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Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment

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Overview

Dwight D. Eisenhower's public image was that of a wide-grinning Daddy Warbucks who preferred the golf course over the cabinet room. He was perceived as a military bureaucrat who never held a combat command. A Republican sandwiched between two Democratic administrations, he lacked the political vigor of his predecessor Harry S. Truman and the star quality of his successor JFK.

Yet behind the placid image he was a sly fox who ran the most efficient espionage establishment in the world. His goal was to keep the Free World free. To do so, he fostered the growth of the CIA, overthrew governments, flew spy flights, and hatched assassination plots. At the top of the intelligence pyramid, Ike shouldered some of the greatest coups in espionage history, as well as some of its most ignominious failures.

Among Ike's successes: The "Man Who Never Was" strategem, the ULTRA-guided ambush of the German counterattack at Mortain, which opened the Allies' way to the Rhine, the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzman's government of Guatemala, Operation AJAX, which toppled Iran's Mossadegh, and the U-2 flights over Russia. But Ike can be credited likewise for miscalculations: the failure to predict the German attack during the Battle of the Bulge, the Francis Gary Powers fiasco, and the tragic and irresponsible encouragement of freedom fighters in Hungary, Indonesia, and Cuba.

In writing this revealing probe into the 1950s spy world, Stephen E. Ambrose, the author of the most acclaimed full-scale biography of Eisenhower, interviewed the president and many of his agents and had access to much previously unpublished archival material. "The story he tells," said the New York Review of Books in 1981 when the book was first published, "is one of some very low deeds done in the name of high moral principles."

Stephen E. Ambrose was Director Emeritus of the Eisenhower Center, Boyd Professor of History at the University of New Orleans, and president of the National D- Day Museum. He was the author of many books, most recently The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisana Purchase to Today. His compilation of 1,400 oral histories from American veterans and authorship of over 20 books established him as one of the foremost historians of the Second World War in Europe. He died October 13, 2002, in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781578062072
  • Publisher: University Press of Mississippi
  • Publication date: 11/1/1999
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 8.78 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 0.98 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen E. Ambrose
An historian whose books prompted America to regard its war veterans with newfound reverence, Stephen E. Ambrose was as prolific as he was passionate about his country. His bestsellers chronicled our nation’s critical battles and achievements, from his seminal war works D-Day and Band of Brothers to his fitting last love letter To America.

Biography

"I was ten years old when [World War II] ended," Stephen Ambrose once said. "I thought the returning veterans were giants who had saved the world from barbarism. I still think so." Years after he first watched combat footage in the newsreels, the popular historian brought fresh attention to America's aging WWII veterans through such bestselling books as Band of Brothers, about a company of U.S. paratroopers, and The Wild Blue, about the B-24 bomber pilots who flew over Germany. Though best known for his books on World War II, Ambrose also produced multi-volume biographies of Dwight Eisenhower and Richard Nixon, a history of the building of the transcontinental railroad, and a fascinating account of the Lewis and Clark expedition across the American West.

As a young professor of history, Ambrose was one of many left-wing academics who spoke out against American involvement in the Vietnam War. Yet he revered the veterans of World War II, and he interviewed and wrote about them at a time when many of his colleagues considered military history old-fashioned. "The men I admire most are soldiers, sailors, professional military," Ambrose would later tell The Washington Post. "Way more than politicians."

He labored without much popular acclaim or academic renown until 1994, when his book D-Day June 6, 1944: The Climactic Battle of World War II burst onto the bestseller lists. War heroism was suddenly a hot topic, and Ambrose's approach, which focused on the experiences of soldiers rather than the decisions of high command, was perfectly suited to a popular audience. More bestsellers followed, including Citizen Soldiers, The Victors and Undaunted Courage. Ambrose's vivid narrative accounts were devoured by readers and praised by critics. "The descriptions of individual ordeals on the bloody beach of Omaha make this book outstanding," wrote Raleigh Trevelyan in a New York Times review of D-Day.

