- Hardcover: 480 pages
- Publisher: Free Press
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0054U5CQI
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars See all reviews (269 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,039,451 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Wild Bill Donovan: The Spymaster Who Created the OSS and Modern American Espionage Hardcover
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Top Customer Reviews
Submitted by James Farwell
This point is relevant when one is interested to know more about the history of WWW2 and the Cold War. The release of ten of millions of declasssified documents pertaining to intelligence matters has yielded a tremendous number of studies, monographs and histories on this fascinating angle of human history.
Some spies became legendary many years after their demise, but Bill Donovan was one of thoes whose name was famous already in his lifetime, creating the OSS-the Office of Strategic Services, after Roosevelt, who had been a political opponent of Donovan in the 1930s, approved Donovan's original idea about establishing this service.
Donovan came from a poor Irish family but later marrried into wealth. His wife, Ruth,who was daughter of a very rich family in Buffalo,was a chronic depressive and Donovan's frequent cheating on her hardly helped Ruth cope with her disease. Rumours said that he had even slept with his daughter-in-law, Mary, but soon this proved to be a blatant lie spread by the malicious tongues of Donovan's opponents. Donovan had to fight bureaucrats from the army and the State Department all his life. His most severe foe was none other than another legendary figure,that of J.Edgar Hoover, the chief of the FBI, who accused Donovan of being soft on Communists.
Donovan was a hero of WW1 and was decorated for bravery on the battlefields of France. He was given his nickname "Wild Bill" by his men because he put them through grueling training for battle.Read more ›
He knew who, and what he had to know in order to high speed it to wherever he wanted to go, and to the top is where he wanted to be. There would be tradeoffs all along the way. He would marry wealth, join the right clubs, and make the acquaintance of all the right people. He would risk life and limb during World War I, and be idolized by his men. It would be left to others to boast of him and persuade a reluctant army to award Donovan the Medal of Honor some four years after the war ended. Others wanted to perhaps Court Martial him for the same actions.
There are 389 pages of narrative divided into 34 chapters, followed by 51 pages of source notes. The 17 page index has also been done well. Douglas Waller the author spent six years reporting on the CIA for both Newsweek and Time Magazine. He has penned five additional books involving the military and foreign policy. It is obvious in reading this book that he has taken a liking to the man we now call the father of American intelligence, and it shows right through in this work.Read more ›
of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
My take on his book is that the book has been both well researched and written and that it should also to be on the 'must read' list of everyone who has even a passing interest in the OSS and the man who ran the organization. The book touches on many personal aspects of Donovan's life, as well as on a number of the other details of Donovan's career besides just as head of the OSS. I for one especially found the
information concerning the time Donovan spent as Ambassador to Thailand and what he
was secretly sent there to do by President Eisenhower most enlightening.
On a scale of 1-10 I'd rate this book a solid 10.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Another good book on how unprepared the United States was for World War II and how petty high level President Roosevelt's appointees were. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Bill Fenwick
Wild Bill is clearly a heroic figure. However this book fails to hold the readers attention as the author presents a series of episodes rather than telling a story. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Dr. Bop