Military Review English Edition September-October 2014 - Page 124

enemy. In this view of the world, the United States was justified in using any measures to prevent other nations from falling under communism. Two of the men most associated with this activist American foreign policy were brothers who formed an unprecedented team during the Eisenhower Administration: Secretary of State John Foster Dulles and Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles. Stephen Kinzer, journalist and author of previous studies concerning American interventions in the 1950s, has undertaken a dual biography to explore the careers, motivations, and actions of these two remarkable men. The two had much in common. They came from a distinguished family that already included two secretaries of state, they both attended Princeton University, and they both worked for and eventually directed the Wall Street law firm of Sullivan and Cromwell, which lobbied the U.S. government on behalf of the worldwide business interests of its clients. The author is careful, however, to differentiate between the two men. The elder brother, always known as “Foster,” was a rigid, almost humorless authority figure who was so blind to moral issues that he saw nothing wrong in business dealings with Adolf Hitler and other dictators. Despite this myopia, Foster defined the world in conservative religious terms that prompted him to resist any diplomatic compromises with the Soviet Union. Kinzer treads well-worn ground in this regard, arguing that Foster’s narrow viewpoint contributed to American fears and provoked Nasser into seizing the Suez Canal in 1956. Allen, by contrast, was much more flexible and personable, a man of great charm who regularly committed adultery and boasted of the accomplishments of the Central Intelligence Agency. Having served as an intelligence officer in Switzerland during both world wars, Allen was entranced by the romantic image of espionage and therefore, according to Kinzer, frequently lost his objectivity concerning international affairs. For decades, observers portrayed the Dulles brothers as the prime movers in U.S. efforts to overthrow the non-aligned governments of Iran, Guatemala, Indonesia, and the Congo, as well as the Marxist regimes in North Vietnam and Cuba. Allen Dulles went beyond arming the opponents of legitimate governments going further to create phantom rebel armies staffed by mercenaries and to manipulate American 122 publishers to suppress and distort the news of these conspiracies. Kinzer, however, emphasizes the more recent interpretation that President Eisenhower was the actual decision maker who directed and supported all such actions. In his focus on these two protagonists, the author occasionally engages in over-simplifications about other actors. For example, Gen. Lucius Clay, the influential governor of the American sector of occupied Germany during the later 1940s, appears as “the Allied commander in Europe.” Kinzer also states that Allen Dulles assembled a team, led by James Killian, which developed the U-2 reconnaissance aircraft. Although Killian did indeed recommend development of that plane, he was not just a recruit of Dulles but rather president of MIT and scientific advisor to Eisenhower, and as such was responsible for numerous other government programs including improved science education and guided missiles. Moreover, a book such as this, intended for the general public, needs maps to help the reader find the many locations described in such a wide-ranging account. Despite such minor discrepancies, however, The Brothers is a well-researched and entertaining account of a now-forgotten era of American foreign policy. Stephen Kinzer is indeed correct that we should refocus on this period to better understand both our own history and the practical limitations of foreign policy. Col. Jonathan M. House, U.S. Army, Retired, Fort Leavenworth, Kansas THE DESERTERS: A Hidden History of World War II Charles Glass, Penguin Group USA, New York, 2013, 400 pages, $27.95 F rom the American Revolution into the 20th century, American wars have had their heroic elements, the battles and heroes that have reached near-mythical status. They have also had a dark side that tends to be neglected