The 1960s


A - C

Ahern, Thomas L., Jr.

Click for six previously classified volumes on CIA operations in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Laos in the 1960s and 1970s. The works were released at a conference hosted by Texas Tech University's Vietnam Center and Archive.

Ahern, Thomas L., Jr. Vietnam Declassified: The CIA and Counterinsurgency. Lexington, KY: University Press of Kentucky, 2009. Click for reviews.

Alsop, Stewart. "CIA, the Battle for Secret Power." Saturday Evening Post, 27 Jul. 1963, 17-21. [Petersen]

Attwood, William. "Former Ambassador Says: A Few Kind Words for the CIA." Look, 18 Apr. 1967, 70-71.

Attwood was U.S. Ambassador to Guinea and Kenya in the 1960s.

Bagley, Tennent H. (Pete). "Ghosts of the Spy Wars: A Personal Reminder to Interested Parties." International Journal of Intelligence and CounterIntelligence 28, no. 1 (Spring 2015): 1-37.

The author again lays out his case against KGB defector Yuri Nosenko.

Bagley, Tennent H. Spymaster: Startling Cold War Revelations of a Soviet KGB Chief. New York: Skyhorse Publishing, 2013.

Peake, Studies 58.1 (Mar. 2014), and Intelligencer 20.3 (Spring-Summer), finds that this work is both "a biography of retired KGB general Sergei Kondrashev and a memoir of former CIA officer and author Tennent 'Pete' Bagley." Although not everyone will agree that Bagley has gotten it right, "Spymaster actually provides some new material on Cold War espionage about which many books have been written. It has raised the bar, but not ended the debate."

As Fischer, IJI&C 27.4 (Winter 2014), notes, Bagley's last book (he died in February 2014) will continue to fuel the fire around the defection of Yuri Nosenko. In Spymaster, Bagley reveals that "the primary source for Spy Wars was Sergey A. Kondrashev" who "is the spymaster" of this book's title. "Kondrashev's version of Penkovsky's unmasking will ... perhaps cause some to reject it as unbelievable." Neverheless, "[e]nough detail can be found in Spymaster to warrant a second look at the CIA-KGB spy wars and perhaps revise some of the conventional interpretations of Cold War intelligence."

Bagley, Tennent H. Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007. [Click for reviews]

Barrett, David M. The CIA and Congress: The Untold Story from Truman to Kennedy. Lawrence, KS: University Press of Kansas, 2005.

Clark comment: This work is a triumph of scholarship. If the author does not turn previous assessments of Congressional oversight for this period upside down, he at least has turned them away from a deeply rutted path. Given the immense amount of detailed material presented here, it was easy to expect the writing to slip into tediousness. However, except for infrequent lapses, that did not happen -- which can be attributed to Barrett's strong sense of where he was going, combined with energetic writing. For a work of this size and depth, The CIA and Congress reads quite easily. His careful descriptions of what he could not find -- and therefore does not know -- are in some instances as important as what he did find.

DKR, AFIO WIN 33-05 (29 Aug. 2005), says that the author finds that "Congress was a firm, if not always wise, taskmaster in the agency's early decades. The CIA was repeatedly criticized for Intel failures, harassed by budget cutters and witch hunts, and pressed by legislators to slant analysis on politically charged issues.... Barrett has written a trenchant study of Congressional oversight that is in sharp contrast to a widespread, popular image of the CIA."

For Scheuer, Washington Post, 27 Nov. 2005, this work is "is a triumph of research." Faced with "widely dispersed research materials," the author has "displayed sound analytic sense and balance in their use." Along the way, he provides "superb portraits and assessments of the key players." Nolen, IJI&C 21.1 (Spring 2008), lauds the author as "a master at culling the important details of secret history hidden in the dusty attic archives of America.... Barrett tells new tales of congressional oversight, reinterprets the old, and whets the appetite for more to come."

Snider, Studies 50.1 (Mar. 2006), finds that the author paints "a far richer picture" of the Congress-CIA relationship "than we had before. Intriguing tidbits are scattered throughout," and "almost every chapter reveals something that we did not quite appreciate before.... [T]he DCI and other senior CIA officials appeared far more often before congressional committees ... than was previously understood. In 1958, for example, DCI Dulles appeared a surprising 27 times before 16 different committees.... Still, as Barrett's account documents, a great deal of what passed for oversight during this period was informal and less than rigorous."

To Platt, I&NS 22.4 (Aug. 2007), the author provides "a detailed, comprehensive, and highly persuasive examination of congressional oversight" of the CIA "during the early Cold War.... Barrett's lengthy, somewhat densely written tome convincingly demolishes the myth of congressional deference to and salutary neglect towards the CIA from its founding in 1947 to the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961."

Finding the author's study "both fascinating and provocative," McCarthy, H-Diplo, H-Net Reviews [http://www.h-net.org], Sep. 2008, opines that "it is unquestionably one of the most important books ever published on the early history of the CIA.... In the hands of a less talented author, this would have been an incredibly tedious book. Barrett, however, has a good eye for revealing quotations and fun anecdotes."

Blackstock, Paul W.

1. "The Central Intelligence Agency." Twentieth Century 21 (Spring 1966): 5-11.

2. "CIA: A Non-Inside Report." Worldview 9, no. 5 (May 1966): 10-13.

Braden, Thomas. "I'm Glad the CIA Is 'Immoral.'" Saturday Evening Post, 20 May 1967, 10-12.

Brandon, Henry. "New Tools for the CIA." Saturday Review, 22 May 1965, 16-18. [Petersen]

Bury, Jan. "Breaking Unbreakable Ciphers. The Asen Georgiev Spy Case." Cryptologia 33, no. 1 (Jan. 2009): 74-88.

From Abstract: "The article discusses a Cold War spy case involving a Bulgarian national according to the documents preserved at the Polish Institute of National Remembrance. It details the modu operandi of both the US and Eastern Block secret services and the mistakes committed by both parties, which led to an agent's disclosure." Asen Hristov Georgiev spied for the CIA from 1956 until his arrest by Bulgarian State Security in 1963.

Cabell, Charles A., Jr. [BGEN/USAF (Ret.)], ed. A Man of Intelligence: Memoirs of War, Peace, and the CIA. Boulder, CO: Impavide Publications, 1997.

According to Peake, AFIO WIN 42-99 (23 Oct. 1999), these are the memoirs of Gen. Charles Cabell, DDCI 1953-1962, who held a succession of important Army Air Force and Air Force staff and intelligence positions before being named as DDCI under Allen Dulles. Peake notes that Cabell devotes "[m]ore than 100 pages ... to his CIA service, and of particular interest here are his candid comments about the Bay of Pigs operation in which he was directly involved." Cabell's assessment of the reasons for the Bay of Pigs failure is "dispassionate," but he does not mince words either. This book "is a valuable contribution to the history of Air Force intelligence and the early years of the CIA."

Clark, J. Ransom. "Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games," Journal of Cold War Studies 11, no. 2 (Spring 2009): 137-139.

Review of Tennent H. Bagley, Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2007). Click for text of this review.

Collins, Frederick W. "In Defence of the CIA." Round Table 57 (Jan. 1967): 115-121.

Cook, Fred J. "The CIA." Nation, 24 Jun. 1961, 8-15, 529-572. [Petersen]

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