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

4.22 (1,137 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the man who transformed the CIA into the most powerful--and secretive--colossus in Washington, from the founder of Salon.com and author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers.

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. Drawing on revelatory new materials--including newly discovered U.S. government documents, U.S. and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles's wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials--Talbot reveals the underside of one of America's most powerful and influential figures.

Dulles's decade as the director of the CIA--which he used to further his public and private agendas--were dark times in American politics. Calling himself "the secretary of state of unfriendly countries," Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients--colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home, Talbot charges, offering shocking new evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

An expose of American power that is as disturbing as it is timely, The Devil's Chessboard is a provocative and gripping story of the rise of the national security state--and the battle for America's soul.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 686 pages
  • 150 x 226 x 38mm | 953g
  • HARPER PERENNIAL
  • English
  • Reprint
  • 0062276174
  • 9780062276179

Review quote

-Offers a portrait of a black-and-white Cold War-era world full of spy games and nuclear brinkmanship.---Mother Jones
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Back cover copy

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. Drawing on revelatory new materials, David Talbot exposes the underside of one of America's most influential figures. The Devil's Chessboard tells the timely, provocative, and gripping story of the rise of the national security state--and the battle for America's soul.
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Review Text

"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
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Rating details

1,137 ratings
4.22 out of 5 stars
5 48% (545)
4 34% (382)
3 13% (145)
2 4% (47)
1 2% (18)
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