Directors of Central Intelligence

Allen Welsh Dulles (1893-1969)

DCI, 26 Feb. 1953-29 Nov. 1961

Dulles' Writings and Speeches


Dulles, Allen W. "Analysis of Communist Techniques for Conquest. Address Aug. 9, 1962." Vital Speeches of the Day 28 (1 Oct. 1962): 743-747. [Petersen]

Dulles, Allen W. "Central Intelligence Agency." Business Lawyer 16 (Nov. 1960): 48. [CIA/Overviews]

Dulles, Allen. The Craft of Intelligence. New York: Harper & Row, 1963. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1963. New York: Signet Books, 1965. [pb] Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1977. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1985. Guilford, CT: Lyons Press, 2006.

Clark comment: This is one of the classic pieces of intelligence literature. Not everyone agrees with every Dulles statement about intelligence, but the book holds up remarkably well decades after it was published in a time with vastly different views about intelligence.

Frank G. Wisner, Studies 8.1 (Winter 1964), sees this as "a most valuable book, one which ... should be read ... by all persons having a serious professional interest in the subject of intelligence, and hopefully also by a wide segment of the general public." Nevertheless, there is an "imbalance" in the work "in favor of intelligence tradecraft ... and to the disadvantage of certain of the most important functions and problems of the research and analysis and estimative process." Wisner shares a number of additional thoughts on the practice of intelligence and counterintelligence, which are well worth reading apart from their role in this review article.

According to Pforzheimer, Dulles touches on "some of the earlier history of intelligence, examines many aspects of intelligence requirements, collection, and production, describes the Communist intelligence services, and explores the uses of intelligence." Petersen views The Craft of Intelligence as "[o]bservations based on the career experience of a foremost US practitioner who served as DCI 1953-1961. The 1965 paperback edition ... includes additional material."

To Constantinides, the book is "a veritable storehouse on the philosophy of intelligence and on Dulles's general approach to it." Beyond that, however, "this work is a realistic picture of intelligence." Nevertheless, later information has dated some of his accounts, such as those of Cicero and the Berlin Tunnel. After noting that the 2006 edition is the same as the revised 1965 edition, Peake, Studies 50.4 (2006), comments that "the book is an easy read and excellent introduction to the profession, as it deals with both the history and functional aspects of the topic."

For a brief look at some of Dulles' ideas, see Allen Dulles, "The Craft of Intelligence," Harper's 226 (Apr. 1963): 128-174. [Overviews/Gen/To89; WhatIsIntel?]

Dulles, Allen. "The Craft of Intelligence." Harper's 226 (Apr. 1963): 128- 174. [Petersen]

Dulles, Allen. "Free World Defense Against Communist Subversion: An Address, October 3, 1955." Department of State Bulletin, 17 Oct. 1955, 600-604.

Dulles, Allen. Germany's Underground. New York: Macmillan, 1947.

Dulles headed OSS operations in Switzerland during World War II. This is his account of the espionage network established in Germany. [WWII/OSS/GermanOps]

Dulles, Allen W. "Intelligence Estimating and National Security: An Address, January 26, 1960." Department of State Bulletin 42 (14 Mar. 1960): 411-417. [Analysis/Estimates; GenPostwar/NatSec/To90s]

Dulles, Allen W. "Memorandum Respecting ... Central Intelligence Agency...." 25 Apr. 1947. In U.S. Congress, Senate, Committee on Armed Services. Hearings on S. 758: National Defense Establishment. 80th Cong., 1st sess. Washington, DC: GPO, 1947, 525-528. [CIA/40s/Gen] [Petersen]

[Dulles, Allen W.] "The Present Situation in Germany: Digest of a Meeting with Allen W. Dulles at the Council on Foreign Relations, December 3, 1945." Foreign Affairs 82, no. 6 (Nov.-Dec. 2003): 4-8.

This piece from the archives of the Council on Foreign Relations is not intelligence related, but is an interesting artifact from this time period. [GenPostwar/40s/Ger]

Dulles, Allen. "Problems of Freedom in Newly Emerging States: Remarks, October 15, 1958." Department of State Bulletin, 24 Nov. 1958, 827-830.

Dulles, Allen W. "Reds Plan to Use Freedom to Destroy the Free." U.S. News & World Report, 25 May 1956, 132-140. [Petersen]

Dulles, Allen W. "The Role of Intelligence in the Cold War." In Peace and War in the Modern Age: Premises, Myths, and Realities, ed. Frank R. Barnett, 205-221. New York: Anchor, 1965. [GenPostwar/ColdWar]

Dulles, Allen W. "Russia's Growing Strength Could Be a Weakness." U.S. News & World Report, 11 May 1956, 124-127. [Petersen]

Dulles, Allen W. "The Secret Challenge." Department of State Bulletin, 8 Mar. 1958, 338-343.

Dulles, Allen. The Secret Surrender. New York: Harper & Row, 1966. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1967. New York: Popular Library, 1966. [pb]

Clark comment: This is Dulles' firsthand account of Operation Sunrise, the negotiations which led to the German surrender in Italy. Pforzheimer sees it as a "fascinating description of a unique intelligence coup at the highest level." According to Constantinides, Dulles concentrates "on providing a play-by-play record," with "little analysis of the overall meaning and significance of the operation." However, the book provides "the feel for personalities and their relationships that only a participant can provide."

See Smith and Agarossi, Operation Sunrise: The Secret Surrender (1979), for what Constantinides calls a "scholarly history" of the Allied effort to secure the surrender of German forces in Italy. [WWII/OSS/GermanOps]

Dulles, Allen W. "The Weaknesses of the Communist Dictatorship: An Address." Department of State Bulletin, 3 Dec. 1956, 874-879.

Dulles, Allen W. "We Tell Russia Too Much." U.S. News and World Report, 19 Mar. 1954, 62-68. [Petersen]

Dulles, Allen W. "Why Russia's Rulers Are in Trouble." The New Leader, Jun. 1955, 5-8. [Petersen]

Dulles, Allen W.

1. "William J. Donovan and National Security: Speech to the Erie Bar Association, Buffalo, New York, May 4, 1959." Congressional Record 105 (14 May 1959): 8103-8105. [Petersen]

2. "William J. Donovan and the National Security." Studies in Intelligence 3, no. 3 (Summer 1959): 71-83. Studies in Intelligence: 45th Anniversary Special Edition, Fall 2000, 13-25.

"Adaptation from an address delivered in tribute to the father of central intelligence." [WWII/OSS/Donovan]

Dulles, Allen, ed. Great True Spy Stories. New York: Harper & Row, 1968. London: Collins, 1968. New York: Ballentine, 1982. [pb] Book Sales Inc., 1992.

Surveillant 2.6 calls this "[o]ne of the best -- if not the best -- anthologies of its kind." Pforzheimer says that "Dulles' foreword and introductory comments to each section are especially valuable." According to Petersen, Dulles' "[i]ntroductory material includes important insights." And Constantinides wishes those comments "were not so brief." [Overviews/Gen/To89]

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