- Hardcover: 393 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; 1st edition (1979)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0394507770
- ISBN-13: 978-0394507774
- Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.6 x 1.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #712,554 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The man who kept the secrets: Richard Helms & the CIA Hardcover – 1979
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Top Customer Reviews
The book goes on at length discussing when, to whom in Congress, and about what, the CIA may lie.
The book's faults are that it assumes too much historical knowledge of the reader, and a bit too much flitting back and forth time-wise.
This book tells a very fascinating story: the story of the early days of the CIA, internal tensions between proponents of intelligence gathering vs covert operations, how the CIA was drawn into assassination plots and coups. The historical period includes Bay of Pigs, assassination of Diem, attempts on Castro, Vietnam, and of course Watergate. All in one volume!
The narrative is anchored to the career of a prototypical company man, Richard Helms. The Helms story is itself an interesting one: an old school intelligence officer who rises through the ranks to become DCI, only to be hung out to dry by a drowning president and a retributive congress.
With this material the book should be riveting from cover to cover. Unfortunately, it reads like the notes for a book, not a completed book. Names and events spill out in basic chronological order, but they run together and are soon forgotten.
This book is the result of many interviews with former CIA employees, and Powers' treatment of the subjects seems quite even handed. Although he chronicles many CIA misdeeds, it is the political machinations of Nixon, his staff, and the various congressmen and committees that look the most venal.
Great subject matter, but don't say you weren't warned.
I chose this rating because I personally feel that any serious pursuer of the truth will read enough and research enough to reveal that LBJ was the real killer. Ed Clark , the secretary of state for Texas and a "super-lawyer " actually put the pieces of the assignation together and arranged for the payoff to organize the assassination. He had gotten his money from the big oil men , principally Clint Murchison and his group. They were out to protect their depletion allowance and were willing to kill to keep it.
LBJ was going to prison without the assassination . JFK got caught in a evil powerful vortex that included the mob, the players of the oil interests, and the political ambitions of a maniac serial killer, a thief and a pathological liar. .
Thomas Powers is a skilled writer. I feel that on this particular subject he barely even scratched the surface to reveal the real events that had transpired.