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The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Anglais) Relié – 30 octobre 2013

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Revue de presse

Named a Best Book of the Year by TheAtlantic.com and Kirkus Reviews [A] fluently written, ingeniously researched, thrillerish work of popular history... Mr. Kinzer has brightened his dark tale with an abundance of racy stories. Gossip nips at the heels of history on nearly every page. - The Wall Street Journal. Anyone wanting to know why the United States is hated across much of the world need look no farther than this book... A riveting chronicle. - The New York Times Book Review [The Brothers] is a bracing, disturbing and serious study of the exercise of American global power... Kinzer, a former foreign correspondent for the New York Times, displays a commanding grasp of the vast documentary record, taking the reader deep inside the first decades of the Cold War. He brings a veteran journalist's sense of character, moment and detail. And he writes with a cool and frequently elegant style.--The Washington Post[A] fast-paced and often gripping dual biography.--The Boston Globe Stephen Kinzer's sparkling new biography...suggests that the story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America.--Washington Monthly Two exceptionally important stories take up the bulk of Kinzer's book, and both are told with considerable insight and disciplined prose.--Bookforum. The errors of the Dulles brothers are vividly described in this highly entertaining book...A thoroughly informative book.--Revista: The Harvard Review of Latin America. A historical critique sure to spark debate.--Booklist. Kinzer tells the fascinating story of the Dulles brothers, central figures in U.S. foreign policy and intelligence activities for over four decades. He describes U.S. efforts to change governments during this period in Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Cuba, and other countries in exciting detail.--John Deutch, former director, Central Intelligence Agency. As someone who reported from the Communist prison yard of Eastern Europe, I knew that the Cold War really was a struggle between Good and Evil. But Stephen Kinzer, in this compressed, richly-detailed polemic, demonstrates how at least in the 1950s it might have been waged with more subtlety than it was.--Robert D. Kaplan, author of The Revenge of Geography A disturbing, provocative, important book. Stephen Kinzer vividly brings the Dulles brothers, once paragons of American Cold War supremacy, to life and makes a strong case against the dangers of American exceptionalism.--Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World The Dulles brothers, one a self-righteous prude, the other a charming libertine, shared a common vision: a world run from Washington by people like themselves. With ruthless determination, they pursued, acquired, and wielded power, heedless of the consequences for others. They left behind a legacy of mischief. Theirs is a whale of a story and Stephen Kinzer tells it with verve, insight, and just the right amount of indignation. Andrew J. Bacevich, author of Washington Rules: America's Path to Permanent War --Various --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world. John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world? The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country s role in the world. Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran. The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world

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This is an extremely important and thorough reminder of the uses of American "exceptionalism" to overthrow democratically elected governments, foment civil wars and commit assassinations. This policy of regime change, carried out with unflinching zeal and catastrophic long-term results by the Dulles Brothers, continues to this day. The big question is how to stop these criminal activities. Recognizing the truth is a first step. This book should be required reading;
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Amazon.com: HASH(0x972d2954) étoiles sur 5 533 commentaires
293 internautes sur 329 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9712cae0) étoiles sur 5 Best Political/Historical Book in Years 11 octobre 2013
Par Mike Feder/Sirius XM and PRN.FM Radio - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
You know those reviews clips, headlines or ads that say "Must Read" or, "...if you only read one book this year..."
I have to say, with all the books I've read before and am reading currently, this one is absolutely the most eye-opening, informative and provocative one I've come across in many years.
And--after all I've read about American politics and culture--after all the experts I've interviewed on my radio show... I shouldn't be shocked any more. But the scope of insanity, corruption and hypocrisy revealed in this history of the Dulles brothers is, in fact, truly shocking.

Just when you thought you knew just how bad the United States has been in the world, you come across a history like this and you suddenly become aware of the real depths to which "our" government has sunk in subverting decency, freedom and democracy all over the world.

