Wild Bill and Intrepid: Donovan, Stephenson, and the Origin of CIA

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9780300065633: Wild Bill and Intrepid: Donovan, Stephenson, and the Origin of CIA

Was the Central Intelligence Agency solely an American accomplishment, the work of Colonel William J. ("Wild Bill") Donovan, as CIA tradition as held? Or was it in fact established through the workings of William S. Stephenson - the legendary "Intrepid", who directed British intelligence in the United States during World War II? In this book, a former staff officer and analyst at CIA unveils the true story of the birth of CIA. Drawing on interviews with Stephenson and other key players and on formerly secret American and British archival material, Thomas F. Troy tells how Stephenson cultivated Donovan as a sympathetic, aggressive and influential American interventionist with whom British intelligence could develop a relationship that would enable the British to frustrate Axis operations in the Western Hemisphere, help bring the US into World War II, and ensure Allied victory. Stephenson gave Donovan the idea of establishing a new American intelligence organization, claims Troy. Donovan then passed the idea to President Roosevelt, and as a result, the Office of the Coordinator of Information was set up in 1942, with Donovan as its head. This office was replaced by the Office of Strategic Services in 1942, and by CIA in 1947. The historic and clandestine collaboration between Stephenson and Donovan has provoked allegations and insinuations that Donovan was a British spy in World War I, Stephenson a congenital liar, and the Office of Strategic Services a mistake. This book rebuts these charges.

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