Honorable Treachery: A History of U.S. Intelligence, Espionage, and Covert Action from the American Revolution to the CIA

G. J. A. O'Toole, Author Atlantic Monthly Press $29.95 (591p) ISBN 978-0-87113-506-3
In this hefty, balanced review of American intelligence, espionage and covert action, the author demonstrates that these activities, far from being dishonorable or ``un-American,'' are part of a tradition that dates back to George Washington. The father of our country was, in fact, the chief American spymaster in the Revolutionary War (``He recruited spies, instructed them in their treacherous craft, sent them out, welcomed them back, and paid them off''). O'Toole ( The Cosgrove Report ) recounts every major intelligence operation from 1776 through 1962, describes the gradual emergence of the professional intelligence officer in both military and foreign service, and explains how secret intelligence and ``special operations'' became vital instruments of American policymaking. Finally, O'Toole describes how CIA intelligence may have made the difference between ``a near thing and a nuclear holocaust'' during the October 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. History Book Club selection. Photos. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/04/1991
Release date: 11/01/1991
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