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Reading List on Intelligence Agencies & Political Repression

(Revised 10/10/92)

The Central Intelligence Agency


C.I.A. Off Campus: Building the Movement Against Agency Recruitment and Research. Ami Chen Mills, 1991, South End Press. The primary guide for student activists and anyone else organizing against the CIA. Foreword by Philip Agee. Copious footnotes, useful index, sprightly style. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

At War With Peace: U.S. Covert Operations Kit Gage/NCARL, First Amendment Foundation, 1990. An indispensable pamphlet chronicling the history of CIA covert actions, its human costs, laws regulating it, and restrictions to information about it. $2.50 NCARL, 1313 West 8th Street, Suite 313, Los Angeles, CA 90017. 213-484-6661.

The Agency: The Rise and Decline of the CIA. John Ranelagh, 1987, Touchstone/Simon & Schuster. A revised edition of the most widely-accepted comprehensive history of the CIA, now current through Iran-Contragate and the appointment of William Webster as Director.

Under Cover: Thirty-Five Years of CIA Deception. Darrell Garwood, 1985, Grove Press. Fully documented history of covert operations by a former UPI Pentagon correspondent. Includes an extensive chronology.

The CIA, A Forgotten History: U.S. Global Interventions Since World War 2 William Blum, 1987, Zed Press. A thorough review of the record of CIA involvement when the cold war turns hot.

Secret Warriors: Inside the Covert Military Operations of the Reagan Era. Steven Emerson, 1986, Putnam & Sons. The best comprehensive account of covert operations during the Reagan years.

Presidents' Secret Wars: CIA and Pentagon Covert Operations Since World War II. John Prados, Morrow, 1986. Good overview with linkage to problem of foreign policy and secrecy.

The Man Who Kept Secrets-Richard Helms and the CIA. Thomas Powers, 1979, Knopf. A portrait of the CIA Director who launched nefarious and deadly CIA activities in Chile, Iran and Vietnam.

The Secret Team: The CIA and its Allies in Control of the World Fletcher Prouty, 1974. Early critical research on the CIA, but is marred by a somewhat over-reaching and suspicious analysis. (Prouty has since moved into alliances with paranoid, ultra-right, anti-Jewish groups such as the Institute for Historical Review, publisher of the new edition of The Secret Team. IHR considers the Nazi Holocaust primarily a Jewish hoax )

A Study of a Master Spy. Robert Edwards. 1958. Housmans Press. Long unavailable in print, its a brief and spotty study of Allen Dulles.

OSS: The Secret History of America's First Central Intelligence Agency. R. Harris Smith, 1972, Dell. Based on recollections of 200 one-time employees, this history takes one up to about 1967.

Room 39. Donald McLachalin, 1968, Weidenfeld & Nicholson. A British view.

CIA-Specific Countries and Regions

Dirty Work II-The CIA in Africa. Philip Agee and Louis Wolf, 1979, Lyle Stuart. (Available from Covert Action Information Bulletin, Box 50272, Washington, DC 20004). Articles focusing on Africa.

Weakness and Deceit: U.S. Policy and El Salvador. Raymond Bonner, 1984, New York Times Books.

With the Contras: A reporter in the fields of Nicaragua. Christopher Dickey, 1985, Simon and Schuster.

The CIA's Nicaraguan Manual: Psychological Operations in Guerrilla Warfare. CIA, 1985, Vintage. A collection of essays written by the CIA and others.

Washington's War on Nicaragua. Holly Sklar, 1988, South End Press. The only full review of U.S. foreign policy toward Nicaragua. Makes connections between rightist political ideology and support for covert operations as standard U.S. foreign policy tool. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

Nicaragua: The Price of Intervention. Peter Kornbluh, 1987, Institute for Policy Studies. Some sections are useful for reference to counter-insurgency.

The Freedom Fighter's Manual. CIA, 1985, Grove Press. A copy, with translation, of the CIA's manual that targets D'Escoto and others in Nicaragua for disruption and assassination.

Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East. Wilbur Crane Eveland, 1980, W.W. Norton. The CIA attempted to censor this in-depth examination of the U.S. activities in the Middle East.

The Foreign Policy of Intervention: The CIA in Guatemala. R.H. Immerman, 1983, University of Texas Press. From the 1954 overthrow of President Arbenz to the later role of the U.S. in Guatemala, our government has played a key role in that country.

Bitter Fruit-The Untold Story of the American Coup in Guatemala. Stephen Kinzer and Stephen Schleisinger, 1982, Doubleday.

Perilous Missions: Civil Air Transport and CIA Covert Operations in Asia. William M. Leary, 1984, University of Alabama.

Grenada-The Struggle Against Destabilization. Chris Searle, 1983, W.W. Norton. The coordinated efforts of the CIA and economic and diplomatic agencies to resist changes in Grenada.

Decent Interval. Frank Snepp, 1977, Vintage Books. A former CIA officer describes the Agency's failure to prepare for the evacuation of Saigon in 1975.

In Search of Enemies. John Stockwell, 1978, W.W. Norton. The former head of the CIA's Angolan Task Force criticizes the Agency's role in the country.

Notes of a Witness: Laos and the Second Indochinese War. Marek Thee, 1973, Random House. How the CIA got the military to expand the Vietnam War to all of Southeast Asia.

CIA-Alliances with Dictators, Fascists and Nazis

Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis, and Its Effects on the Cold War. Christopher Simpson, 1988, Weidenfeld & Nicolson. The title says it all, but unless you read the book you will miss the full flavor of how cynical decision-makers decided to employ Nazis to help the U.S. fight the Cold War. Thoroughly researched and documented, calmly written, powerfully presented.

Old Nazis, the New Right, and the Republican Party: The Role of Domestic Fascist Networks in the Republican Party and their Effect on U.S. Cold War Politics. Russ Bellant, 1991, South End Press (co-published with Political Research Associates). What the Blowback crowd did with their spare time after the OSS/CIA recruited them to the U.S. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

Inside the League: The Shocking Expose of How Terrorists, Nazis, and Latin American Death Squads Have Infiltrated the World Anti-Communist League. Scott Anderson and Jon Lee Anderson, 1986, Dodd, Mead. Traces role of anti-Semites and neo-Nazis sheltered by CIA in private covert action and propaganda wars around the world and how they network through WACL.

The Belarus Secret: The Nazi Connection in America. John Loftus, 1982, Paragon House. The first full account of the clandestine operation to bring Nazi collaborators to the U.S. to help wage guerrilla warfare against eastern bloc nations.

Secret Agenda: The United States Government, Nazi Scientists, and Project Paperclip, 1945 to 1990. Linda Hunt, 1991, St. Martins. A former producer at CNN's investigative unit, meticulously unwraps the cover-up surrounding the recruitment of Nazi space scientists.

The Paperclip Conspiracy: The Hunt for the Nazi Scientists Tom Bower, 1987, Little Brown. How the U.S. covered up the thousands of corpses at Nazi slave labor rocket facilities so we would beat them Russkies in launching the first intercontinental ballistic missile.

Missing: The Execution of Charles Horman. Thomas Hauser, 1978, Harcourt Brace Jovanovich (Touchstone / Simon & Schuster Edition, 1988). American officials turn their back when the Chilean Junta murders a young American.

The Great Heroin Coup: Drugs, Intelligence and International Fascism. Henrik Kruger, 1980, South End Press. Drug dealing and other activities in Southeast Asia. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

Cry of the People-The Struggle for Human Rights in Latin America. Penny Lernoux, 1982, Doubleday. The Catholic Church in conflict with U.S. policy.

Hidden Terrors. A.J. Langguth, 1978, Pantheon Books. How the CIA, the Pentagon, and U.S. police advisors encouraged military takeovers in Latin America.

