The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

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Overview

A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today's world

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world.

John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence ...

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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

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Overview

A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today's world

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world.

John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world?

The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies--many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country's role in the world.
Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran.
The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

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Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Adam LeBor
Anyone wanting to know why the United States is hated across much of the world need look no farther than this book. The Brothers is a riveting chronicle of government-sanctioned murder, casual elimination of "inconvenient" regimes, relentless prioritization of American corporate interests and cynical arrogance on the part of two men who were once among the most powerful in the world…In his detailed, well-constructed and highly readable book, Stephen Kinzer…shows how the brothers drove America's interventionist foreign policy.
Publishers Weekly
11/11/2013
Born into Eastern establishment privilege, these two men strode into the uppermost strata of the U.S. government with a virulent anti-communist bent that infused US foreign policy during the Cold War. The siblings were temperamental opposites. Foster was a social misfit and one-woman man who memorized biblical passages, while his younger brother, Allen, was a libertine with a taste for servants and prone to fits of debauchery. But brotherly camaraderie is tangential here as Kinzer (Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future), an award-winning journalist, focuses squarely on how the men became architects of the emerging superpower. Restrained from their most ambitious foreign adventures under the Truman administration, their fortunes changed when the next president, Dwight Eisenhower, appointed Foster to lead the State Department and Allen the CIA. Consumed by their quest to avert Soviet domination across the globe, their fingerprints were all over some of the most sordid episodes of the Cold War: bringing down duly elected governments in Guatemala and Iran; sowing the seeds of the Vietnam War; assassinating Congolese leader Patrice Lumumba; and attempting to overthrow Fidel Castro. This approachable history is a candid appraisal of how the Dulles's grandiose geopolitical calculations set in motion events that continue to reverberate in American foreign policy today. (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Named a Best Book of the Year by TheAtlantic.com and Kirkus Reviews

"[A] fluently written, ingeniously researched, thrillerish work of popular history… Mr. Kinzer has brightened his dark tale with an abundance of racy stories. Gossip nips at the heels of history on nearly every page." – The Wall Street Journal

"Anyone wanting to know why the United States is hated across much of the world need look no farther than this book... A riveting chronicle." – The New York Times Book Review

"[The Brothers] is a bracing, disturbing and serious study of the exercise of American global power… Kinzer, a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, displays a commanding grasp of the vast documentary record, taking the reader deep inside the first decades of the Cold War. He brings a veteran journalist’s sense of character, moment and detail. And he writes with a cool and frequently elegant style."—The Washington Post

"[A] fast-paced and often gripping dual biography."—The Boston Globe

"Stephen Kinzer's sparkling new biography...suggests that the story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America."—Washington Monthly

"Two exceptionally important stories take up the bulk of Kinzer’s book, and both are told with considerable insight and disciplined prose."—Bookforum

"The errors of the Dulles brothers are vividly described in this highly entertaining book…A thoroughly informative book."— Revista: The Harvard Review of Latin America

"A historical critique sure to spark debate."—Booklist

"The culmination of an oeuvre (All the Shah’s Men, Overthrow and others) featuring the Dulles brothers in supporting roles, The Brothers draws them from the shadows, provoking a reevaluation of their influence and its effects."—Kirkus.com

"A secret history, enriched and calmly retold; a shocking account of the misuse of American corporate, political and media power; a shaming reflection on the moral manners of post imperial Europe; and an essential allegory for our own times."—John le Carré

"Kinzer tells the fascinating story of the Dulles brothers, central figures in U.S. foreign policy and intelligence activities for over four decades. He describes U.S. efforts to change governments during this period in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Cuba, and other countries in exciting detail."—John Deutch, former director, Central Intelligence Agency

"As someone who reported from the Communist prison yard of Eastern Europe, I knew that the Cold War really was a struggle between Good and Evil. But Stephen Kinzer, in this compressed, richly-detailed polemic, demonstrates how at least in the 1950s it might have been waged with more subtlety than it was."—Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Revenge of Geography

"A disturbing, provocative, important book. Stephen Kinzer vividly brings the Dulles brothers, once paragons of American Cold War supremacy, to life and makes a strong case against the dangers of American exceptionalism."—Evan Thomas, author of Ike’s Bluff: President Eisenhower’s Secret Battle to Save the World

