The 1950s


L - Mt

Laird, Thomas. Into Tibet: The CIA's First Atomic Spy and His Secret Expedition to Lhasa. New York: Grove, 2002.

According to Rupert, Washington Post, 15 Sep. 2002, the author "tells a gripping tale" of Douglas MacKiernan's operation in Sinkiang and his death at the hands of Tibetan border guards. To Goodman, I&NS 18.4, Laird has reconstructed his story in a "comprehensive and illustrative manner." It is "a very good read." For Haas, AFIO WIN 6-03 (11 Feb. 2003), the author's long-term residence in Nepal provides "a significant qualification for his wide-ranging and startling look into the activities of the agent behind the unnamed First Star on the CIA's Wall of Honor." This "[p]rodigiously researched" work provides "a thoroughly fascinating and informative read."

Hayford, Library Journal, 15 May 2002, says that the author "presents his story as a spy novel, complete with reconstructed dialog, bureaucratic infighting, cinematic pacing, and crackling action. Much of the information is reconstructed from interviews and archival research and is hard to authenticate; still, the overall story of this incredible expedition and its political consequences rings true." However, West, IJI&C 16.4, finds that the author's "tenuous evidence" fails "to show that Mackiernan had anything to do with tracking the Soviet bomb." Laird also suggests, "without much evidence, that the CIA had deployed Mackiernan to sabotage the Soviet uranium mines."

Lanfranco, Edward. "Wreakage of CIA Plane Found in China." UPI, 29 Jul. 2002. [http:// www.upi.com]

"Members of a U.S. Army search team believe they have located the debris of a C-47 plane shot down 50 years ago on a nighttime mission to pick up an agent from behind enemy lines in the Korean War, but the graves of the two pilots [Robert C. Snoddy and Norman A. Schwartz] killed in the crash have not been found."

Lansdale, Edward Geary. In the Midst of Wars: An American's Mission to Southeast Asia. New York: Harper & Row, 1972. [Reprint] New York: Fordham University Press, 1991.

According to Surveillant 2.1, Lansdale "recounts his missions with CIA in the Philippines and, later, in Vietnam during the 1950s and 1960s." For biographies of Lansdale, see Cecil B. Currey, Edward Lansdale: The Unquiet American (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1988); and Jonathan Nashel, Edward Lansdale's Cold War (Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press, 2005).

Laurie, Clayton D.

1. "The Invisible Hand of the New Look." In Forging the Shield: Eisenhower and National Security for the Twenty-first Century, ed. Dennis E. Showalter, 93-110. Chicago, IL: Imprint Publications, 2005.

2. "A New President, a Better CIA, and an Old War: Eisenhower and Intelligence Reporting on Korea, 1953." Studies in Intelligence 54, no. 4 (Dec. 2010): 15-22.

"In both Eisenhower's larger foreign policy focus and in the waning months of the Korean War, the Central Intelligence Agency played a larger role than it ever had before in its short life."

Leary, William M. "Aircraft and Anti-Communists: CAT in Action, 1949-52." China Quarterly 52 (Oct.-Dec. 1972): 654-669.

Leary, William M. Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia. Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 1984. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institute Press, 2003.

According to Motley, IJI&C 1.1, Perilous Missions is an "important and penetrating account that unites CAT's airline history, intelligence activities, and the Cold War." CAT operated 1946-1959 when it became Air America. Tovar, IJI&C 8.3, calls it "a serious study of the operations of CIA proprietary airlines" (fn. 5).

For Goulden, Washington Times, 8 Jun. 2003, Leary's is a "sound work, based on CAT's corporate archives." It serves as "a palliative for the wild yarns circulated about CAT and its successor organization, Air America, over the years." Bath, NIPQ 20.2, gives this work a "highly recommended" rating. The new edition has "a helpful new preface that summarizes CIA's proprietary air operations subsequent to the transformation of CAT into Air America.... Perilous Missions remains the best study of CAT and CIA's early involvement in the air over Asia."