George W. Bush asked the question after 9/11-- "Why do they hate us?" The answer he came up with was, "Because of our Freedoms." When you read this book, you come face to face for the real reasons THEY (most of the rest of the world) hate us. It's because these Bush's "freedoms" are only for the United States, no other non-white, non-Christian, non-corporate cultures need apply.

The missionary Christian, Corporatism of the Dulles Brothers--John, the former head of the largest corporate law firm in the world, then Secretary of State, and his brother Allen, the head of the CIA all the way from Korea through Vietnam--constitutes the true behavioral DNA of America-in-the-world. It's enough to make you weep for the billions of people this country has deprived of freedom and security for the last sixty years.

I grew up practically in love with America and the Declaration of Independence. When I was a kid the USA had just beaten the Nazis. I saw the picture of the marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. I knew men in my neighborhood that had liberated concentration camps.
But they never taught us the real history of America in high school and barely at all in college. If they had given us a clear picture of our true history, there never would have been a Vietnam in the first place--and no Iraq or Afghanistan either; Global Banks wouldn't have gotten away with stealing all our money and crashing our economy and Christian fundamentalist and corporate puppets wouldn't have taken over our government.

Karma is real. You can't steal a whole country, kill and enslave tens of millions of human beings, assassinate democratically elected leaders of countries, bribe and corrupt foreign governments, train the secret police and arm the military of dictators for decades-- You cannot do all this and escape the judgment and the punishment of history.

This book is, in fact, a MUST READ... for anyone who wants to know what their taxes have paid for in the last half century--for anyone who wants to know just exactly why the rest of the world wants either to attack us or throw us out of their countries. And a must read for anyone who no longer wishes their "representatives" in Washington to keep facilitating the stealing and killing all over the world and call it American Exceptionalism.

I'll also add that Stephen Kinzer is also a terrific writer; clear, articulate, factual and dramatic. His inside the inner circle revelations of the Dulles brothers and their crimes is morbidly page-turning.
101 internautes sur 115 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9712cb34) étoiles sur 5 A Fantastic Book! 8 octobre 2013
Par Jacob G. Hornberger - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
The book is fascinating and gripping. I couldn't put it down. It goes a long way in explaining the plight in which the United States finds itself today.

The book's general focus is on the actions of the CIA and the State Department during the early period of the Cold War, specifically 1947 through the late 1960s and the role that the Dulles brothers played during that period of time. John Foster Dulles was serving as Secretary of State and Allen Dulles was serving as director of the CIA. The book specifically focuses on six regime-change operations during the Dulles brothers' tenure: Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cuba, and the Congo, including the first presidentially authorized assassinations of foreign leaders in American history.

We live in a time today when many Americans exalt the national-security state. They honestly believe that if it weren't for the big standing army, the overseas military empire, the CIA, and the NSA, the United States wouldn't exist for very long. Without the national-security state, these Americans honestly believe, America would quickly fall to the communists, the terrorists, the illegal aliens, the drug dealers, or some combination thereof.

They sing the praises of the troops and automatically assume that the more people they kill over there, they safer we are here at home. They glorify the CIA, even while not knowing exactly what it's doing--and, more important, not wanting to know. They like the fact that the NSA is spying on them but would prefer not knowing that it's spying on them. They simply cannot imagine living the life that our American ancestors lived for more than a century and a half before World War II --a life without a national security state.

Such Americans block out of their minds the fact that a free society and a national-security state are irreconcilable. In fact, they've convinced themselves that they're free because of the national security state.

Books like Kinzer's help to pierce through the falsehoods and misconceptions about the military and the CIA that grip the minds of so many Americans. The book shows how the United States veered off into a different direction after World War II, a direction involving much dark-side activity that the national-security state kept secret from the American people and which the American people, for their part, simply didn't want to know about.

It was all justified under fighting the communists or, more specifically, keeping America safe and secure from America's World War II partner and ally, the Soviet Union, which supposedly was orchestrating a worldwide communist movement designed to conquer and control the entire world.

