Written by a former director of the CIA, this is the story of America's and the agency's role in the collapse of communism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe.
As the only person to rise from entry-level analyst to Director of the CIA and to serve on the White House staffs of four Presidents, Robert Gates is uniquely qualified to tell the unprecedented inside story of the Cold War. Drawing on his access to classified information and top-level involvement in policy decisions, Gates lays bare the hidden wars and operations the United States waged against communism worldwide. Ever certain that the fifty-year struggle with the Soviet Union was indeed a war, Gates makes candid appraisals of Presidents, key officials, and policies of the period. Among his disclosures are: how Carter laid the foundations for Reagan's covert wars against the Soviets; CIA predictions of a conservative coup against Gorbachev and the collapse of the Soviet Union; CIA and KGB "black operations" against each other; the secret relationship between Pope John Paul II and the Soviets; and three secret CIA-KGB summits.
From the Shadows is a classic memoir on the career of a CIA officer at the center of power during a time when the threat of global annihilation informed America's every move.
Gates, director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1991 to 1993, rose from entry level to the top. His insider's account of the Cold War, CIA operations and the unraveling of the Soviet Union is sprinkled with revelations. We learn that 1983 was "the most dangerous year in U.S.-U.S.S.R. relations"; that President Bush telephoned Boris Yeltsin in the Russian parliament building during the 1991 attempted coup; that for months the CIA predicted a coup attempt against Gorbachev-a warning that he ignored. Gates characterizes former CIA director William Casey as coming to the CIA "primarily to wage war against the Soviet Union." Both the KGB and the CIA, Gates divulges, sponsored countless "black operations"-forgeries, lies, dirty tricks and other covert propaganda activities designed to embarrass and discredit the other side. We also learn that during Gorbachev's 1987 visit to Washington, a collateral secret summit took place-Gates, then CIA deputy director, met with KGB foreign operations chief Vladimir Kryuchkov; they secretly met again in Moscow in 1989 when Kryuchkov was head of the KGB. Gates also candidly discusses how the agency's contemptuous treatment of Congress, evasive briefings and deceptions eroded public confidence.
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One of the best book ever on politics
This is a fantastic book, told by a real insider. Everyone interested in politics and international affairs should read it.
For the publisher, however, I have a complaint: I counted 14 typographical errors, and one mis-spelling. It is silly to have such a fine book contaminated by a sloppy transition from paper to e-book.