Ambrose retired as a professor of history at the University of New Orleans in 1995, but he continued to write one or more books per year. He also founded the National D-Day Museum in New Orleans, worked with his family-owned business organizing historical tours, and served as the historical consultant for the 1998 Steven Spielberg film Saving Private Ryan. Spielberg later turned Ambrose's Band of Brothers into an HBO miniseries.

This rise to fame was accompanied by criticism from some of Ambrose's fellow historians, who charged that he could be careless in his research and editing. In early 2002, he faced accusations of plagiarism when reporters noted that a number of phrases and sentences in his books were lifted from other works. Ambrose responded that he had forgotten to place quotation marks around some quotes, but said he had footnoted all his sources. "I always thought plagiarism meant using another person's words and ideas, pretending they were your own and profiting from it. I do not do that, never have done that and never will," he wrote in a statement on his Web site.

When he was diagnosed with lung cancer a few months later, he began work on a memoir, To America. "I want to tell all the things that are right about America," he said in an interview with the Associated Press. Ambrose died in October 2002, at the age of 66.

Good To Know

Ambrose was a star football player at the University of Wisconsin and played in the Rose Bowl, according to his friend and co-author Douglas Brinkley.

As a college sophomore, Ambrose abandoned his pre-med major for history after he attended a class on "Representative Americans" taught by professor William Hesseltine.

For more than 20 years, Ambrose and his family spent their vacations traveling portions of the Lewis and Clark Trail. They canoed the Missouri and Columbia rivers, endured soaking rains and summer snowstorms, and read from the explorers' journals at night by the light of their campfires.

Ambrose named his house in Mississippi "Merry Weather," after Meriwether Lewis. His Labrador was called Pomp, after the nickname of Sacagawea's son.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Stephen Ambrose
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 10, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Whitewater, Wisconsin
    1. Date of Death:
      October 13, 2002
    2. Place of Death:
      Bay St. Louis, Mississippi

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 29 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 29 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 15, 2009

    THe history of Spies

    This is an early Ambrose work (1999). It is meticulously researched but still reads easily. The author clearly is a big Ike fan who has written widely on his life. Anyone interested in contemporary history would enjoy this book. In telling the story of spying during the Eisenhower years from ULTRA in WWII through the early part of the cold war, the author provides a unique perspective into the stories behind the events of the postwar era.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted September 23, 2012

    All Pokemon 4

    61. Krabby- the river crab Pokemon. Krabby hides in holes it digs on beaches, and its pincers will grow back if they break. Its meat is considered a delicacy. 62. Kricketune- the cricket Pokemon. Kricketune will show its emotion by creating melodies. They cross their small arms infront of themself when they cry. 63. Lanturn- the light Pokemon. Nicknamed the Deep Sea Star, Lanturn's light shines so bright that it even lights up the depths of the sea. Prey is attracted by its glowing light. 64. Ledyba- the five start Pokemon. Ledyba is so timid it will only move with a swarm of others. It commipunicates by using its scent. They use starlight for energy. 65. Lumineon- the neon Pokemon. Lumineon can crawl along sea floors using the fins on its chest. It will flash the patterns on its tail fins to attract prey. 66. Luvdisc- the rendezvous Pokemon. When a couple find the warm sea dwelling Luvdisc, it is said they will enjoy eternal love. 67. Luxray- they gleam eye lion Pokemon. When Luxray's eyes turn gold, it can spot prey anywhere, including those trying to duck behind walls. It is a feirce protector of its young. 68. Magcargo- the lava snail Pokemon. Flames occasionally erupt from Magcargo's shell, which is normal considering its body reaches temps of eight thousand degrees. They become Magcargo when they find their shell. 69. Magikarp- the weak fish Pokemon. It is generally regarded as the weakest Pokemon ever. How it has managed to survive is a mystery. Children love to catch and keep them as pets. 70. Mankey- the pig monkey Pokemon. Mankey lives with groups of other Mankey and Primeape in the treetops. If one gets angry, the whole group will too. 71. Mantine- the kite Pokemon. These docile Pokemon can be seen swimming in unision when the sea is calm. It almost seems as if they are flying. Mantine can be trained to do tricks at aquariums. 72. Metapod- the cocoon Pokemon. This vulnerable Pokemon has the power of patience, using its hardened shell to repel weak attacks while waiting for evolution. 73. Mightyena- the biting wolf Pokemon. This Pokemon chases down its prey in a pack. It is very obedient once tamed. 74. Miltank- the milk cow Pokemon. By drinking Miltank's milk, kids will become healthy adults. They are raised on farms for milking. 75. Monferno- the playful Pokemon. Monferno has been known to strategically use the fire on its tail to make itself appear larger. It gets excited when thinking of becoming an Infernape. 76. Mothim- the moth Pokemon. Mothim are always in search of honey. They're on the go so much that they don't nest. Sometimes, they will even steal from Combee. 77. Murkrow- the dark crow Pokemon. Night travelers know to avoid ominous Murkrow. It is rumored to bring bad luck on those it lures to the forest. 78. Natu- the tiny bird Pokemon. Natu is so agile that it can pick food from cacti without hitting buds or spines, they seem to skip while they move. They are desert dwellers. 79. Nincada- the dull bug Pokemon. The underground dwelling Nincada uses its antennae on top of its head to sense its surroundings. 80. Ninetails- the fox Pokemon. With a life span of a thousand years, its nine tails are said to contain mystical power. If you touch any of Ninetail's tails, it will curse you.

