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Publisher Description

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

October 1
Henry Holt and Co.

Customer Reviews


Required Reading for an Informed Citizen

Thomas Jefferson wrote that an enlightened citizenry is indispensable for the proper functioning of a republic. Self-government is not possible unless the citizens are educated sufficiently to enable them to exercise oversight.

This book provides an insight into the era of the Dulles brothers and the Eisenhower administration that is instructive for us today. By looking at current polices and world events through the prism that this book provides, we might ask better questions of our political leaders and hold them to higher standards and a more transparent governance.

I was not alive during the era discussed in "The Brothers” but I now better understand how my own government’s past behavior shaped the world that I grew up in, often for the worse and in direct contradiction of what I was raised to believe. I will be more vigilant and better question the motives of government officials as a result of the insights that this book provided me.

No tthanks ,

Eye opener

Good read. No wonder this country is in the shape it's in. We the people have allowed our government to become to powerful and controlled by to few. We need our country back in the hands of the people.

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