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Blowback: The First Full Account of America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Disastrous Effect on The cold war, Our Domestic and Foreign Policy. Paperback – August 1, 1989


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 398 pages
  • Publisher: Collier Books - Macmillan (August 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 002044995X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0020449959
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #211,628 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The postwar recruitment of Nazis and collaborators by agencies of the U.S. government stemmed, the author illustrates, from intense East-West competition after the German surrender, prodded by the prospect of war between the superpowers. Simpson, a freelance journalist, reveals that many covert operations of the early Cold War era involved the use of operatives known to have committed crimes against humanity during the Second World War. The underlying theme here is the corruption of American ideals in connection with this hushed-up recruitment policy in the name of anticommunism. In elaborating the policy's "negative blowback," Simpson emphasizes the long-term corrosive effect on American intelligence agencies in particular.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

As the story of Andrija Artukovic, the high-ranking fascist Croatian who found refuge in the United States, and books by John Loftus, Howard Blum, and others tell us, a disgraceful chapter in U.S. Cold War history lies in the systematic use of Nazi and fascist war criminals to help the anti-Soviet aims of American intelligence and national security agencies. Germans and East Europeans were eagerly recruited into and rose to key positions in the Cold War crusade. Simpson's careful researchwhich underscores the part of the Catholic Church and reveals the role of George Kennan in this policyraises profound questions for scholars, lawmakers, and citizens alike. Henry Steck, SUNY Coll. at Cortland
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 41 people found the following review helpful By N. Dubeski on July 26, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have to say that this is a great examination of the inadvertent effects in American policy and ideology following the recruitment of Nazi intelligence officers. This book should be read not only by those interested in the origins of the Cold War, but also by those who want to study Operation Paperclip, the recruitment of Nazi scientists by the American government. This is not revisionist history, and it is not one of those quasi-historical books that try to sell themselves on a controversial and speculative thesis. It is well documented, and a very worthy book for anyone interested in mid-20th century history.
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36 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Rocco Dormarunno on June 3, 2004
Format: Hardcover
It's a shame that Christopher Simpson's "Blowback: America's Recruitment of Nazis and Its Effects on the Cold War" has gone out of print. While portions of this book smack of revisionist history, the truth at the heart of it is nothing short of harrowing and infuriating. Most significantly, it's an important part of post-War American history that needs further discussion: the carte blanche treatment given to some of the Nazi party's worst war criminals in exchange for dubious (at best) information on the Russians.
According to Simpson's exhaustive research, brutal mass murderers whose technical and/or espionage value saved them from the Nuremburg trials, were given new lives, lots of money, and immunity in America in order to aid in our fight against the communists. While it seems that some of the information they gave us tilted the Cold War in our favor, the fact remains that these men had the blood of countless concentration camp victims on their hands. The photos of the death camps, including a poignant photograph of four generations of Jewish women in their underwear, moments before their execution, underscores Simpson's outrage at the cheapness America placed on their lives.
Lastly, I would point out that the subtitle is slightly misleading. While Simpson does discuss the effects these informants had on the Cold War, the subtext really has to do with the effects they had on American society. And it's not a pretty picture. I hope this book is brought back in print. Until then, picked up one of the used copies available here.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Stephen B. Selbst on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Christopher Simpson's Blowback is a scrupulously researched work about how the United States government, contrary to its stated policies, deliberately recruited a veritable army of former Nazis and collaborators in the years immediately after World War II. Acting principally through the CIA, these ex-Nazis and sympathizers were then used in our developing cold war against the former USSR, mostly without success, but always behind a veil of secrecy. And that's the theme of his work: in the name of anti-communism, any new-found allies were OK, and whatever war crimes they had engaged in prior to swearing allegiance to us was ignored or erased.

Simpson carefully documents how US foreign policy personnel, who had clear knowledge that their new spy recruits had committed war crimes or crimes against humanity, ignored or hid their past, supposedly because these former Nazis had intelligence value.

There are many lessons worth learning from this valuable book: how easy and how routine it was for the OSS and its successors to subvert the laws and policies of the United States through deception. Whenever it was time to seek immigrant status for an ex-Nazi whose past would have disqualified him, the OSS or its successors simply doctored the files to delete the offending material. As the participants in these charades candidly acknowledge in his work, they thought they were acting in the country's best interests, and they weren't going to let mere nuisances like US laws stand in their way. All this took place at the very dawn of the Cold War, before the CIA had even been formally established.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 8, 2000
Format: Paperback
Very scary stuff. The bottom line is that for the sake of enhancing national security and national competitiveness, the U.S. Government, with approval from the highest levels, funded the wholesale introduction into U.S. citizenship of both Nazi scientists and Nazi participants in genocidal programs who were viewed in many cases as "essential" to our anti-Communist endeavors. The loss of perspective among selected senior intelligence and policy officials, and the long-term influence of this program on our obsession with Communism, give one pause.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Richard E. Noble VINE VOICE on August 18, 2007
Format: Paperback
"Here one sees the extent of the corruption of American ideals that has taken place in the name of fighting communism. No one, it seems, not even Adolf Eichman's personal staff, was too tainted to be rejected by the CIA's recruiters, at least as long as his relationship with the U.S. government could be kept secret.
"The American people deserve better from their government. There is nothing to be gained by permitting U.S. intelligence agencies to continue to conceal the true scope of their association with Nazi criminals in the wake of World War II. The files must be opened; the record must be set right."

This book was published in 1988 and since then the files have been opened and then closed and opened and closed again. The battle goes on.

If you are one of those folks who have dismissed the secreting of Nazis into the U.S after World War II because you thought that they were all "innocent" scientists whose knowledge was crucial to our survival, you have a lot to learn. And you will learn a lot of it in this book.

I picked up this book for a dime at some flea market or yard sale many years ago. I read it but still didn't believe it. Since that time, I have taken up the project of determining "Who Financed Adolf Hitler" and why. This book deals with the "why" in the above question.

I hate to say it but this is a book on the treasonable acts of some top people in the American government and business community.
I have already gone through this book and highlighted the chapters. It is on my list for synopsizing. I do this task because I want to more deeply ingrain the facts of this book into my memory. My attempt is to make books like this one more a part of my readily available accessible knowledge.
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