Tim Weiner’s past work on the CIA and American intelligence was hailed as “impressively reported” and “immensely entertaining” in The New York Times. The Wall Street Journal called it “truly extraordinary . . . the best book ever written on a case of espionage.” Here is the hidden history of the CIA: why eleven presidents and three generations of CIA officers have been unable to understand the world; why nearly every CIA director has left the agency in worse shape than he found it; and how these failures have profoundly jeopardized our national security.
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The Central Intelligence Agency succeeded the Office of Strategic Services after World War II as the country's espionage service. Dwight D. Eisenhower rose above many more senior American officers to become Supreme Commander of Allied forces in Europe and later President of the United States. The Cold War was the worldwide conflict between the western democracies and Communist states, particularly the USSR. Espionage, the gaining knowledge about foreign powers that they would prefer not be known, has been a central component of American policy from the Revolution to the present.