While America Slept

2 Oct
The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer

The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer

Stephen Kinzer, who has had a creditable career as a foreign correspondent for the New York Times in Central America, Berlin and Turkey and who co-authored Bitter Fruit: The Story of the American Coup in Guatemala with Stephen Schlesinger (David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies) has written an eye opening (to the somnambulant) book The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War (Henry Holt). Where Bitter Fruit was an excellent and rigorous expose of illegal American foreign policy machinations dating back to 1954, Kinzer’s biography of the Dulles Brothers, titans of American governance in mid 20th century America, is a full blown disclosure of the whole dirty rotten mess from the installation of the Shah of Iran in 1953, onward.

Reading Tom Engelhardt’s Bragging Rights Eight Exceptional(ly Dumb) American Achievements of the Twenty-First Century along with the Dulles duo’s story makes obvious a causal chain from the clumsy covert operations executed by a burgeoning CIA supported by brother John’s State Department for the benefit of white shoe law firm Sullivan and Cromwell and Sullivan and Cromwell’s client’s interests in the developing world.

The notion of America’s unique place in the world’s cosmology has had no more zealous warriors aggressively furthering that hallowed place, than the brothers Dulles, Allen (CIA Director)and John Foster(Secy of State). Kinzer structures an accessible narrative, illuminating this crucial Cold War era as it transformed from a neo religious world view to a fundamental strategic

Bitter Fruit by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer

Bitter Fruit by Stephen Schlesinger and Stephen Kinzer

I am hoping to sit down with Stephen Kinzer once again (we have chatted oreviously) and review the impact of the Dulles’ and their notions of massive retaliation,agonizing reappraisals and rollbacks of communism which were key buzz words during their reign. As well as querying Kinzer, on what I take, as his curious choices to publish a New York Times piece on Allan Dulles’s sex drive. And also discuss his description of famed muckraker IF Stone as a polemicist.

Stay tuned.

IF STONE drawn by David Levine

IF Stone caricature by David Levine

Currently reading Kansas City Lightening by Stanley Crouch (Harper)

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