Works of General Intelligence Interest

M - R

Mitrovich, Gregory. Undermining the Kremlin: America's Strategy to Subvert the Soviet Bloc, 1947-1956. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2000.

For Legvold, FA 79.3 (May-Jun. 1999), the author's "massive research in the archives of the State Department, CIA, and the National Security Council ... adds considerably to the ... picture of the calculations and arguments inside the Truman and Eisenhower administrations.... One does not have to buy his overdrawn characterization that 'rollback' was the be-all of U.S. policy to appreciate the contribution he has made."

Monat, Pawel, with John Dille. Spy in the U.S. New York: Harper & Row, 1961. London: Frederick Muller, 1964.

Clark comment: The author was a Polish intelligence officer and military attaché in Washington in the mid-to-late 1950s. Spy in the U.S. focuses primarily on Monat's intelligence collection activities in the United States. According to Pforzheimer, "[i]ntelligence tradecraft ... is well described" in the book. Constantinides notes that while there may some dispute as to whether or not the author was involved in all the activities he describes, "the technical descriptions he gives of the tradecraft involved are of a professional level."

Newton, Jim. Eisenhower: The White House Years. New York: Doubleday, 2011.

Gage, Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2011, finds this to be "an engaging if conflicted work of presidential history, with the author torn between putting Eisenhower on a pedestal and tearing him back down.... Eisenhower amassed a troubling record ... on covert action, arguably his most innovative strategy for fighting the Cold War.... It is unclear how deeply Eisenhower was involved in planning these missions. Newton shows nonetheless that the president heartily approved of such activity, both as a military man who enjoyed a logistical challenge and as a political leader eager to avoid direct nuclear confrontation with the Soviet Union."

For Reeve, Los Angeles Times, 9 Oct. 2011, "Newton's book is thorough and reasonable.... Particularly in the early years of his presidency, Ike ... became foolishly enamored with the efficacy of covert action. It seemed to be war on the cheap." Smith, Christian Science Monitor, 4 Oct. 2011, says that this work "amounts to little more than a love letter to the man who occupied the Oval Office from 1953 to 1961.... Eisenhower was the president to begin the awful practice of employing the CIA to overthrow foreign governments."

Nordell, John R., Jr. The Undetected Enemy: French and American Miscalculations at Dien Bien Phu. College Station, TX: Texas A&M University Press, 1995.

According to Currey, Journal of Third World Studies, Fall 1999, Nordell "tells of French strategic, logistic, tactical and intelligence decisions that culminated in Navarre's determination to fight" at Dien Bien Phu. The author also "clearly shows the extent to which the U.S. government aided and abetted French planning."

Osgood, Kenneth. Total Cold War: Eisenhower’s Secret Propaganda Battle at Home and Abroad. Lawrence, KS: University of Kansas Press, 2006.

"Total Cold War Roundtable: Review" (chaired by Scott Lucas and with reviews by Sarah-Jane Corke, Chris Tudda, and Hugh Wilford), dated 26 Feb. 2007, at, provides multiple reviews of Osgood's work.

In his introduction, Lucas suggests that "any success of psychological operations under Eisenhower was not that they fulfilled a global strategy that encompassed both American positions of strength such as Western Europe and disputed areas in Europe, Asia, and beyond but that they covered up the tensions and contradictions that were present in the strategic approach throughout the 1950s." (4)

Corke, despite some "quibbles" over the author's use of specific terminology, says that this "masterful ... book is a must-read for anyone interested in the relationship between policy, strategy and operations." Osgood "demonstrates scholarship of the highest quality," and he "has a firm grasp of the subtleties and nuances of psychological warfare." [See also, Sarah-Jane Corke, "The Eisenhower Administration and Psychological Warfare," Intelligence and National Security 24, no. 2 (Apr. 2009): 277-290.]

For Tudda, this work is a "significant contribution to our understanding of how psychological warfare can fit into national security strategy,. However, the "weakest part of Osgood's analysis is his examination of the Eisenhower administration’s psychological warfare program."

Wilford notes that Eisenhower "emerges from Osgood's account as a tireless advocate of 'psy-war' methods in the fight against communism." An "extremely impressive array of primary materials" is used to support Osgood's "powerful arguments." However, the book does not address "the actual impact of psychological warfare on its target populations."

The material here concludes with a gentle reply by Osgood to some of the issues raised by the reviewers.

Riordan, Barrett J. "The Plowshare Program and Copeland's Suez Energy Deception." International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 17, no. 1 (Spring 2004): 124-143.

The author investigates a planned U.S. deception operation at the time of the 1956 Suez crisis, referred to by Miles Copeland. The operation was "meant to convince Arab states that the United States was on the verge of overcoming dependence on oil via a technological breakthrough." He concludes that "[w]hen considered carefully, the Copeland deception story becomes credible and might indeed be a reliable report."

Roman, Peter J. Eisenhower and the Missile Gap. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995.

Bose, APSR 92.1, notes that the focus here is on the 1957-1961 period, essentially Sputnik to Kennedy. The book is "well researched" and provides a "thoughtful and considered reappraisal of earlier studies." Intelligence assessments are among the aspects considered, with the author arguing that the evidence supplied by the U-2 flights was not as definitive in contradicting Soviet claims of nuclear superiority as is sometimes thought. However, Roman fails to present a new perspective of Eisenhower's political skills.

Return to 1950s Table of Contents