The Secret History of the CIA

The Secret History of the CIA Trento s character driven history of the flawed and often destructive Central Intelligence Agency profiles the men and women who have run the agency from its inception up to the present era Photos

  • Title: The Secret History of the CIA
  • Author: Joseph J. Trento
  • ISBN: 9780786715008
  • Page: 439
  • Format: Paperback
  • Trento s character driven history of the flawed and often destructive Central Intelligence Agency profiles the men and women who have run the agency from its inception up to the present era Photos.

    One thought on “The Secret History of the CIA”

    1. A review by Anthony T. Riggio of the book “The Secret History of the CIA” written by Joseph J. Trento.This book was lent to me by a fellow member of Saint Rita Church in Santa Rosa Beach Florida. He is a retired US Army pilot and a Vietnam veteran. He knew I was a retired FBI agent and a lover of history. The book he loaned looked brand new and after I started reading it I noticed it was published in 2001 but did not mind because it was a historical work on the CIA (Central Intelligence Agen [...]

    2. Extremely well written, well researched, and while this could have been boring- it was riveting. A+++ read. Highly recommended.

    3. The biggest “secret” in the Secret History of the CIA is that the CIA was never very successful at fighting the Soviet Union and had very little to do with winning the Cold War. On the other hand, the Soviet Union was extremely successful at penetrating the highest levels of Western intelligence agencies the moment WWII ended. Telling the CIA’s secret history is to tell the story of the KGB’s numerous moles and the lifelong quest of America’s counter-intelligence chief, James Jesus Ang [...]

    4. I would have to say I'm throughly disgusted with our CIA and FBI. The lying and cheating our country does to its own tax paying citizens is awful! The fact that the US sheltered Nazi war criminals after WWII because of their knowledge on weapons and Russia make me sick. This book took me a while to read because I actually went out to the internet and googled so many of the references and did a Wikpedia search on all the key individuals. I will have to say - I never liked J. Edgar Hoover and I li [...]

    5. My first non-fiction foray into the CIA, i see that I'll have to read a few more books on the subject to flesh out my thoughts. The author's firsthand interviews and research seem to give it a great deal of credibility.

    6. I am on a bit of a spy kick lately, and I wanted to find a book that was a sort of overview of the history of the CIA. I looked around for something that covered the whole history of the Agency, and really couldn't find anything good, so I settled for this.In some respects, it is what I wanted - its trashy, full of stories of drunks and mistresses and batshit crazy people. It trashes the famous "Berlin Base" CIA operation, defend James Angelton and makes a case for the CIA being a basically inen [...]

    7. Trento's history of the CIA and its role in bringing Pinochet to power reveals another layer to Watergate and what prompted Richard Nixon to resign rather than face trial. This book is packed full of the history behind our history. Don't understand what's happening in the world today but wish you did? Read this book.

    8. Since I was of reading age, I have always been intrigued with and kept up with news about US, Soviet, British, German and Israeli Spies. I tried to keep up with the news stories as they were getting exposed, died of mysterious circumstances or died in general The cast of characters were all too familiar to me. It took me a long time to read the book, not just, because of my other obligations, but due to needing to take a pause of the incompetence, the good intentions gone wrong discoveries this [...]

    9. About one hundred pages in, I resigned myself to the fact that the book is better appreciated as fiction. The paucity of primary sources and lack of footnotes causes the skeptical reader to ask, “How in the world could the Trento know this level of detail?”It is an entertaining read in spots, but needs to be taken for what it is, a “secret” history; as such, much of it is unverifiable and imaginative.

    10. This book was a long slog but I'm glad I read it. Trento, despite occasional lapses into gossip and unsubstantiated assertions, has the goods. His major project seems to be the rehabilitation of the reputation of the super spy James Angleton, whose legacy is still dubious. He presents a comprehensive picture of Angleton that invites sympathy for this intrepid counter-intelligence agent. Whether his assessment of Angleton's career is done better elsewhere, I cannot say because I'm not familiar wi [...]

    11. This book was pretty sweet, and it was supposed to be released on September 11, 2001. How do we spell irony? The thing that kind of set this book apart from alot of other books is that the author had access to files from former CIA employees. This information the author was able to obtain really fleshed this book out and gave a new spin on the history of the CIA. The CIA and FBI's famous pissing matches all the way through the famous CIA mole hunt and more. This book is pretty spectacular. There [...]