There was the CIA's coup in Iran, which ousted the popular Mohammad Mossadegh from power and reinstalled the brutal dictatorial regime of the Shah. There was the CIA's ouster of the democratically elected president of Guatemala and his replacement by a brutal military dictatorship. There was the CIA's instigation of a horrific civil war in Indonesia. There was the CIA's plan to assassinate the leader of the Congo. There was the CIA's coup and the assassination of the U.S.-appointed leader of South Vietnam. There was the CIA's invasion of Cuba and repeated assassination attempts on the life of Fidel Castro.

Never mind that there were other factors involved, such as the nationalization of British oil interests in Iran or the nationalization of land in Guatemala belonging to a U.S. corporation with which the Dulles brothers had close ties. And never mind that Third World rulers simply wanted to stay out of Cold War politics. What mattered was that whenever any foreign ruler didn't do what U.S. officials wanted him to do, that made his regime a Cold War enemy and, therefore, subject to regime-change, including through assassination. The mindset was "If you're not with us, then you're against us." Neutrality was out of the question.

And never mind that Americans and others around the world are still suffering the horrific results of these regime-change operations. Just look at the state of U.S.-Iran relations. Or the hundreds of thousands of graves in Guatemala as a result of the civil war that the CIA's coup brought about. Or the continuous brutal U.S. embargo against Cuba. Or the families who still grieve the loss of loved ones in Vietnam and here in the United States.

It was all a new direction for America, a dark direction, one that the American people had never before engaged in. And it was all justified under the rubric of "the communist threat," specifically the supposed danger that the communists were everywhere and were coming to get us and take over our country, much like we hear about the terrorists today.

Why is this early period of the Cold War so relevant to today? Because the foreign policy-civil liberties woes that America faces today are rooted in that period. That's why that an understanding of that period is so critically important to understanding what we need to do to extricate ourselves from the morass in which we find ourselves. Restoring the right direction for our nation, a direction based on sound moral, economic, and legal principles, necessarily entails an examination of where American went wrong after World War II.

Another great book about this period is The War State: The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963 by Michael Swanson. That book provides the best summary of the military component of the national-security state during the Cold War. If you read both books--The War State and The Brothers -- you will have an almost perfect understanding of how we got into this mess, what the mess has done to our nation, and what we need to do to get out.--Jacob Hornberger, president, The Future of Freedom Foundation
103 internautes sur 123 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9712ce10) étoiles sur 5 The Dark-side of American foreign policy 12 octobre 2013
Par Chris - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
The American people and the world at large still feel the reverberations from the policies and adventures of the Dulles' brothers. They are in part to blame for our difficult relations with both Cuba and Iran. This history helps answer the question, "Why do they hate us?" The answer isn't our freedom, it's because we try to topple their governments.
The Dulles brother grew up in a privileged, religious environment. They were taught to see the world in strictly black and white. Both were well-educated at Groton and the Ivy League schools. Both worked on and off in the government, but spent a significant amount of time at the immensely powerful law firm, Sullivan & Cromwell. They had virtually identical world views but nearly opposite personalities. (John) Foster was dour, awkward, and straight-laced. Allen was outgoing, talkative, and had loose morals.
There's no need for a blow-by-blow of their lives in this review. The core of the book revolves around Foster Dulles as the Secretary of State under Eisenhower and Allen as the Director of the CIA. The center of the book is divided into six parts, each one dealing with a specific foreign intervention: Mossaddegh of Iran, Arbenz of Guatemala, Ho Chi Minh of Vietnam, Lumumba of the Congo, Sukarno of Indonesia and Castro of Cuba.
The Dulles view was that you were either behind the US 110% or a communist, with no room for neutrals. Neutrals were to be targeted for regime change. The author lays out explicitly all the dirty tricks our government tried on other world leaders, from poison to pornography. This dark side of American foreign policy can help Americans better understand our relationships with other countries.
My difficulty with this book is the final chapter. The author throws in some pop-psychology such as; people take in information that confirms their beliefs and reject contradictory information, we can be confident of our beliefs even when we're wrong, etc. The Dulles brothers are definite examples of these psychological aspects. Then the author says the faults of the Dulles brothers are the faults of American society, that we are the Dulles brothers. I felt like a juror in a murder trial during the closing statements, "It's not my client's fault, society is to blame!"
In most of America's foreign adventures, the American people have been tricked with half-truths and outright lies. Further more, these men received the best educations and were granted great responsibility. They should be held to a higher standard than "Oh well, everyone has their prejudices."
I agree with the author that the public should be more engaged in foreign policy and have a better understanding of our history with other nations. However, I think he goes too far in excusing their decisions because they supposedly had the same beliefs as many Americans.
16 internautes sur 18 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9713a354) étoiles sur 5 Stephen Kinzer wants a grand debate 7 décembre 2013
Par Thomas J. Farrell - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
In The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War, Stephen Kinzer frames his fine biography of the Dulles brothers as a polemic about American foreign policy. Foster and Allen Dulles were lawyers, not plutocrats. But they became wealthy by doing legal work for plutocrats. Under President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the 1950s, Foster served as Secretary of State; Allen, as the director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). Kinzer carefully details the CIA’s covert efforts to destabilize Iran (119-46), Guatemala (147-74), Vietnam (175-215), Indonesia (216-46), the Congo (247-83), and Cuba (284-307). In this way he shows how debatable American foreign policy has been. As a result, he suggests that we Americans need to have a “grand debate” about American foreign policy.

