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

By David Talbot

An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the guy who reworked the CIA into the main powerful—and secretive—colossus in Washington, from the founding father of Salon.com and writer of the New York Times bestseller Brothers.

America’s maximum untold tale: the USA’ upward push to global dominance lower than the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials—including newly stumbled on U.S. executive records, U.S. and ecu intelligence assets, the non-public correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles’s spouse and mistress, and particular interviews with the youngsters of favourite CIA officials—Talbot unearths the bottom of 1 of America’s strongest and influential figures.

Dulles’s decade because the director of the CIA—which he used to additional his private and non-private agendas—were darkish occasions in American politics. Calling himself “the secretary of kingdom of unfriendly countries,” Dulles observed himself as above the elected legislation, manipulating and subverting American presidents within the pursuit of his own pursuits and people of the rich elite he counted as his buddies and clients—colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German conflict criminals, and Mafiosi within the method. concentrating on international leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments no longer in keeping with his political goals, Dulles hired those self same strategies to extra his ambitions at domestic, Talbot fees, providing surprising new proof within the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

An exposé of yankee strength that's as aggravating because it is well timed, The Devil’s Chessboard is a provocative and gripping tale of the increase of the nationwide defense state—and the conflict for America’s soul.

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Whilst Nixon walked into Suite 1527 on the Roosevelt lodge that summer time evening in 1948, he confronted a powerful array of energy. With Foster have been his brother Allen, Christian Herter, and Wall highway banker C. Douglas Dillon, who may later serve President Eisenhower within the country division and presidents Kennedy and Johnson as Treasury secretary. those males made up an important component to the Republican Party’s ruling clique. If Nixon did not persuade them that he had a superb case opposed to Hiss, HUAC must shut its noisy exhibit, and his political occupation will be wrecked simply because it was once gaining traction. Foster felt that Nixon approached the crowd with the right kind experience of humility, and doubtless trepidation. “It used to be transparent he didn't want to continue [with the Hiss research] until eventually humans like myself had agreed that he rather had a case to justify going ahead,” Foster later remarked. Nixon knew that he was once dealing with a skeptical viewers. Herter, a mentor ever due to the fact that their Marshall Plan junket, had already advised Nixon he didn’t imagine he had a case. Herter had checked along with his associates on the country division, who guaranteed him Hiss used to be now not a Communist. yet Nixon was once additionally conscious that he got here into the room along with his personal designated leverage. because the top inquisitor within the Hiss case—an affair whose tendrils laced their means so far as John Foster Dulles himself—Nixon had the ability to upend the Republican presidential crusade. Nixon sat quietly within the suite whereas the Dulles brothers conscientiously learn in the course of the Hiss and Chambers transcripts. once they have been performed, Foster received to his toes and started pacing the room along with his arms clasped at the back of him. The brothers learned that Nixon used to be right—and that they had an issue. “There’s absolute confidence approximately it,” Foster frowned. “It’s nearly very unlikely to think, yet Chambers is aware Hiss. ” The Republican clever males took Nixon into their self assurance, and once more the bold younger flesh presser got here to a collectively handy association with the Dulles circle. It used to be one other major step for Nixon in the course of the portals of energy. With the Republican mind trust’s complete help, Nixon could proceed his competitive pursuit of Hiss whereas conserving the highlight conscientiously clear of Foster and different GOP luminaries who have been tied to the accused guy. in the meantime, Foster hurried to distance himself from Hiss, pressuring him backstage to surrender his Carnegie Endowment put up, whereas Allen fed incriminating intelligence to Nixon to reinforce his case. a few of this personal information regarding Hiss most likely got here from the Venona undertaking, the military intelligence application that were arrange in 1943 to decrypt messages despatched by means of Soviet undercover agent organizations. The Venona undertaking used to be so best mystery that it was once stored hidden from President Truman, however the deeply stressed Dulles may need loved entry to it. Nixon was once inspired via the Dulles brothers’ daring determination to politically make the most the Hiss affair instead of run from it. The HUAC research might have been “acutely embarrassing” to Foster, Nixon later famous.

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