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Customer Review

25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power structure at work, May 6, 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 (Paperback)
This book is the missing link showing how elites use their influence to bring us into wars, manipulate political conventions, conduct propaganda campaigns against the populace(now known as public diplomacy), and other dirty tricks.
For those students of power structure and are familiar with the work of the late Carrol Quigley, many of the people mentioned in his work play roles in this book.
Members of the Round Table network( a global network of discussion groups of people waging propaganda justifying the British Empire on moral grounds) include:
Walter Lippman - American Round Tabler, whose column in the Intl Herald Tribune was to guide American foreign policy in an anglophile direction.
Thomas Lamont - Director and Chrm of the Board at J.P. Morgan, allied with FDR and instrumental in getting lifelong Democrat Wendell Willkie the 1940 Republican Presidential nomination.
British members of the Round Table group include Ambassadors to the US - Lord Lothian(Phillip Kerr) and Lord Halifax. Some other members in MI6 in the US were also affiliated with this group.
The Rockefeller family also loaned much of the office space for the British intelligence operations during the war, so they definitely had some knowledge or approval of their operations. Nelson Rockefeller was also appointed Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.
Basically, there was a group of influential anglophile Americans, who wanted to get America into the war with Germany, so they provided assistance to British intelligence, who set up front organizations to agitate in a pro-British manner. They recruited anglophiles to stage demonstrations to fight Germany, write pro-British propaganda, and destroy the careers of isolationist Congressmen. They also penetrated polling organizations, and some of the polling results appear quite suspect.
During the Republican Convention of 1940, the mysterious death of Ralph Williams, a pro-Taft isolationist, allowed Sam Pryor, a pro-Willkie man, to take over the convention. Through dubious allocation of tickets to the convention floor(Willkie supporters got way more than their fair share), an impression was made that he was the man of the people. Speaches of isolationists were also sabotaged by tampering with microphones or sending in bands during speaches. Having Willkie as the Republican nominee, allowed FDR to give destroyers to the British without a political opponent making political hay about it.
For any Birchers out there, yes, there were some members of the Council on Foreign Relations involved. However, that is not the influential body. It is the rich and powerful, who control the mass media and bodies like the government and the CFR, who really make things happen.
There are quite a number of typing errors in the book, but the editor should be faulted, not the author. Many people have suspicions about accounts of history, and Mahl does quite a good job supporting his account of what really happened.
I strongly recommend reading this book for anyone interested in how our world really operates.
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