a time period that I followed most of my life with great interest. And now, to be able to read an insider's account of history as it unfolded is very enlightening. It helps one to grasp how important a role our President plays in our country's foriegn policy. This book should be required reading for all students of modern day politics and history.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2013

    If You Want To Be a Fly on the Wall at CIA, the White House, and NSC...

    If You Want To Be a Fly on the Wall at CIA, the White House, and National Security Council "From the Shadows" is that opportunity. From college, to the USAF, to CIA, the the White House, Robert Gates takes you on a journey through five presidential administrations and a significant period of the Cold War. Because his positions were advisory or intelligence based, he avoids being partisan. His writing never becomes personal "for or against" but a snap shot of exactly what was going on at the time. He also describes Secretaries of State, Defense, Vice Presidents, Senators, foreign prime Ministers and leaders in candid detail. Not your typical "one man, one story" history. An amazing career covering Vietnam to the Fall of the Wall.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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