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OSS, The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency

R Harris Smith

57 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0520020235 / ISBN 13: 9780520020238
Published by University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1972
Condition: Fine Hardcover
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OSS, The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency by R Harris Smith. Published by University of California Press, Berkeley, CA, 1972. 1st Edition. Hardbound, no DJ. Size 8vo. Condition: Fine. Back cover stained. Orig book owner wrote note 'Back cover defective' inside front cover. 458 Pgs. ISBN 0520020235. LCCN 73-153553. Political history of the CIA's organizational forebear, the wartime Office of Strategic Services. Description text copyright 2000 BooksForComfort. Item ID 2256. Bookseller Inventory # 2256

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Bibliographic Details

Title: OSS, The Secret History of America's First ...

Publisher: University of California Press, Berkeley, CA

Publication Date: 1972

Binding: Hardback

Book Condition:Fine

Edition: 1st edition.

Book Type: book

About this title

Synopsis:

“The best book about America’s first modern secret service.”
--Washington Post Book World

In the months before World War II, FDR prepared the country for conflict with Germany and Japan by reshuffling various government agencies to create the Office of Strategic Services--America’s first intelligence agency and the direct precursor to the CIA. When he charged William (“Wild Bill”) Donovan, a successful Wall Street lawyer and Wilkie Republican, to head up the office, the die was set for some of the most fantastic and fascinating operations the U.S. government has ever conducted. Author Richard Harris Smith, himself an ex-CIA hand, documents the controversial agency from its conception as a spin-off of the Office of the Coordinator for Information to its demise under Harry Truman and reconfiguration as the CIA.
During his tenure, Donovan oversaw a chaotic cast of some ten thousand agents drawn from the most conservative financial scions to the country’s most idealistic New Deal true believers. Together they usurped the roles of government agencies both foreign and domestic, concocted unbelievably complicated conspiracies, and fought the good fight against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan. For example, when OSS operatives stole vital military codebooks from the Japanese embassy in Portugal, the operation was considered a success. But the success turned into a flop as the Japanese discovered what had happened, and hastily
changed a code that had already been decrypted by the U.S. Navy.
Colorful personalities and truly priceless anecdotes abound in what may
arguably be called the most authoritative work on the subject.

From the Back Cover:

In the months before World War II, FDR prepared the country for conflict with Germany and Japan by reshuffling various government agencies to create the Office of Strategic Services-America's first intelligence agency and the direct precursor to the CIA. When he charged William ("Wild Bill") Donovan, a successful Wall Street lawyer and Willkie Republican, to head up the office, the stage was set for some of the most fantastic and fascinating operations the U.S. government has ever conducted. Author Richard Harris Smith, himself an ex-CIA hand, documents the controversial agency from its conception as a spin-off of the Office of the Coordinator for Information to its demise under Harry Truman and reconfiguration as the CIA.
During his tenure, Donovan oversaw a chaotic cast of some ten thousand agents drawn from the most conservative financial scions to the country's most idealistic New Deal true believers. Together they usurped the roles of government agencies both foreign and domestic, concocted unbelievably complicated conspiracies, and fought the good fight against the Axis powers of Germany and Japan. For example, when OSS operatives stole vital military codebooks from the Japanese embassy in Portugal, the operation was considered a success. But the success turned into a flop as the Japanese discovered what had happened, and hastily changed a code that had already been decrypted by the U.S. Navy.
Colorful personalities and truly priceless anecdotes abound in what may arguably be called the most authoritative work on the subject.

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