As Kinzer explains, the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917 in Russia had inspired fear in President Woodrow Wilson and other Western leaders at the Paris Peace Conference in 1918-1919 at the end of World War I, which the Dulles brothers participated in (32). During the Cold War, fear of the Soviet Union and fear of world-wide communism supposedly directed by Moscow dominated American politics.

Kinzer quotes Foster Dulles as making the following statement: “‘For us there are two kinds of people in the world,’ Foster once said. ‘There are those who are Christians and support free enterprise, and there are the others’” (320-21). Us vs. them. As we will see, fear was the motivating force behind “us.” As we will also see, no neutrality was allowed.
Kinzer suggests that the Dulles brothers and President Eisenhower in the 1950s were determined to wage their global war against communism because they were “reassured by a diffuse, supra-rational assumption that American power must always prevail in the end” (297). Kinzer claims that Foster and Allen Dulles “were shaped by missionary Calvinism and America’s pioneer tradition, believed that godly and satanic forces were at war on earth, and felt called to crush the satanic ones” (227). Elsewhere, Kinzer quotes Max Weber to explain the sharp binary of good versus evil that the Dulles brothers worked with: “They assimilated what the sociologist Max Weber described as two fundamental Calvinist tenets: that Christians are ‘weapons in the hands of God and executors of His providential will’ and that ‘God’s glory demanded that the reprobate be compelled to submit to the law of the church’” (115-16). So for Foster and Allen, the Cold War was really a holy war. Because the communists were officially opposed to religion, their official position reinforced the sense that the Dulles brothers and many other anti-communist Americans had that the Cold War was a holy war.

In the view of the Dulles brothers and President Eisenhower, neutrality was not an acceptable option for non-communist nations around the world. In other words, communism was supposed to be the common enemy of all non-communist nations in the world.
With the full collaboration of President Eisenhower, the Dulles brothers geared up the CIA for a wide range of dark arts, including destabilizing regimes that were deemed to be unacceptable.