    1 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009

    Different Perspective of WWII and the birth of the CIA

    Ambrose provides a totally new look into how WWII was won. I found the book started off a bit slow, but picked up rather rapidly. It contains tons of introspective into how American and British intelligence played such a major role in winning WWII. The book also goes into the birth of the CIA and its beginnings in shaping America's reach around the world.<BR/>Quite a fascinating look into our spy history!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2014

    Mountiom cat

    "My name is Sun's Rising Over The Moon. I am from the Tribe Of High Animals.My mom..." I pause" should i tell "i wondered I made umy mind quickly and contined " My mom died on the way here . The Tribe was attacked by strange cats and they sent me and my mom away. My mom is the Stoneteller and from the tribes code I am the one to be the next Stoneteller. My mom said ti call for a cat called Ravenclaw so i did. She noted that u were the deputy of Dawnclan." I look around eagerly. The forest was a bit bleak but full of life and it was Bare leaf or winter. If this is how large the forest is now then i bet that during sun leaf or summer. The tribes way of saying things was a bit diffrent. How in the clans would i fit in? I looked around for a cave of somesort just in case. The cat in front of me reminded me of a cat. I winced as i thought of my injured arm as i thought the arm became stiff and hard it had started hurting again being leaf bare the arm had become numb but it was warmer here. I tried to stand but the harder i tried the more it hurt then i just passed out.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Windfern

    Hey anyone on or is it the gathering?

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2014

    Dust

    Only a few he nudges a few to her and padded to hur

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 15, 2014

    Ravenclaw to mountain cat and other cats who want to join.

    "You might want to try a different clan like DayClan. They are very active. Go to grumpy cat all res. I am going off to be a rouge." She mewed, she bounded off. Never to be seen again.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    LilacKit

    A small lavender kit slipped in, unnoticed by anyone...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Shyflower

    A small silver she-cat pads in. "May I join" she asks Skystar quietly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Jaguarflame & Frostkit

    Frostkit padded over to her sister and joined her. Jaguarflame hunted.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2014

    Goldensoul

    The gathering is at ' wings of fire brightest night'.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2014

    Bundle of fur

    Bounces in after Turtlewhisker, his red fur patchy with cobwebs and herbs.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Inferno

    The large Bengle tomcat lingered in the shadows, examining the clearing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2014

    Nightlily

    Watches

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Bluefrost

    He grooms himself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Mokigjay and sparrow

    Gtg bbl

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Frostpaw and Inkpaw

    Frostpaw lets out a low laugh.
    <p>
    Inkpaw approaches Sparrow "Do you know where Frostpaw is?" She asks

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2014

    Leafshadow

    Watched her leader pad out if camp, wondering if there was something wrong or if she was just restless.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 17, 2014

    TurtleWhisker

    [ Off to Legoland. ]

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    Skystar

    She padded in. ~•Skystar

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