The Real Terror Network: Terrorism in Fact and Propaganda. Edward S. Herman, 1982, South End Press. How the CIA's advisors are actually contributing to terrorism, through training, supplying arms, etc. to foreign governments and rebel groups. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

The Pentagon-CIA Archipelago: The Washington Connection and Third World Fascism. Noam Chomsky and Ed Herman, 1978, South End Press. U.S. counter-revolutionary violence and subversion in the Third World. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

The Death Merchant. Joseph C. Goulden, 1984, Bantam. The story of Edwin Wilson , who used his CIA connections to operate an international arms firm and supplied Quaddafi with tons of explosives and with hit men for political assassinations.

The Strange Alliance. John R. Deane. 1946. Viking Press. Mutual uses the OSS and Axis intelligence made of each other.

CIA-At Home

Labyrinth Taylor Branch and Eugene M. Propper, 1983, Penguin. The story of the search for the assassins of Orlando Letelier.

Cloak & Gown: Scholars in the Secret War, 1939-1961 Robin W. Winks, 1987, Morrow. Focuses on Yale, illuminates Angleton, excoriates academia.

Secret Agenda: Watergate, Deep Throat and the CIA. Jim Hougan, 1984, Random House. One of many books exploring the CIA's role in Watergate.

Regulating Covert Action: Practices, Context & Policies of Covert Coercion Abroad in International & American Law. W. M. Reisman and James E. Baker. 1992. Yale University Press. Assesses the lawfulness of CIA actions from the Trujillo assassination in 1961 to the 1986 raid on Libya.

Search for the Manchurian Candidate. John P. Marks, 1979, Quadrangle Press. The history of the CIA's drug and behavior control programs.

Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD and the Sixties Rebellion. Martin Lee and Bruce Shlain, 1985, Grove Press. The CIA thought LSD would revolutionize the spy trade...nobody's perfect.

The Mind Manipulators. Alan W. Scheflin and Edward M. Opton, Jr., 1978, Paddington Press, distributed by Grosset & Dunlap. Reviews behavior modification experiments by the CIA and the Army.

The Cold Warriors: A Policy-Making Elite. John C. Donovan, 1974, D. C. Heath. Highly rated.

CIA-Memoirs & Studies by Former Directors & Employees

Inside the Company. Philip Agee, 1978, Penguin Books. A diary spanning twelve years of Agee's CIA work with a special focus on Central and South America and Mexico.

On the Run. Philip Agee, 1987, Lyle Stuart. The CIA takes a dim view of Agee's philosophical turnabout and chases him around the world with an alarming lack of humor.

Deadly Deceits: My 25 Years in the CIA. Ralph McGehee, 1983, Sheridan Square. ($9.95 + 1.50 S/H c/o IMA 145 W. 4th St., N.Y., N.Y. 10012) Author's growing disillusionment with role of CIA as covert action arm of the presidency.

The CIA under Reagan, Bush and Casey: The Evolution of the Agency from Roosevelt to Reagan. Ray S. Cline, 1981, Acropolis Books. Expanded version of the former Director's memoirs.

Honorable Men: My Life in the CIA. William Colby and Peter Forbath, 1978, Simon and Schuster. From the former CIA Director during the Congressional investigations of the Agency.

Will: The Autobiography of G. Gordon Liddy. 1981, St. Martins Press. Gives insights into the man who had no qualms about torture or murder to `protect' the U.S. national security.

The Night Watch: My 25 Years of Peculiar Service. David Atlee Phillips, 1977, Athenum. A peculiar yet fascinating unapologetic reminiscence.

Portrait of a Cold Warrior. Joseph Burkholder Smith, 1976, G.P. Putnam and Sons. An insightful look from the view of the agent on the street-in the Philippines, Indonesia and elsewhere.

The Praetorian Guard: The U.S. Role in the New World Order. John Stockwell, 1991, South End Press. Speculations on the post-Cold War excuses for continued U.S. meddling internationally. In some bookstores or order it by calling 1-800-533-8478.

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