La Piscine: The French Secret Service Since 1944

Roger Faligot, Author, Pascal Krop, Author Blackwell Publishers $24.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-631-15656-7
The authors' superficial account of French secret-service activities over the past four decades unwittingly conjures up images of a bumbling Inspector Clouseau. Having gathered an enormous amount of material, Faligot and Krop present it in an almost undigested state. An arch-rivalry with the American secret services is mentioned: Colonel Edward Lansdale, CIA ace of the 1950s, is said to have ``stirred up a plot'' against Cambodia's Prince Sihanouk but is ``foiled'' by the Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre-Espionnage with the help of ``Chinese intelligence.'' How this was accomplished is not explained. Nor are the French authors forthcoming about postwar recruitment, training or policy. Unexpectedly coherent is the final chapter, dealing with the blundered 1985 sinking of the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior in New Zealand. But on the whole, readers will be befuddled, never sure whether the authors intend to inform, amuse, appall--or all three. Photos. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Discover what to read next