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by Joseph J. Trento
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Politics & Government
  • Author:
    Joseph J. Trento
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  • Publisher:
    MJF; 1st Edition edition (2007)
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    Politics & Government
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    1541 kb
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    1977 kb
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Joseph J. Trento’s character-driven history of the flawed and often destructive Central Intelligence Agency profiles the men and women who have run the agency from its inception up to the present era.

Joseph J. Trento uses his formidable reporting skills to guide the reader through the agency’s most important successes and failures.

The biggest secret in the Secret History of the CIA is that the CIA was never very successful at fighting the . The outstanding example of speculation about motivation in the book is Trento's take on the Kennedy assassination.

The outstanding example of speculation about motivation in the book is Trento's take on the Kennedy assassination. He concludes that other governments were involved, but his evidence is thin and unconvincing, in my opinion.

Nationally respected investigative journalist Joseph J. Trento peels away the shroud of secrecy that protected the CIA to reveal how the agency suffered from the profoundly human frailties of those who were chosen to lead it. Trento peels away the shroud of secrecy that protected the CIA to reveal how the agency suffered from the profoundly human frailties of those who were chosen to lead i. The CIA was founded on the best of intentions-to battle the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. For over 50 years, hundreds of men and women in America's foremost intelligence agency have engaged nobly in espionage that was both risky and mysterious, in the name of national security. Trento's The Secret History of the CIA, 1946-1989, attempts to expose alleged ineptitudes and wrongdoing in the CIA. Unfortunately, the book promises much more than it delivers. Also, it makes no direct reference to terrorists attacks, dealing almost entirely with the period from the CIA's founding in 1947 to the 1980s. The centerpiece of Trento's book is a 1985 interview with the legendary former CIA Chief of Counterintelligence James Angleton

Items related to The Secret History of the CI. Joseph Trento has been an investigative reporter since 1968, when he joined the staff of the legendary journalist Jack Anderson.

Items related to The Secret History of the CIA. Trento, Joseph J. The Secret History of the CIA. ISBN 13: 9780761525622. But the real CIA, as revealed in this eye-opening book, was an organization haunted from the very beginning by missed opportunities, internal rivalries, mismanagement, and Soviet moles. In The Secret History of the CIA, you will descend into the murky underworld of double and triple agents, of divided loyalties and tortured souls, and of high-stakes operations that played out on virtually every continent.

The CIA was founded on the best of intentions - to battle the Soviet Empire during the Cold War. For over 50 years, hundreds of men and women in America's foremost.

Intelligence in Recent Public Literature. Roseville, CA: Prima Publishing, 2001. 1 It is even worse than the author's previous effort, Widows, which also floundered through huge territory.

By (author) Joseph J. Trento.

By (author) Joseph J. Chronicles the origins and history of the Central Intelligence Agency and analyzes the performance of its leaders and members during the Cold War, including Soviet double agent Igor Orlov and mole hunter James Angleton. Format Paperback 542 pages. Close X. Learn about new offers and get more deals by joining our newsletter.


