The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government

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by David Talbot



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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062276162
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/13/2015
Pages: 704
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 2.20(d)

About the Author

David Talbot is the author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years and the acclaimed national bestseller Season of the Witch: Enchantment, Terror, and Deliverance in the City of Love. He is the founder and former editor in chief of Salon, and was a senior editor at Mother Jones and the features editor at the San Francisco Examiner. He has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, The Guardian, and other major publications. Talbot lives in San Francisco, California.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Prologue 1

Part I

1 The Double Agent 15

2 Human Smoke 37

3 Ghosts of Nuremberg 58

4 Sunrise 74

5 Ratlines 94

Part II

6 Useful People 119

7 Little Mice 141

8 Scoundrel Time 159

9 The Power Elite 193

10 The Dulles Imperium 227

11 Strange Love 267

12 Brain Warfare 287

13 Dangerous Ideas 316

14 The Torch Is Passed 352

Part III

15 Contempt 393

16 Rome on the Potomac 429

17 The Parting Glass 463

18 The Big Event 484

19 The Fingerprints of Intelligence 510

20 For the Good of the Country 549

21 "I Can't Look and Won't Look" 587

22 End Game 605

Epilogue 619

Notes 621

Index 663

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The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
JamesNorwood More than 1 year ago
First and foremost, "The Devil's Chessboard" is a beautifully written and meticulously researched volume. Talbot drew upon archives at Princeton University, where the Allen Dulles papers are housed. He also conducted research in other archives across the country. The documentary work is buttressed and amplified by interviews with the surviving daughter of Dulles, as well as interviews with the children of Dulles' colleagues and over 150 officials from the Kennedy administration. Nearly forty pages of notes serve to document the author's sources. A heretofore unanswered question about the JFK assassination is what was Allen Dulles was doing between the time he was dismissed by JFK as Director of the CIA in 1961 until the moment of the assassination on November 22, 1963. A related question is how was it conceivable for Dulles to have been appointed to the Warren Commission that eventually produced the conclusions that are still accepted by mainstream historians and the media? Talbot’s intensive research helps to shed on light on those questions by tracing the arc of development of the career of Allen Dulles as a high-powered attorney at the center of the elitist East Coast establishment, his shocking collaboration with the Nazis while working in the OSS, and his career in clandestine activities at the CIA. Talbot's research probes not merely the activities of Dulles as Director of the CIA, but explores the broader context of his function over three decades as a power broker, whose "efforts were directed not against hostile governments but against his own." (p. 3) Talbot cites revelations from the Columbia University sociology professor C. Wright Mills about the secret government of Allen Dulles, which was comprised of a "power elite" and based on the anti-Constitutional premise of "organized irresponsibility." In many ways, "The Devil's Chessboard" is a companion volume to Talbot's essential study "Brothers," which focuses on the relationship of John and Robert Kennedy. But the more recent book on Dulles covers the broader scope of how the American government was transformed into the national security state in the years following World War II. Talbot's goal in preparing this book is to demonstrate the urgency of coming to terms with our past and how "it is essential that we continue to fight for the right to own our history." (p. xii) An excellent place to begin that quest is to own this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Extraordinary story of some of some of the most unsavory people in recent American history, admirers of the worst of the third Reich, they facilitated and ensured their escape and resurgence in many areas of American life, especially incorporating the horrific experiments in wwii. Story of unapologetic evil. These are the major contributors to America's heinous rendition, torture, and assassination policies of the present.
Moneysmart More than 1 year ago
I have just finished reading Mr. Talbot’s book. I sat for many minutes in stunned silence reflecting on what I had just read. How can a small number of evil men depose or assassinate heads of state with impunity? How can such a small number of evil men, with great wealth and power, determine American foreign policy? The book is aptly named “The Devil’s Chessboard” for only the most evil men play this game with people’s lives as their pawns without the least sense of morality and all in the name of ‘patriotism.’ The leading CIA cast of characters in the book have long since passed into Hell, but we can be sure they have been replaced in the here and now. Their progeny are just as evil. Their names are not as well known as Dulles, Angleton, or Gottlieb... Someday they will be.
bmyrab More than 1 year ago
Absolutely one of the most revealing history books ever written, and written well. Don't count on propaganda rags like the NY Times or Washington Post to review it. They don't want us to know real history and the damage done by devils like Allen Dulles. Nor do they want us to know that they've long been propaganda rags serving the CIA. Just read The Devil's Chessboard! Be informed. The truth matters.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Saw the author, David Talbot, interview with Tavis Smiley on PBS. Chilling! Disgusting that an airport is named after Dulles