    12. It was OK, probably should be titled "A Secret History" rarther than "The Secret History" Many interesting operations cited, like Project Paperclip, but nothing breathtaking to the average espionage student.Rambling, opinionated, prose from an Intelligence outsider. How 400+ pages of exciting subjects can be presented so boreingly is beyond me. Thankfully, there are pages of footnotes and an appendix at the end.Several times I felt a strong De Ja Vu while reading and I eventually attributed this [...]

    13. How this book portrayed the CIA/FBI from the end of WWII to the Berlin Wall coming down is like this: pissing contests, egos, and the Good Old Boys Club > actual intelligence and protecting America. No one learned from their mistakes and many people, including JFK, died because of it. Couple this with many other books explaining the same failures leading up to 9/11 and the Iraq War, it's kinda hard not to think these may be accurate depictions of these parts of the intelligence Community. Tha [...]

    14. I give this four stars for the following reasons:1) The author's approximately decades of relevant intelligence reporting before the 2005 edition in an investigative career that began in 1968.2) The author's unique access to longtime CIA Counter-intelligence Chief James J. Angleton and his papers.3) The enduring message Angleton's disappointment with his career, and its relevance to today's NSA and other spy scandals.I may revisit this with a five-star rating. I'm leery of awarding too many, but [...]

    15. This is a great book about the CIA. It is made up of interviews with CIA officials from its onset to the Reagan administration.The most insteresting part is how often the system failed. From the US recruiting Nazis to work against the Soviets, to botched assassination attempt on Castro, even the details of the Kennedy assassination the CIA basically failed repeatedly throughout its history. It turns out the CIA had Soviet moles infecting it from the very beginning.Definately worth the read.

    16. Should be titled "A" Secret History. I was expecting a collection of the covert war crimes committed by the CIA, but what I got was a linear story following several CIA officials through the decades of the Cold War. And a suspect story at that, the author doesn't seem too suspicious of his sources and is willing to put forth the idea that Russia was the hand that killed JFK. There are many interesting parts of the book but all and all a disappointment and not very credible.

    17. The book was boring in many chapters and difficult to hold my interest. However I did finish it and was disappointed by revelations by the author. I was surprised to find so much incompetence in the CIA and cleverness by the KGB that went undiscovered. In lowered my faith in the CIA and FBI. I am sure that most CIA staff are very competent but it is a shame the leadership lacks the skills necessary to lead this agency.

    18. I thoroughly enjoyed this non-fiction history of the CIA, although the emphasis was on the major mistakes the Agency has made over the years. Particularly sobering was the many Soviet moles that have penetrated the U.S and this book's revelation about the JFK assassination conspiracy was startling.

    19. So far I'm kind of disappointed. The book takes a negative tone in nearly every regard in the history presented in the first 100 pages. While there may have been serious flaws at the beginning of the new organization, there had to be some kind of success to counterbalance and give value to the men who put their lives at risk.

    20. True story of melancholy. Trento investigated the history of the CIA and revealed what and how nightmares came to the intelligence community. What so ever reason anyone give us, lie is the cause of CIA's emergence, like that of KGB's or others. With the violently political attitude and irresponsibility, the damage widespreads not around the US, but the world.

    21. Due to the fact that I have a big interest in all things history, I really enjoyed this book. There were things that have been known for a while, but after reading this book you learn some things that have happened in the past with the CIA that have not been public matter, because it would essentially hurt the credibility of the CIA. Overall, great book.

    22. Although I found this book to be informative, I found the title to be misleading. This book only discusses one aspect of the CIA; the Cold War and the CIA's relationship/ involvement in European affairs. That is not the only thing the CIA has been involved in. This book is about one very-small piece of secret CIA history, not all of it.

    23. Trento trots out one too many conspiracies and points to doubtful sources. His inability to obtain multiple primary sources doesn't stop him from alluding to larger conspiracies. Overall not as good as other better researched histories of the agency.

    24. This book was interesting in many ways, but a thorough history it is not. What stood out for me was how deeply and easily moles were operating. Also, much of the maneuvering that was done failed in its objective even as it was often deadly. A better and more thorough book may be "Legacy of Ashes".

    25. Another book in need of a good editor. Too much uneeded detail. Strong beginning but the important section on South America left me wanting more. And the entire discussion of the Kennedy assassination should have been left on the editing room floor. Did not find it credible.

    26. This was a great book. I had to read it in small sections because there was so much history in it, but it was full of intriguing stories that showed what the CIA had covered up long ago.

    27. Some of the information in here and accounts of missteps by the CIA are incredible. This book is simply great.

    28. Twould be better if I was more brushed up on my espionage names and history. Still, as a completely random pick it was fun enough.

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