The Brothers by Stephen Kinzer
John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

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Mr. Kinzer has brightened his dark tale with an abundance of racy stories. Gossip nips at the heels of history on nearly every page...Mr. Kinzer's compilation of clandestine capitalist mischief rolls inexorably onward from first page to last, seldom pausing to speak good of the dead.
-WSJ online

Synopsis

A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today's world

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world.

John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world?

The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies—many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country's role in the world.

Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran.
The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world.
A Kirkus Reviews Best Nonfiction Book of 2013

 

About Stephen Kinzer

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Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, and numerous other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as the New York Times's bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as the Boston Globe's Latin America correspondent. He teaches international relations at Brown University, and is a frequent contributor to The New York Review of Books and a columnist for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.
 
Published October 1, 2013 by Times Books. 416 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction
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Critic reviews for The Brothers
All: 2 | Positive: 2 | Negative: 0

NY Times

Good
Reviewed by Adam LeBor on Nov 08 2013

“The Brothers” is a riveting chronicle of government-sanctioned murder, casual elimination of “inconvenient” regimes, relentless prioritization of American corporate interests and cynical arrogance on the part of two men who were once among the most powerful in the world.

Read Full Review of The Brothers: John Foster Dul... | See more reviews from NY Times

WSJ online

Above average
Reviewed by Charles McCarry on Nov 08 2013

Mr. Kinzer has brightened his dark tale with an abundance of racy stories. Gossip nips at the heels of history on nearly every page...Mr. Kinzer's compilation of clandestine capitalist mischief rolls inexorably onward from first page to last, seldom pausing to speak good of the dead.

Read Full Review of The Brothers: John Foster Dul... | See more reviews from WSJ online

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