"The Dulles brothers, one a self-righteous prude, the other a charming libertine, shared a common vision: a world run from Washington by people like themselves. With ruthless determination, they pursued, acquired, and wielded power, heedless of the consequences for others. They left behind a legacy of mischief. Theirs is a whale of a story and Stephen Kinzer tells it with verve, insight, and just the right amount of indignation."—Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America’s Path to Permanent War

The Wall Street Journal

[A] fluently written, ingeniously researched, thrillerish work of popular history… Mr. Kinzer has brightened his dark tale with an abundance of racy stories. Gossip nips at the heels of history on nearly every page.
The New York Times Book Review

Anyone wanting to know why the United States is hated across much of the world need look no farther than this book... A riveting chronicle.
The Washington Post

[The Brothers] is a bracing, disturbing and serious study of the exercise of American global power… Kinzer, a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, displays a commanding grasp of the vast documentary record, taking the reader deep inside the first decades of the Cold War. He brings a veteran journalist's sense of character, moment and detail. And he writes with a cool and frequently elegant style.
The Boston Globe

[A] fast-paced and often gripping dual biography.
Washington Monthly

Stephen Kinzer's sparkling new biography...suggests that the story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America.
Revista: The Harvard Review of Latin America

The errors of the Dulles brothers are vividly described in this highly entertaining book…A thoroughly informative book.
author of The Revenge of Geography Robert D. Kaplan

As someone who reported from the Communist prison yard of Eastern Europe, I knew that the Cold War really was a struggle between Good and Evil. But Stephen Kinzer, in this compressed, richly-detailed polemic, demonstrates how at least in the 1950s it might have been waged with more subtlety than it was.
Library Journal
Award-winning foreign correspondent Kinzer uses Wild West mythology—with the good guys gunning down the bad guys in a lawless town—to explain the policies of Cold War Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother, CIA director Allen Dulles.
Kirkus Reviews
Longtime foreign correspondent Kinzer (International Relations/Boston Univ.; Reset: Iran, Turkey, and America's Future, 2010, etc.) portrays the dark side of Dwight D. Eisenhower's administration through the activities of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and his brother Allen, the director of the CIA. The author reveals the pair's responsibility for the wave of assassinations, coups and irregular wars during Eisenhower's administrations as the outcome of three generations of their family's involvement in America's increasingly active foreign policy, and he documents the way the brothers created the political shape of the Cold War in the 1950s, with John Foster providing the arrogant and pompous public face for the covert operations organized by brother Allen. Kinzer also shows how Eisenhower's knowledge of the costs of open war between states led him to support their covert operations to "strike back…to fight, but in a different way." The author discusses John Foster's assimilation of the undeclared war against Soviet communism into a Manichaean framework of the eternal struggle of good vs. evil. He also examines how, during the 1930s, he was seen by some as "the chief agent for the banking circles which rescued Hitler from the financial depths." Later, Allen recruited Nazi leaders to help shape postwar Europe against the Soviets during the war's final stages. For Kinzer, the brothers epitomized the presumption that America has the right to "guide the course of history" because it is "more moral and farther-seeing than other countries." In addition to providing illuminating biographical information, the author clearly presents the Dulles family's contributions to the development of a legal and political structure for American corporations' international politics. A well-documented and shocking reappraisal of two of the shapers of the American century.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781482928334
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 800,021
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 5.90 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, and numerous other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as the New York Times's bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as the Boston Globe's Latin America correspondent. He is a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, contributes to The New York Review of Books, and writes a column on world affairs for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.
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Read an Excerpt

The Brothers

John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and their Secret World War


By Stephen Kinzer

Henry Holt and Company

Copyright © 2013 Stephen Kinzer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4299-5352-8



CHAPTER 1

UNMENTIONABLE HAPPENINGS


Early every summer morning in the first years of the twentieth century, two small boys awoke as dawn broke over Lake Ontario. Their day began with a cold bath, the only kind their father allowed. After breakfast, they gathered with the rest of their family on the front porch for a Bible reading, sang a hymn or two, and knelt as their father led them in prayer. Their duty done, they raced to the shore, where their grandfather and uncle were waiting to take them out to stalk the wily small-mouth bass.

