- Paperback: 224 pages
- Publisher: Potomac Books/Brassey's; 1st edition (January 1, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1574882236
- ISBN-13: 978-1574882230
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,986,821 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Desperate Deception: British Covert Operations in the United States, 1939-44 Paperback – January 1, 2000
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From Kirkus Reviews
A fascinating study of the efforts of British intelligence to push America out of its isolationist stance and into the Allied camp during the early days of WW II. Freelance writer Mahl has convincingly drawn on a variety of sources--including recently declassified FBI and government files, memoirs, personal papers, and little-known official reports--to weave together a portrait of extraordinary schemes and activities. He argues that such conventional sources as the official British history of the war are misleading and inadequate. Britain, lacking the resources to fight Nazi Germany alone, needed the immense production capacities and vast manpower of the US to save itself. But the British government was deeply concerned about American intentions: The nation seemed both unpredictable and unreliable in its support of Britain. To gain American allegiance, Britain launched a sizable propaganda campaign and a number of intelligence actions, many carried out or managed by William Stevenson (``Intrepid''), Britain's spy extraordinaire. Mahl asserts that British agents had willing accomplices in FDR's White House, filled with an anglophile elite that identified deeply with Britain. His research reveals that foreign money was poured into some congressional elections to defeat isolationist politicians, that British agents spent money freely to ease the passage of the Lend- Lease Act, that they planted pro-British articles in interventionist newspapers and magazines, and that some national opinion polls were rigged to reflect a deeper and stronger pro- British sentiment than existed. British agents set up Bill Donovan's Office of Stragetic Services and helped run it, and they established or influenced a number of organizations pushing for American intervention. Their efforts were ingenious and effective. They were also either dubious or downright illegal, but Mahl argues that, given the desperate situation in Europe, Britain had little choice. A carefully researched, engrossing addition to WW II history and the history of covert operations. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Recommended especially for those who lived in the WWII era, blissfully unaware of how we got snookered into their war(at least until Pearl Harbor).
States from about early 1940. This worked in conjunction with the White House using high level government officials and the Rockefeller family.
FDR persisted in this even though he knew that England could not be forced to surrender by the Germans after the failure of the German air offensive in September 1940.. He hated the Germans and wanted to see them defeated no matter what the cost. There would have been no World War II for America if he had left things alone. The Germans would have gone East as they originally intended to, but were forced to shore up their rear areas, England and France before doing this.
I would suggest reading Herbert Hoover's memories and Day of Deceit: The Truth About FDR and Pear Harbor to get a more complete picture of the machinations of FDR to get the US into World War II.
It really is incomprehensible to me how one man could be so callous as to deliberately start a war in which millions would die or be seriously wounded. I really do wonder what will happen to his immortal soul on the day of judgement.
While the information is interesting and well-supported, I found the writing style of this book to be tedious. Despite the fascinating material, this book is not written in a way that grabs your attention for a sustained read. Still, it's history, not a novel, so at least some of this is to be expected. If you have any interest in the intelligence field, and particularly the effect of covert operations on politics, policy and civil society, I recommend this book.
How far will elites in and around government go to persuade you? Very far. Read this book and see.