The Devil's Chessboard

The Devil's Chessboard

Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government

Book - 2015
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An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the man who transformed the CIA into the most powerful--and secretive--colossus in Washington, from the founder of and author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers.

America's greatest untold story: the United States' rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials--including newly discovered U.S. government documents, U.S. and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles's wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials--Talbot reveals the underside of one of America's most powerful and influential figures.

Dulles's decade as the director of the CIA--which he used to further his public and private agendas--were dark times in American politics. Calling himself "the secretary of state of unfriendly countries," Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients--colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home, Talbot charges, offering shocking new evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

An expos#65533; of American power that is as disturbing as it is timely, The Devil's Chessboard is a provocative and gripping story of the rise of the national security state--and the battle for America's soul.

Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers,, [2015]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062276162
Branch Call Number: 327.1273 TAL
Characteristics: xiii, 686 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm


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May 28, 2016

Now we know. And the deep state's criminal actions only continue to this day. Ever greater crimes are needed to cover up heinously treasonous and arrogant crimes. Can you say "nanothermite throughout the 911 dust and Building 7....?"
"One of the reasons the world is moving as fast as it is, is that it must constantly outrun its own collapse....." -The Coming Insurrection by The Invisible Commitee

Apr 30, 2016

This guy needs an editor worse than I need a team of marriage counselors. It is true you can fully ruin a great story with way too many tangential details. I think it's telling that the forward had some of the most concise and great information. I learned that the Kennedy's hated Allen Dulles and with good cause and finally fired him two years before JFK was assassinated. However Allen acted like it never happened and kept holding intelligence court at the Pentagon and throughout DC. Then, Dulles demanded to lead the Warren Commission dubbed the Dulles Commission when many suspected he was involved in the treasonous plot. And to be honest I have not believed the government narrative on any event since.

Feb 17, 2016

A terrific read. A really shocking account of the history of the CIA, and some of their nefarious ventures, including, but not limited to, the assassination of JFK.

Jan 27, 2016

A deeply sobering and important account, deserving of widespread attention and consideration in multiple sectors. Packed with far-reaching layers of information and revelation, the author's trademark narrative style and depth of knowledge, based on first-hand accounts and exhaustive research, drives this explosive story forward. As a reader, at times I felt overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the situation and its implications, but couldn't put the book down. It's that real, and that compelling. I am a contemporary of Mr Talbot's; I was there and lived through the times he describes. This book has the potential to spur redress of major historical records and assumptions and serve as a cautionary tale for what is happening right now in our country. Must-read.

Jan 25, 2016

I needed more time to read this unbelievable account of Allen Dulles influence on US affairs during and after WW2. There is so much information written here it is mind boggling.
Well worth the effort and time to read this book.

Dec 18, 2015

Thought that a non-insufferable review of this book would be helpful for other readers. Amongst many other things, it is a wonderfully written book (I'm not dismissing the content, info, etc, I'm just focusing on another great aspect of the book). Its the definition of a page turner and has made me late a few times because I wanted to finish a chapter. Talbot has the talent to write in just the right amount of detail/backstory before returning to the main narrative. On several occasions while reading a sidestory I'd think, ok but what's this got to do with Dulles/the CIA. And literally at that very moment he ties it all back to the main focus of the book. Great writing.

Nov 10, 2015

By page 24 I was wondering what the heck is this book? I decided there is something so earnest about conspiracy theory books/authors that you've got to question why you would spend precious reading time with them. I'm done. This sucker is going back to the library so that someone who is into this stuff can have a field day.

Nov 07, 2015

After reading The Brothers about the Dulles brothers I couldn't stand to read anymore about these devils. Sometimes it's worse knowing these stories = gut wrenching & cannot help but make one cynical over present day events.

Oct 13, 2015

[Updated 11/2016]
This is truly a 50-starred book - - the author gives us a brilliant and masterful narrative of the essential points of history leading up to the present!
Just in case my comments were included among the // insufferable \\ category, allow me to frame them as simply as possible into the four major points:
[1] According to declassified CIA documents, CIA agents met with OAS* assassin, Jean Souetre, in Lisbon around six months prior to the JFK assassination [Lisbon was the city where former OAS mercenaries and assassins could be routinely hired, a few years later Yves Guerin-Serac would establish the Aginter Presse as a front organization for them];
[2] Several months before the JFK assassination, Pfc. Eugene B. Dinkin, at an NSA site in Metz, France, intercepts several cables between the CIA station in Italy and an OAS site he's been monitoring, revealing that the planned assassination of President Kennedy is to take place in Dallas, between 11/22 to 11/28/63;
[3] Three weeks before the JFK murder, fired CIA director, Allen Dulles, and CIA station chief in Italy, William Harvey, travel to Dallas; and,
[4] An extremely minute portion of a declassified CIA document [# 632-796] reveals that an expulsion order was issued to pick up international assassin, Jean Souetre [whom the CIA agents had previously met in Lisbon six months prior], in Dallas just a few hours AFTER the assassination of President Kennedy - - where a government plane will fly Souetre [and I believe several other OAS assassins as well] back to Europe!
[5] The CIA man in Dallas, J. Walton Moore, head of their Domestic Contacts Division, a former FBI agent [Apr/1940 - 1945], was running George De Mohrenschildt, who was in turn running Lee Oswald. Moore reported to the CIA's Tracy Barnes, who just happened to be a cousin to Allen Dulles. Furthermore, William Harvey was also former FBI [Apr/1940 - 1947], and knew J. Walton Moore from that organization, and together they knew Dallas FBI Special-Agent-in-Charge, J. Gordon Shanklin [1942 on . . ] - - a closed circle of contacts!
The Deputy Chief of the Secret Service, Paul J. Paterni, served in the OSS in Italy with James Jesus Angleton [later CIA]; while they were both commanded by Clifton Carter, chief advisor to LBJ, and whose brother, Gen. Marshall Carter, was then the deputy director of the CIA.

*OAS was the fascist, paramilitary organization made up of former French military, Algerian War deserters, and former French Foreign Legionnaires, involved in multiple assassination attemps on French president, Charles de Gaulle.

Attorney and JFK researcher, Bernard Fensterwald, will lead the way in filing lawsuits to attempt to obtain follow-up and expanded information on Souetre, the CIA's dealings with the OAS, and the expulsion order, et cetera, but the various federal judges will deny his legal requests [for obvious reasons we observe today, and as Mr. Talbot so masterfully shows, the shadow government was fully realized with the coup d'├ętat of 1963].

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