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

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

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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War by Stephen Kinzer, David Cochran Heath

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

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781482928334
Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Publication date: 10/01/2013
Edition description: Unabridged
Sales rank: 1,265,882
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 5.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About 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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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
Tennesseedog More than 1 year ago
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).”
ScottBell More than 1 year ago
Excellent work, shedding much needed light on the deeply misguided American foreign policy of the era.
htc1935 More than 1 year ago
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.
BeeBee85 10 months ago
Fascinating read. If lefty ideologue Kinzer (NY Times apparachik) is to be believed -- a BIG if -- then The Brothers Dulles set the stage for the subsequent rampage of unaccountable policy wonks who currently conspire to destroy the US and subvert The Constitution. CFR founders Foster and Allen Dulles were on the wrong side of many disastrous policy decisions, including Vietnam and the Middle East. Again, if half the info in this book is true, it may make you reconsider Eisenhower as a President, too, to allow these two to wield so much power unchecked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The fact that this is relatively recent history is scary.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I knew nothing about the Dulles brothers when I started this book. What a thorough and insightful view into their impact on US history and some of our less thaon stellar interventions in Guatemala, Iran, Indonesia, Korea, Cuba and Vietnam. A cautionary tale as the Trump administration takes the reins of power.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mr Kinzer has a definitive style based on serious analysis. At times his ruthless honesty feels disturbing but it is not groundless. I highly recommend this book especially in this new era upon us in 2017!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Poorly written, at least in Nook form. Fascinating subject, but poorly delivered. Way too much money for what you get.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would give an extended review, but I don't have the time.
UnhappyCustomerCE More than 1 year ago
B & N has not responded to any of my contacts (email, chat and phone calls)!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Pie is awsone