Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Dear Great Book Guru, December is filled with such fun events and I particularly loved the Scrooge Stroll this past weekend- we are all hoping it will become an annual event here in Sea Cliff. But now I feel I have time to devote to a longer book, perhaps a political thriller.  Any ideas?  Delighted in December

Dear Delighted, I just finished a fascinating and very disturbing book: THE DEVIL’S CHESSBOARD by David Talbot. Its subtitle is “Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America’s Secret Government.”  A few months ago I recommended THE BROTHERS by Stephen Kinzer – a biography that detailed the lives of Allen and John Foster Dulles, showing their nefarious roles in 20th century global politics.  This book focuses on Allen Dulles and his impact on the United States government and national psyche. As the longest-serving head of the CIA, he skillfully manipulated Congress, the FBI, and all three Presidents he worked for: Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy.  Richard Nixon himself rose to power as a result of Dulles’s coaching and financing.   His role in the Cold War -in particular the dark days of the McCarthy scourge- is highlighted.  His involvement with Nazi war criminals and the Mafia is revealed as is  terrifying evidence of his role in the Kennedy assassination. The book reads like a spy thriller, but it supported by extensive documentation. The 21st century world we live in now is in many ways the creation of Allen Dulles.  Recommended!

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