LePage, Jean-Marc, and Elle Tenenbaum. "French and American Intelligence Relations During the First Indochina War, 1950-54." Studies in Intelligence 55, no. 3 (Sep. 2011): 19-27.

"[T]he relationship of French and US intelligence during the first Indochina war was anything but placid, but it could neither be characterized as perpetually antagonistic nor as consistently harmonious. They were often both at the same time, whether the subject was foreign intelligence collection or covert action."

Lucas, Scott, and Alistair Morey. "The Hidden 'Alliance': The CIA and MI6 Before and After Suez." Intelligence and National Security 15, no. 2 (Summer 2000): 95-120.

From Abstract: "[T]he CIA maintained co-operation with [MI6] during and after Suez... [T]his 'special relationship' ... was based not on emotional or cultural ties but on the CIA's pragmatic if wayward assessment that MI6 was vital to the achievement of US objectives in the Middle East."

Mansfield, Celia. "Using Literature to Lift the Iron Curtain: Declassified CIA Documents Reveal Agency's Role in Publishing the Russian Language Version of Doctor Zhivago." Intelligencer 20, no. 3 (Spring-Summer 2014): 23-28.

The author provides context for the release of documents on the CIA's covert role in publishing Pasternak's epic novel in Russian in 1958. See also, Peter Finn and Petra Couvée, "During Cold War, CIA Used 'Doctor Zhivago' as a Tool to Undermine Soviet Union," Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2014.

Marchio, Jim. "Resistance Potential and Rollback: US Intelligence and the Eisenhower Administration's Policies Toward Eastern Europe, 1953-56." Intelligence and National Security 10, no. 2 (Apr. 1995): 219-241.

"Recently declassified intelligence assessments and national security memoranda strongly suggest that intelligence played a significant role in molding the Eisenhower administration's liberation strategy and overall policies toward Eastern Europe.... The flawed intelligence assessments produced by the intelligence community on Eastern Europe during the administration's first term provided an unstable foundation for policy formulation.... Frankly, the policy-makers asked too much of intelligence, crafting policies that required intelligence clearly beyond the capabilities of the community."

Martin, David C. Wilderness of Mirrors. New York: Harper & Row, 1980. New York: Ballantine Books, 1981.[pb] Wilderness of Mirrors: Intrigue, Deception, and the Secrets That Destroyed Two of the Cold War's Most Important Agents. New York: Harper & Row, 2003. [pb]

In Cram's opinion, this is the "best and most informed book written about CIA operations against the Soviet target in the 1950s and 1960s." Martin tells an "exciting and generally accurate story." The book was "well received by almost every reviewer" with the exception of Epstein and Angleton. Writing in 2009, Robarge, Studies 53.4 (Dec. 2009), says that "[d]espite its age, Wilderness of Mirrors remains the most balanced treatment of Angleton and CIA counterintelligence." However, there is a complete lack of sourcing. The subtitle of the 2003 reprint is "overwrought."

Petersen adds that Martin "presents information on postwar counterintelligence activities of the CIA and FBI focusing on James Angleton and William Harvey. Based on inside information, it is well regarded by most experts." NameBase notes that "[i]n the case of the most famous spy of the century, Harvey's instincts were better than Angleton's.... Kim Philby ... was close to Angleton, whom he had known in wartime London. But he was also a KGB penetration agent, and it was Harvey rather than Angleton who figured this out."

To Constantinides, this book is "a penetrating look into some issues and challenges faced by CIA, and the cognoscenti recognize it as based on information stemming from the bowels of that agency." Nevertheless, "the work has a number of flaws, both major and minor." For example, the rivalry between Harvey and Angleton, so central to the book, did not exist, and Harvey was hardly of transcending importance within CIA.

Montague, Ludwell Lee. General Walter Bedell Smith as Director of Central Intelligence, October 1950-February 1953. University Park, PA: Penn State Press, 1992.

Click for reviews of Montague's book and that of Arthur B. Darling, covering the period to 1950.

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