Trento's book is an interesting and verisimilar account of how CIA has worked on some of its cases from the end of World War II until the end of the Cold War. It does not provide an analysis of the CIA'style or policies in carrying out its job, but it describes operations that have been conducted and the feelings of those who worked as operatives. Since the author relies on two sources of his, who have worked mainly in the Berlin Operating Base, much of the stories are centered on that area with few digressions in other parts of the world according to postings of his sources. The book develops its arguments on different levels and with exhausting flashbacks, so the reader has to go back and forth to disentangle the plot and make a synthesis. However, one of the main character of the book is agent Orlov, a Soviet agent who managed at the end of WWI to be infiltrated in the Nazis and then in the American forces without being discovered until his death decades later in the Washington area. Other episodes are revealed that would make the interested reader in spy stories very into the action. However, two weak spots of the book are: Trento does not provide other reliable sources than hearsays from his own sources, therefore no proof is underpinning the stories. Secondly, the book does not reveal any important facts that would make it really revealing or astonishing, like would have been if he had mentioned something related to the now well known stay-behind operation in Europe. But if you are able to maintain your "suspension of belief" and navigate between the thin line that separates non-fiction from quasi-fiction stories Trento's book is readable and interesting.
Literally one of the best reads of my life. The information in here is so relevant and on-hands. I learnt things about the CIA that I never would have known otherwise. I feel like a spy with all the information I have.
Informative book about the history and internal workings of the CIA.
Great Book. Easy read.
Book was received in great condition
The books "Legacy of Ashes" and "The Company" are written in an accessible style, but are fatally unreliable. It was extremely telling to me a couple of years ago for me to observe that they both omit the mention of the Kennedy assassination, one of the most critical (and watershed) events in the mid-20th century. "The Secret History" initially seemed an improvement, and I found myself very engaged by the first few chapters, e.g., in its description of Soviet NKVD activities at the dawn of Cold War history, and the American intelligence recruitment of hundreds of former Nazi covert operatives during the arguably criminal "Operation Paperclip."

Yet, it became readily apparent that the author is merely feigning a serious critique of the "Agency." The book jumps all over the place (with an informal "hearsay" type style, and less than sufficient documentation), and contains many errors. And, lies by omission and commission. Obviously, I had to turn to Chapter 34 to examine Trento's "take" on the Kennedy assassination (as implied above, generally a good "acid-test" of reliability of a work on American intelligence, particularly one purporting to accurately cover the fifties and sixties period). Lo and behold, the author reveals himself as just one more "Langley" asset. This dude displays the effrontery of intimating that the Soviets and/or Castro were responsible for the covert operation in Dealey Plaza which abruptly and violently removed a sitting American president, when--immediately after the ambush in Dealey Plaza--it was obvious that the SS, FBI, Army intelligence had done nothing to prevent the murder, which screamed out--minimally--criminal negligence.

At this stage of the game it is utterly apparent that American intelligence (and the "national security apparatus") was--at bottom--the true power which removed both Kennedy brothers. John Kennedy stood for a radical change in official gov't policy. With Johnson, the Powers that Be were once again safe, and $ millions filled the coffers of the defense industry and the intelligence community, and we had a replay of the WWI and WWII (and Korean War) messes, as many American boys became cannon fodder during the thoroughly disastrous (and undeclared) Vietnam War, even as Alan Dulles and certain American companies, such as Ford Motor Company, General Motors, Shell Oil and ITT had supported the Nazi regime. For a good "running start," see "JFK and the Unspeakable," "Mary's Mosaic" and Peter Dale Scott's "Deep Politics and the Death of JFK." To blithely blame the Russians or Cubans suggests a case of clinical stupidity or Much More Likely, intentional disinformation. Profoundly disappointing.

A fellow reviewer says:
"But when Mr. Trento attempts to address the assassination of President Kennedy by framing it as a Soviet operation via Cuba, I realized the facts presented here are so contrary to the evidence it became impossible for me to read anything further. It couldn't be worse if his history of CIA included Columbus' arriving in New York aboard a nuclear submarine in 1492." Bulls-eye!!!

More errors and lies!! Harold Adrian Russell "Kim" Philby, a high-ranking member of British intelligence and high-ranking CIA figure James J. Angleton's mentor and close friend, is prominently mentioned, yet the second Huge Error of this terminally flawed tome is that there is not a trace of the revelation of his role as a "double agent," and his defection to the USSR before he could be apprehended in 1963. Talk about a Glaring Omission!!! ; )
In my opinion [though note: I am NOT a historian], the "story" appears to have several holes, and it's a bit repetitive --thus making the volume unnecessarily long-- but that seems to be usual nowadays. Furthermore, it throws in too many names without qualifiers or reminders to the unfamiliar. Yet, on the plus side, the book and its vignettes are thought-provoking. Indeed, in many cases it is additionally revealing and eye-opening, especially vis-á-vis issues concerning US-Latin American relations, as well as [and especially] regarding the now defunct Soviet empire.
Absolutely perfect !!