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Legacy of Ashes: The History of the CIA Paperback – May 20, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
This book is a case in point. Although ostensibly about CIA as an institution, the book really focuses on DO and its alleged failures. This fascination with the DO by journalists, Presidents, and CIA Directors has allowed the analytic arm of CIA to atrophy from almost the very first. Yet the many failures and embarrassments that Weiner has chosen to chronicle in this book are as much the fault of DI as DO.
Now this book is essentially a massive and well written critique of CIA and especially the DO. For the most part it is pretty accurate, but as CIA has pointed out in a rather pitiful rebuttal of the book, it is not entirely fair and balanced. For example, in 1998 India exploded a nuclear weapon to the utter surprise and amazement of the entire U.S. Intelligence Community (IC).Read more ›
The two - sides of Intelligence work, the gathering of information, and the undertaking of covert operations are generously surveyed in this work. Weiner a long- time reporter for the NY Times devoted twenty- years to this book, and in the course of it read through fifty- thousand declassified CIA Intelligence documents. He also interviewed ten former directors of the CIA.
He points out errors made all along the way. Frank Wisner at the beginning ignored 'intelligence gathering' and sent during the Korean War thousands of hired agents to suicidal behind- the- enemy- lines operations. In the Bay of Pigs fiasco and in numerous other operations the CIA instead of providing hard, truthful contradictory analysis essentially worked to politically support a prior decision of the Executive branch. Speaking 'truth to power' has not been its essential strong point.Read more ›
Though the original minds and spies at the CIA were bold and wanted to penetrate the USSR and subvert the global spread of communism, their track record of success is pitiful. In the business of national security good intentions can be deadly. Results preserve peace and the CIA did not deliver when it mattered.
The book is a chronology of its failed missions and almost criminal negligence in its expenditure of men and money. The CIA was created to stop another Pearl Harbor and 9/11 and it failed...miserably. This book explains how.
Sure there were some successes but they were few and far between and this book explains them well. Some of book beween Korea and Vietnam were a tad long winded but it's important for the book.
Some key points of interest were how the CIA interpreted the JFK assassination (not to spoil it) but it's obvious they weren't involved; they weren't that good! George H.W. Bush is still regarded as a CIA favorite director despite not really doing too much.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An agency-biased, but engaging account of CIA's central role in America's post war is Tim Weiner's "Legacy of Ashes" (2007). Read morePublished 2 days ago by robert dresdner
I "read" this book as an audio CD in my car as part of my collection. It is actually a decent history of the CIA, but the Tim Weiner, focuses a great deal on the failures... Read morePublished 4 days ago by Jason Neuringer
Excellent compilation of history of the CIA from some of it’s beginnings through a majority of presidents and operations. Read morePublished 1 month ago by SeaDave
Things don't just happen. There is always a beginning, a development, a current state of affairs. Too many people are unwilling to take the time to understand our government more... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Peter Lombard
mind blogging! to think that is a government agency, supposedly to protect the citizens of this country. looked to me that they were asleep on the job.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Time Weiner's Legacy of Ashes is a blistering critique of the Central Intelligence Agency. The book traces the history of the agency from its early post world war II beginnings up... Read morePublished 3 months ago by JPM