Never have a couple of catboats on any lake held three such generations. The old man with billowing sideburns had been America's thirty-second secretary of state. His son-in-law was on his way to becoming the forty-second. As for the two boys, they would ultimately outshine both of their illustrious fishing partners. The elder, John Foster Dulles, would become the fifty-second secretary of state and a commanding force in world politics. His brother, Allen, would also grow up to shape the fate of nations, but in secret ways no one could then imagine. Later in life he came to believe that his interest in espionage was shaped in part by the experience of "finding the fish, hooking the fish and playing the fish, [working] to draw him in and tire him until he's almost glad to be caught in the net."

Those morning fishing trips through the lakes and rivers of upstate New York, and the afternoons and evenings that followed, were a cascade of lessons in American history and global politics. They influenced the boys in ways they could not yet begin to fathom, making them part of the swirl of forces that would shape the United States when, half a century later, it entered its period of greatest prosperity but also most terrifying dread.

"Here in delightful surroundings we indulged ourselves not only in fishing, sailing and tennis, but in never-ending discussions on the great world issues which our country was then growing up to face," Allen later wrote. "These discussions were naturally given a certain weight and authority by the voice of a former secretary of state and a secretary-of-state-to-be. We children were at first the listeners and the learners, but as we grew up we became vigorous participants in international debates."

The first American member of this extraordinary Scots-Irish family, Joseph Dulles, fled Ireland in 1778 to escape anti-Protestant repression, made his way to South Carolina, and became a prosperous, slave-owning planter. His family was pious and inclined to the clergy. One of his sons, Joseph Heatly Dulles, served as an officer of three Presbyterian churches in Philadelphia. That officer's son, John Welsh Dulles, "a delicate boy," went to Yale to study medicine but felt called to missionary work instead. At the age of twenty-six he set off to preach the gospel in India, famously traveling for 132 days aboard a tempest-tossed ship to reach Madras. Five years later, health problems forced him to return home to Philadelphia, where he took a job directing missionary campaigns for the American Sunday School Union. He wrote a religious manual for Union soldiers in the Civil War, traveled in the Holy Land, and published two books with strongly Christian themes, Life in India and The Ride Through Palestine.

Two of John Welsh Dulles's three sons followed him into the clergy. Reverend Joseph H. Dulles III directed the library of Princeton Theological Seminary for nearly half a century. His brother Reverend Allen Macy Dulles was a preacher and theologian whose two sons became secretary of state and director of central intelligence.

One of the most cosmopolitan young American women of her generation, Edith Foster, met Allen Macy Dulles in 1881, when both were touring Paris. Edith, just eighteen, was living a Gilded Age fairy tale. Her extravagantly bewhiskered father was John Watson Foster, an eminent lawyer, diplomat, and pillar of the Republican Party. Foster had a fascination with children, and after his only son and one of his daughters died in childhood, he lavished attention on the two daughters who survived. He took Edith and her younger sister, Eleanor, with him when he was named minister to Mexico, and the family lived there for seven years. Then they moved to St. Petersburg, where Foster was minister to the court of Czar Alexander II, emancipator of the Russian serfs. The girls grew up in elegant diplomatic circles, riding horseback in Mexico City's Chapultepec Park, dancing at grand balls with Russian princes, and touring European capitals alongside their doting father. Edith's blossoming romance with Reverend Dulles was interrupted when her father was named minister to Spain. For the next year and a half the young clergyman waited patiently while she enjoyed life among Spanish aristocrats, making a special friend of the infanta. When the family returned home in the summer of 1885, Edith found her suitor as ardent as ever. They were married the following January.

The couple settled in Watertown, a haven for New York millionaires on the shore of Lake Ontario, where Reverend Dulles was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. When Edith became pregnant, she moved to Washington for a few months to enjoy the comfort of her father's three-story mansion. On February 25, 1888, she gave birth there to her first child and named him after her father: John Foster Dulles. Five years later, on April 7, 1893, came a second son, Allen Welsh Dulles. There were also three girls, and all developed a strong sense of family solidarity.

