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Based on privileged access to the president and his private papers, this classic Cold War era history by bestselling historian Stephen E. Ambrose—who authored the most acclaimed full-scale biography of Eisenhower—gives an inside look at the way President Dwight Eisenhower managed American secret operations.
During his presidency, Dwight D. Eisenhower's public face was that of a genial bureaucrat who preferred the golf course over the cabinet room. Yet behind the placid image he was a sly fox who ran the most efficient espionage establishment in the world. He fostered the growth of the CIA, overthrew governments, and hatched assassination plots. Ike was responsible for some of the greatest coups in espionage history, as well as some of its most ignominious failures. This book gives a behind-the-scenes look at operations like the ULTRA-guided ambush of the German counterattack at Mortain; the 1954 overthrow of Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán's government of Guatemala; Operation AJAX, which toppled Iran's Mossadegh; and the U-2 flights over Russia. Some of Ike's most conspicuous intelligence failures are also discussed, including the failure to predict the German attack during the Battle of the Bulge; the Francis Gary Powers fiasco; and the tragic and irresponsible
encouragement of freedom fighters in Hungary, Indonesia, and Cuba.
“Revealing and engagingly written. . . . A book with the qualities of an adventure story.” —The New York Review of Books
“Ambrose is a superb historian.” —The New York Times Book Review
“Historians and public alike should be profoundly grateful to Ambrose.” —Chicago Tribune
“Ambrose brought American history to life with intelligence and care.” —The Tampa Tribune