Operation Rollback : America's secret war behind the Iron Curtain /
Peter Grose.
Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2000.
ix, 256 p. : ill., map
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Boston : Houghton Mifflin, c2000.
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Includes bibliographical references and index.
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Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Publishers Weekly on 2000-05-08:
As WWII came to a close, the Soviet Union and the United StatesDuneasy allies in the agonizing struggle to defeat HitlerDbegan maneuvering their intelligence agencies against one another into what would eventually become the dangerously polarized Cold War. Grose (Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles, 1994) is a former New York Times foreign correspondent, the former executive editor of Foreign Affairs and now a Kennedy School of Government fellow at Harvard. He tells a fascinating and well-documented tale of intrigue and double-dealing during this heady period of covert policy making and secret actions. He reveals that it was none other than legendary Sovietologist George Kennan who helped orchestrate American strategy, advocating containment of the Soviet Union with one hand, and secretly working against his own official policy with the otherDculminating in a secret plot to throw the Communists out of Eastern Europe. Kennan's plan, Operation Rollback, aimed to subvert the Soviet empire by stirring up resistance in its satellite countries. Grose, using newly declassified material from both the U.S. and former U.S.S.R., takes us through the intricate machinations of Rollback and its architects, presenting a hitherto untold tale of a project that was kept secret even from the CIA, and includes enough revelations throughout to sustain the tension. He writes, for example, that Rollback's planners circumvented Congress entirely and funded the operation with unaudited U.S. Treasury and Marshall Plan dollars, and that Soviet authorities were tipped off about the operation by such spies as the British Kim Philby. Students of American politics will be surprised to learn that a prominent figure from 1960s' antiwar activism, William Sloan Coffin, trained undercover saboteurs for Rollback missions. Thorough, thought-provoking and entertaining, this is a work that casts considerable light on a topic that has long lingered in the shadows. Photos not seen by PW. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
This item was reviewed in:
Booklist, March 2000
Kirkus Reviews, March 2000
New York Times Book Review, May 2000
Publishers Weekly, May 2000
Washington Post, May 2000
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Table of Contents
Overture: The Vexing "Mr. X", The two visions of George F. Kennanp. 1
An Iron Curtain Over Europe
Nazis and Communistsp. 11
"People of whom we know nothing"
Unilateral disarmament of intelligence
The secret of "Wild Bill"
Russians: allies or enemies?
Germans: enemies or allies?
The "rat line"
Resistancep. 32
Crackly radio signals from the Baltics to the Balkans
The Forest Brothers
Romania's load of plenty
Hungary's Scarlet Pimpernel
"Bandits" from Ukraine
Bothersome Russian emigres
Washington at Peace
Liberals and Conservativesp. 53
Ideological ferment in a sleepy town
An unwelcome visitor
Unwelcome testimony
The FBI finds new bearings against communism
The public perplexed
"Did I Do Right?"p. 69
The president perplexed
A New Dealer visits Moscow
Clandestine operatives in action
Political operatives in action
Political Warfare
Kennan's Designp. 87
The Soviet enemy discovered
The Long Telegram
Truman reaches out
Kennan conceives a plan
NSC 10/2
The Secret Gamep. 100
A special agency hidden within the government
An expansive Frank Wisner
Money: "the heart and soul of covert operations"
Congress looks the other way
Guerrillas, Sabotage, and Subversion
Starting with Intellectualsp. 121
"Organization X"
Emigres in harness
Fussing and feuding in exile
Mike Josselson and the Congress for Cultural Freedom
Into Battlep. 144
Is there a "CIA type"?
Frank Lindsay, the businessman
William Sloan Coffin, the divinity student
Michael Burke, the entrepreneur
Failing the test case in Albania
Combat High and Lowp. 164
Blowback from Romania
Low-flying unmarked planes
Parachute drops
Arrests, accusations, denials
Deception in Poland
Mischief in Ukraine
The perils and travails of the NTS
Anticommunism on the Hustingsp. 193
"Liberating the Captive Nations"
The FBI turns against
The White House
Ethnic politics
The troublesome Congressman Kersten
John Foster Dulles takes power
Kennan is moved out
Legacyp. 211
Rollback frays at the edges
And at the core
Restraint in Berlin
In Hungary
A devastating verdict on covert action
Glasnost and Rollback
Notes on Sourcesp. 225
Author's Notep. 241
Indexp. 245
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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