The boys grew up swimming, sailing, hunting, and fishing, but neither was especially strong or athletic. Foster, as the older brother was called then and throughout his life, survived a severe fever as an infant and at the age of thirteen caught typhus, nearly died, and for many months was too weak to walk and had to be carried wherever he went. Allen, whom the family called Allie, was born with a clubfoot, which was then considered a source of shame, but was operated on secretly as soon as doctors considered him old enough and came to walk almost normally.

Religiosity permeated the Dulles household. Morning rituals were only part of their piety. Each Sunday the boys attended three church services, carrying pencil and paper so they could take notes on their father's sermons. Afterward the family would discuss and analyze them. On many evenings they gathered for religious reading: stories about missionaries, articles from the Herald & Presbyter, and devotional classics like Pilgrim's Progress and Paradise Lost. Home life was shaped by contests to see who could recite the longest Bible passage, and by singing hymns.

Foster, whose favorite hymn was "Work for the Night Is Coming," felt the impact of this environment most deeply. According to his mother's diary, by the age of two he was fascinated with prayers and "always says Amen very heartily"; at four he was a fully attentive Sunday School pupil; at five he displayed a "lovely devotional spirit"; and he celebrated turning seven by memorizing seven psalms.

Missionaries on home leave were frequent guests at the Dulles household. Many told captivating stories of their efforts to convert unbelievers in lands from Syria to China. Their commitment to spreading the Gospel was held up as fulfillment of a divine ideal.

"We did not think of these people in terms of foreign policy, but we did grow to understand the life, the poverty, the superstitions, and the eager hopefulness of those with whom the missionaries dealt," the boys' younger sister Eleanor later wrote. "Foster gained much from these contacts, some of which he renewed in later life.... There was something unique that left an indelible mark on all of us—not only a deep faith in central religious truths, but also a sense of the obligation of such a faith toward each other and toward those distant people who were striving to gain new light and freedom."

Edith considered her boys too special to be left to public schools, and arranged for them to be given extra tutoring from live-in governesses and at a private academy. When Foster was fifteen, she took him on a grand tour of Europe; Allie joined them later. She did much to open their eyes to the world's possibilities. For all her influence, though, most of what they learned as they grew up came from two formidable men.

Reverend Dulles was a vigorous Presbyterian and a product of missionary tradition. He was austere and demanding, but also scholarly, wise, and devoted to his family. His fervent belief in Christianity, and in the need for missionary work to spread its essential truths, blended easily into a conviction that America's destiny was to go forth and raise up the world's benighted masses.

"Its strengths, I think, lie in the feeling that you are given a certain task to perform," one member of the Dulles clan later wrote of this Calvinist approach to life. "Its weakness lies in the reverse of that, that you may make the mistake of feeling that you are God's spokesman."

The other towering figure of the Dulles brothers' youth, "Grandfather Foster," gave them a quite different but strikingly complementary set of interests, perspectives, and values. During summers on Lake Ontario as the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth, and later at his manse in Washington, he mesmerized them with tales from his tumultuous life: moving westward, clearing land, subduing nature and hostile natives, starting a business, joining with ambitious men, and finding a path to wealth and power. He had lived a classic pioneer life in the age of manifest destiny, embodying the archetypal story of a brave man who sets off to tame wild lands and illuminate dark places. America was to him a nation blessed by Providence, powerful to the point of invincibility, whose people were destined to spread, civilize, and command. He transmitted this belief to his grandsons. From him they also learned how profitable it can be to ingratiate oneself with men of wealth and influence.

"Grandfather Foster" grew up on the Indiana frontier, became editor of his hometown newspaper, and used it to promote the Republican Party. His diplomatic posts were rewards for helping to elect Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford B. Hayes, and James A. Garfield. In 1892 another Republican president, Benjamin Harrison, appointed him secretary of state. He served just eight months because Harrison failed to win re-election.

History remembers John Watson Foster's brief term as secretary of state for a singular accomplishment. In 1893 he helped direct the overthrow of the Hawaiian monarchy. President Harrison had discreetly encouraged white settlers in Hawaii to rebel against Queen Liliuokalani, and when they did, Secretary of State Foster endorsed the landing of American troops at Honolulu to support them. The settlers proclaimed themselves Hawaii's new government, the United States quickly recognized their regime, and the monarchy was no more.

