Waller brings to his latest biography the high skills as a biographer that he brought to A Question of Loyalty: Gen. Billy Mitchell and the Court-Martial That Gripped the Nation (2004). Donovan, the head of WWII�s Office of Strategic Services, was a New York Irishman who won the Medal of Honor in WWI. Between the wars, he became successful on Wall Street and a personal friend of FDR. When President Roosevelt was looking for someone to head an intelligence agency not controlled by either the armed forces or the FBI, he called on Donovan. Donovan was at daggers drawn with FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover and the service intelligence branches, and also recruited too many Ivy Leaguers, but the OSS did pull its weight in wartime intelligence. Donovan also drank too much, chased too many women, lost too many relatives at early ages, and generally did not fit into the postwar world, where the CIA replaced his OSS. Exhaustively researched but not exhaustingly written, this will probably stand as the definitive biography of a seminal figure in the history of American intelligence. --Roland Green
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"Waller's realism about these issues combined with an obvious affection for the remarkable charter of Wild Bill Donovan have resulted in a splendid biography." ---The Los Angeles Times
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