To work for Frank Wisner was romantic and dashing. Thomas does capture a number of good lessons from his material, either from his own reflections or, most often, quoted from his sources. Pentagon planners had actually picked a day—July 1, 1952—for the Soviet invasion of Western Europe. The experience produced a type that is quite at odds with that stereotype of Cold War fiction, the deeply cynical spymaster. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Bohlen was especially charming and gregarious.
¹¹ In fact, he was deeply involved in palace intrigue in Bucharest, a city that fancied itself as the Paris of the Balkans. The first sort involved espionage, the secret gathering of information. It was an ambitious plan, but as Wisner was well aware, there was no one to carry it out. And that it was a great game, to be played with great ferocity. Tracy Barnes served under Wisner and Bissell, and oversaw the Bay of Pigs operation.
To many, this would be even a greater crime than the Bay of Pigs: the seeming cherry-picking of information to suit the goals of a particular administration, with all the resulting costs. Over time the amateurs would become cynics, and intelligence would become a cult. It also puts a much needed human face on this era and those defining years of modern American intelligence. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. In the end, they were too idealistic and too honorable, and were unsuited for the dark, duplicitous life of spying.
Peter Sichel, who worked with both men in Germany, went to one of those lunches, at the Down Town Association: They were pining to get back. I myself was no great admirer of the Soviet Union, and I certainly had no expectation of harmonious relations after the war. Full Review: A very good and informative book on the lives and work of the men who created the worlds foremost intelligence agency. He had an urgency of manner, he was well-spoken, if orotund when he got wound up, and he knew everyone. There was always time for one more drink, one more point to make. Their hubris and naïveté led them astray, producing both sensational coups and spectacular blunders like the Bay of Pigs and the failed assassination attempts on foreign leaders in the early 1960s.
Read men, they enjoyed Rudyard's Kim and Fleming's Bond, fancied themselves Anglophiles, and were taken by romantic notions of empire; rightly, world affairs were to be thought of shrewdly. Evan Thomas re-creates the personal dramas and sometimes tragic lives of Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, and Desmond FitzGerald, who risked everything to contain the Soviet threat. Perhaps he is bored by probating wills or flyspecking debenture statements. The style showed itself in an institution known as the Sunday Night Supper. Bookseller: , New York, United States Paperback. We were told that to whom much is given, much is expected. This book attempts to explain the less well understood story of the men who made it.
Thomas has done a good job of bringing one part of our Cold War history to life. Having fought and won a war, almost no one in Washington wanted to think about another. Thomas does capture a number of good lessons from his material, either from his own reflections or, most often, quoted from his sources. May contain limited notes, underlining or highlighting that does affect the text. Read men, they enjoyed Rudyard's Kim and Fleming's Bond, fancied themselves Anglophiles, and were taken by romantic notions of empire; rightly, world affairs were to be thought of shrewdly. They were glamorous, invidious, idealistic, and a bit mad. Among their friends and family, there is a kind of puzzled sadness that such gallant men could have been brought down by their lives in the clandestine world.
Spine creases, wear to binding and pages from reading. Compact and restless, with a gap-tooth grin and bright eyes, Wisner was a great sprinter and hurdler at U. One can appre A fascinating and in-depth look into the early pre-Church Committee years of the Agency. The idea was to leave by 11 P. Once the story gets rolling, and he has finished introducing the people that carry his narrative, it moves along nicely. So while it is not written as a history, it gives a very granular aspect of history from that period.
The White House, under political pressure to do something to counter Russian adventurism, signed on. Their lives were so prescribed, beginning with their college careers. To a large extent, the four principal figures of Thomas's book are all idealists, out to create a better world by containing the evils of the Soviet Union. Wisner naturally gravitated to the local elite. Disclaimer:A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition.
It starts at the very beginning with the early lives and wartime careers of men such as Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, Frank Wisner Desmond Fitzgerald, and many more; following these men up until their retirement and eventual deaths. By May 1948, it had cranked out a proposal for a major effort to use native anti-communist elements. It started slow; Thomas did such a good job of being thorough, he basically repeated the same thing about each of his four protagonists over and over again, as he quoted a number of people saying virtually the same thing. He has won two National Magazine Awards and he has taught writing at Harvard and Princeton. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. We had a kind of enclave, said Admiral Fred Reeder, who married a Gardiner after the First World War. It traces the gradual politicization of the agency and is particularly revealing about the Eisenhower and Kennedy administrations.
Evan Thomas re-creates the personal dramas and sometimes tragic lives of Frank Wisner, Richard Bissell, Tracy Barnes, and Desmond FitzGerald, who risked everything to contain the Soviet threat. The praying part did not take; when he got older, Wisner infuriated his father by refusing to go to church. It was misguided hubris at best. They had a heaven-sent obligation and, God knows, what opportunity! In any case, the common enemy was clear. My job was to get the agenda of the Chinese Communist Central Committee in real time. The feeling was that the Kremlin had plenty of experience in this area; the West almost none.