"The native inhabitants had proved themselves incapable of maintaining a respectable and responsible government," Foster later wrote, "and lacked the energy or will to improve the advantages which Providence had given them."

This made John Watson Foster the first American secretary of state to participate in the overthrow of a foreign government. Others would follow—including, more than a half century later, his grandson.

After leaving office, "Grandfather Foster" considered returning to his Indiana law practice, but after hearing another Indiana lawyer recount a long legal battle over a hog, he decided to stay in Washington. He set out not to become a lawyer like others, but to invent a new profession: broker for corporations seeking favors in Washington and chances to expand abroad. It was an idea that fit the era. American farmers and manufacturers had so effectively mastered the techniques of mass production that they were producing far more than the United States could consume. They needed foreign markets to fend off ruin. Many also coveted resources from overseas. This required a muscular, assertive foreign policy that would force weaker countries to trade with Americans on terms Americans considered fair. With a career of diplomatic service behind him, capped by a term as secretary of state, and with deep ties to the Republican Party, John Watson Foster was ideally placed to help these American businesses. Corporations hired him to promote their interests in Washington and in foreign capitals. He was counsel to several foreign legations. The White House sent him on diplomatic missions. He negotiated trade agreements with eight countries and brokered a treaty with Britain and Russia regulating fur seal hunting in the Bering Sea.

This visionary protolobbyist thrived on his ability to shape American foreign policy to the benefit of well-paying clients. Both of his grandsons would do the same.

In order to be near his daughter and her boys, "Grandfather Foster" bought a home at Henderson Harbor, near Watertown. Soon afterward, another eminent figure entered their remarkable family. Edith's sister, Eleanor, married a dapper lawyer and diplomat named Robert Lansing, whose family had deep roots in Watertown. Lansing and "Grandfather Foster" had many interests in common, among them fishing, Washington intrigue, and global politics. The old man welcomed Lansing into the clan, and the boys came to adore their "Uncle Bert." This was the foursome that set out onto the choppy waters of Lake Ontario every summer morning.

"Grandfather Foster" was infatuated with the boys and decided that spending summers with them was not enough. He arranged to "borrow" them for the winter months at his red brick mansion near Dupont Circle in Washington. There they lived amid exotic art objects from China and other faraway lands, studied under private tutors, and were attended by liveried servants directed by a majordomo one member of the clan remembered as "Madison, the graying colored butler." Best of all, they had the chance to sit through dinners with a dazzling parade of America's political and business mandarins.

Foster was first "borrowed" when he was just five years old, and soon after arriving made his first visit to the White House, as a guest at a birthday party for one of President Harrison's grandchildren. Allie began his visits a few years later. During their childhood and early teens, both brothers came to feel at ease in the most rarefied circles. They dined with ambassadors, senators, cabinet secretaries, Supreme Court justices, and other grand figures including William Howard Taft, Theodore Roosevelt, Grover Cleveland, William McKinley, Andrew Carnegie, and Woodrow Wilson. Although they were too young to join dinner-table discussions of world events, they paid close attention. From these long evenings they absorbed not only the precepts, ideas, and perceptions that shaped America's ruling class, but also its style, vocabulary, and attitudes.

"The women with their sequins and plumes and the men with their decorations and sashes were dashing and romantic," their sister Eleanor later recalled. "Altogether, the teas and dinners had a dignity and graciousness that make modern cocktail parties seem chaotic by comparison."

Even at this early stage of life, Allie showed extraordinary curiosity about other people. In Watertown he had made a hobby of observing his father's habits and making notes about them. He was only seven years old when his grandfather "borrowed" him for the first time, but he was fascinated by the lively debate that shaped dinner conversations. After the guests departed, the future spymaster would sit in his bedroom and write reports of what he had heard, summarizing the opinions of the statesmen whose company he had just left and seeking to analyze their characters.

"I was an avid listener," he later recalled.

