For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush

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9780060921781: For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence and the American Presidency from Washington to Bush

From the co-author of KGB: The Inside Story and an acknowledged authority on the subject comes "the most important book ever written about American intelligence."--David Kahn, author of The Codebreakers and Hitler's Spies

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About the Author:

Christopher Andrew is Professor of Modern and Contemporary History at Cambridge University, a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, former Visiting Professor of National Security at Harvard University, and guest lecturer at numerous American universities and the CIA. His writings, translated into many languages, have established him as one of the world's leading authorities in intelligence history. Professor Andrew is also a frequent host of BBC TV and radio programs on history and world affairs.

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Much of the value returned on America's multibillion-dollar spending on intelligence depends on what the ultimate consumer, the president, does with it. Too often the sum is wasted if he ignores it or wants fortune-telling clairvoyance from it. But a few presidents have justified the expense with their realistic use of confidential information. Writing about each chief executive, Andrew blends the organizational growth of U.S. spy agencies (mostly ad hoc entities until the cold war spawned the CIA and NSA) with presidential predilections of the moment. FDR preferred espionage gathering on people (he was indifferent, unlike Churchill, to the signals intelligence that was possibly decisive in World War II); aerial surveillance tripped up Ike in the U-2 affair; and Nixon's undoing was his penchant for snooping on domestic political opponents. When not telling a revealing anecdote, such as Wilson's naive use of a simple cipher the British had no trouble cracking, Andrew aims his fluid analysis at the intelligence successes and failures in the foreign policy realm--in all, a fascinating synthesis from a premier author of a half-dozen previous espionage histories. An excellent companion acquisition is G. J. O'Toole's Honorable Treachery (1991), a history of U.S. intelligence operations. Gilbert Taylor

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