Secret and Sanctioned

Secret and Sanctioned : Covert Operations and the American Presidency

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This groundbreaking new book challenges the notion that covert operations are a twentieth-century phenomenon, recounting a wide array of operations sanctioned by America's Founding Fathers. These include George Washington's plan to kidnap King George III's son; Thomas Jefferson's proposal to burn down St Paul's Cathedral in London; James Madison's procuring of a prostitute for a prominent foreign visitor; and Daniel Webster's use of British secret service money to influence American public opinion. In describing these operations and more, Stephen F. Knott challenges the conclusions of the Church and the Iran-Contra Committees that America's Cold War presidents broke faith with the Founding Fathers. While Knott acknowledges the rise of a large clandestine bureaucracy such as the CIA as a twentieth-century innovation, he nonetheless argues that the type of operations conducted by the Founders were remarkably similar to those of their Cold War successors such as Truman and more

Product details

  • Hardback | 272 pages
  • 164.3 x 243.3 x 28.4mm | 571.54g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195100980
  • 9780195100983

About Stephen F. Knott

Stephen F. Knott is Assistant Professor of Political Science at the United States Air Force more

Review quote

timely book ... an intelligent contribution to the difficult debate of how to reconcile covert operations with democratic institutions * Raymond Seitz, The Sunday Telegraph *show more

Rating details

17 ratings
4 out of 5 stars
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4 53% (9)
3 24% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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