During that first winter in Washington, Allie developed a fascination with the Boer War, and he poured out his passion in a six-thousand-word essay asserting that "the Boers want peace but England has to have the gold and so she goes around fighting all the little countries." His grandfather was so impressed that he paid to have the essay privately printed, complete with spelling errors, and Allie became a published author at the age of eight. His older brother was unimpressed, sniffing that Allie's anticolonial ideas were "wrong-headed and infantile."

That view may have been correct, but in pronouncing it, Foster showed a judgmental harshness that never softened. From early childhood he was solemn, disciplined, and reserved, but also sharply self-righteous. He never lost his temper or complained, but disdained those who fell short of his standards. Memorizing long Bible passages—he could recite the book of John by heart—was one of his favorite pastimes.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer. Copyright © 2013 Stephen Kinzer. Excerpted by permission of Henry Holt and Company.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

PART I: TWO BROTHERS
1. Unmentionable Happenings 7
2. The Taint of My Environment 37
3. Dull, Duller, Dulles 63
4. That Fella from Wall Street 86

PART II: SIX MONSTERS
5. A Whirling Dervish with a College Education 119
6. The Most Forthright Pro-Communist 147
7. A Matchless Interplay of Ruthlessness and Guile 175
8. The Self-Intoxicated President 216
9. The Tall, Goateed Radical 247
10. The Bearded Strongman 284
PART III: ONE CENTURY
11. A Face of God 311
Notes 329
Bibliography 368
Acknowledgments 383
Index 385

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 6, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Well all right. Finished this baby and found it stunningly infor

    Well all right. Finished this baby and found it stunningly informative. These two brothers epitomized the best and the worst of American foreign policy during the Cold War period. They both had long careers in the foreign service, corporate law and international business and a dash of espionage and spying during the Second World War. They worked their magic prior to the Cold War by associating with the rich and connected moving chess pieces around the world chess board in service to their business associates. They became very wealthy and single-minded in their hatred for Communism and the Soviet Union in particular. With both ends of American policy in their hands, they contrived along with their boss, President Eisenhower, to attack both diplomatically and physically any of the leaders and countries they viewed as threats to the "American Way of Life". This included the Soviet Union itself and its East European allies, freedom loving states like Iran under Mossadegh, Guatemala under Arbenz, and nationalist governments in Egypt, Laos and the Congo. They used tax monies to buy politicians and corrupt officials in these countries as well as arm insurgents and "dead enders" looking to overthrow legitimately elected governments. The older brother Foster, was a driven person whose policy focus and obsessive thinking has had a lasting influence on American policy to the present day. And sadly not for the best. The other character, Allen, was a smart but deadly man who played with men's lives and made his rationalizations of how much good he was doing for America while directing the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in its early years. Their record of mayhem, failure and murder in service to a clueless American public is legion. Or was the American public not clueless but onboard with the antics of its CIA. The book is wonderful in relating the history of these two men, their work in their respective government posts and the wreckage that they left. Definitely worth reading to get a better handle on what America has wrought in the world in the last century (and no doubt is doing similarly this century).”

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2013

    A useful and informative addition to American foreign policy boo

    A useful and informative addition to American foreign policy books. Well-researched and generally well-written. See all the professional reviews above. Hardcover edition has extensive footnotes and lengthy bibliography. The same notes and bibliography are available in the Nook version, although one has to go through a few steps to access them, which is a problem.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 14, 2013

    Titallating, but unreferenced

    Aside from the fact that the book seems to jump around a bit, it is interesting; but there are no foot/end notes and the quoted material is often not attributed.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 14, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent work, shedding much needed light on the deeply misguid

    Excellent work, shedding much needed light on the deeply misguided American foreign policy of the era.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 6, 2014

    Amazing and disturbing

    The fact that this is relatively recent history is scary.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 24, 2014

    Great read

    I would give an extended review, but I don't have the time.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2014

    I like pie

    Pie is awsone

    0 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2014

    I never recieved this book, and I have paid for it.

    B & N has not responded to any of my contacts (email, chat and phone calls)!!

    0 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2013

    Poorly written, at least in Nook form. Fascinating subject, but

    Poorly written, at least in Nook form. Fascinating subject, but poorly delivered. Way too much money for what you get.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 5, 2015

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 19, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

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