The Devil's Chessboard

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

4.24 (1,958 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Based on explosive new evidence, bestselling author David Talbot tells America's greatest untold story: the United States' rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA.


America's rise to world dominance under the guile of the CIA's longest-serving director, Allen Dulles, is its greatest untold story. Acting beyond the law, Dulles manipulated presidents, protected German war criminals and colluded with Mafiosi, all in pursuit of his interests and those of his friends. As David Talbot's shocking new evidence reveals, Dulles' tactics at home and abroad would include the fixing of assassinations, and even culminate in the death of his political enemy, John F. Kennedy and his brother Robert. This disturbing expose of American power is a gripping story of the rise of the national security state - and the battle for America's soul.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 704 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 44mm | 450g
  • William Collins
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0008159688
  • 9780008159689
  • 101,744

Review quote

"A Cold War villain of realpolitik whose successes and blunders were unrivaled. As framed by Talbot, Dulles's extra-legal interventions, coups, slush funds, and ex-Nazi collaborations were as much pro-corporate as anti-Communist, more Cheneyish than Nixonian.... He'd fit right into our globalized, subcontracted, and hypersurveilled era." (New York Magazine)


"Dulles is unmasked as the backstage manipulator of US policy (foreign and domestic) from the Cold War up to his skillful defense of the highly suspect Warren Commission report. Those who scoff at conspiracy theories might have a change of mind after reading this book." (Boston Globe, Pick of the Week)


"A frightening biography of power, manipulation, and outright treason...The story of Allen Dulles and the power elite that ran Washington, D.C., following World War II is the stuff of spy fiction...All engaged American citizens should read this book and have their eyes opened." (Kirkus, starred review)


"A damning biography-of the CIA's longest standing director-and an expose of American politics.... One would be hard pressed to find a book that is better at evoking the strange and apocalyptic atmospherics of the early Cold War years in America.... Neither le Carre nor Graham Greene could do any better." (Daily Beast)


"Offers a portrait of a black-and-white Cold War-era world full of spy games and nuclear brinkmanship." (Mother Jones)


"This year's best spy thriller isn't fiction - it's history.... By the time 'The Devil's Chessboard' eventually climaxes with the events that unfolded in Dallas in 1963, Talbot's argument that Dulles had both the power and temperament to execute such a plot is more than believable." (Salon)


"A chilling psychological depiction.... The vast surveillance system so dramatically revealed to the world by Edward Snowden could never have come to pass without the culture of fanatical secrecy and habitual lawlessness handed down by Dulles and his loyal agents." (Justyn Dillingham, Bookslut.com)
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About David Talbot

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. He is the founder and former editor-in-chief of Salon, and was a senior editor at Mother Jones magazine and the features editor at the San Francisco Examiner. He has written for The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Time, and other major publications.
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Rating details

1,958 ratings
4.24 out of 5 stars
5 49% (955)
4 33% (655)
3 13% (248)
2 3% (67)
1 2% (33)
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