For example, with President Eisenhower’s approval, the CIA planned the invasion of Fidel Castro’s Cuba. But the invasion was carried out in 1961 after President John F. Kennedy had taken office and had approved it. It turned out to be a disaster. As a result of that debacle, President Kennedy subsequently relieved Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell of their CIA positions. (Kinzer claims that Allen Dulles had serious health issues for months before Kennedy relieved him of his CIA position.) Kinzer carefully details how President Eisenhower had acted over the years regarding various CIA operations. Kinzer suggests that Richard Bissell, who was primarily responsible for the invasion plan, had most likely expected President Kennedy to supply air cover for the invasion, as President Eisenhower almost certainly would have.
But did Kennedy’s later removal of Allen Dulles and Richard Bissell prompt certain disgruntled CIA officials to assassinate Kennedy -- bringing then-Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson into their conspiracy to handle the cover-up afterward? Kinzer does not explore this possibility. However, he could have explored this possibility in at least general terms. Let me explain.
In his fine book JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters (2008), James W. Douglass suggests that JFK was assassinated because he was a peacenik in a government in which peaceniks were not over-represented, to put it mildly. As Douglass has detailed, President Kennedy stands as a decided contrast with Foster and Allen Dulles – as detailed by Kinzer. For example, JFK’s attitudes toward the Soviet Union, Cuba, Latin America in general, Africa in general, and Indonesia stand in sharp contrast with the views of the Dulles brothers and of the CIA. According to Douglass, President Kennedy was using back channels to explore avenues of peace with Premier Nikita Khrushchev of the Soviet Union and with Fidel Castro in Cuba. Neither the Joint Chiefs nor the CIA would have welcomed President Kennedy’s peace overtures with Khrushchev and Castro.
Instead of using President Kennedy’s policies as points of contrast with the policies of the Dulles brothers, Kinzer works with a polemical framework. Here’s how Kinzer sums up his concern about the Dulles brothers: “Their actions frame the grand debate over America’s role in the world that has never been truly joined in the United States” (327).

Kinzer says, “Many Americans still celebrate their country’s [supposedly] providential ‘exceptionalism’” (328). According to Kinzer, this supposed exceptionalism involves “the view that the United States is inherently more moral and farther-seeing than other countries and therefore may behave in ways that others should not” (3). But Kinzer also claims that there is a related “belief that because of its immense power, the United States can not only topple governments but guide the course of history” (3).
In theory, the grand debate about the role of the United States in the world could involve all the key points identified by Kinzer. However, I suspect that the grand debate about the role on the United States in the world is not ever going to be joined. In other words, I do not expect that there will ever be a grand debate.
After all, President George W. Bush had a sharp bipolar view of the world that clearly resembled the sharp bipolar view of the anti-communist Americans such as the Dulles brothers and Eisenhower. Moreover, President George W. Bush used his bipolar view of the world to launch his regime change against Saddam Hussein in Iraq – based on the fear that Saddam allegedly had weapons of mass destruction.

As this example shows once again, fear is the culprit. By inciting fear, elected and appointed government officials can help generate hysteria.
33 internautes sur 41 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
HASH(0x9713a36c) étoiles sur 5 Fascinating subjects, mediocre biography & history 20 janvier 2014
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Kinzer's subjects are definitely interesting and worthy: John Foster and Allen Dulles, their various secret wars during the Eisenhower/Kennedy administrations, the US coming to grips with the cold war and the postwar international system.

The weakness of the book is that Kinzer is more interested in moral posturing than in giving a fair account of either the Dulles brothers or their opponents. Number of times that Kinzer describes Foster as "puritanical": easily hundreds, maybe thousands. Number of times that Kinzer gives Foster - a public writer and speaker for decades - more than a few paragraphs to explain his views in his own words: zero.

Kinzer is curiously incurious about foreign figures like Ho, Sukarno, Lumumba and Castro, their ideologies and the actions that put them in conflict with the US establishment. He's happy to toss out ludicrous counterfactuals, such as "the Congo might have been able to survive in peace if outsiders had left it alone" - because, I guess, that's the natural conclusion one draws from postcolonial Africa history. And likewise to make easy assertions that Eisenhower, Foster and Allen were primarily motivated by the desire to fight foreign monsters.

The end result is a thin and unconvincing history of important figures and events. It provides a reasonable summary of the events themselves, but you'll need a better book if your goal is to understand these actors and this period in history.
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