Booklist | ‘The Brothers’ by Stephen Kinzer

A one-sided view of two brothers, a polemic of the duo, the diplomat and the spy, both of whom shaped the US from the fifties through the Cold War:

During World War II, Allen returned to the Bern embassy, putting his mistress’s psychoanalyst, Carl Jung, to work for the Allied cause, recruiting a senior official of the German foreign office, tapping into the ill-fated conspiracy to kill Hitler, and playing a part in the surrender of the Nazi armies in Italy. Foster had a quieter war, helping to write the United Nations Charter and serving as an adviser at the U.N. founding conference in San Francisco. He had been Thomas E. Dewey’s foreign-policy adviser when the latter ran against FDR in the 1944 election.

The fateful culmination, in Mr. Kinzer\’s view, came when, “with the Dulles brothers as his right and left arms, [Dwight D. Eisenhower] led the United States into a secret global conflict that raged throughout his presidency.” By bringing us such memorable acts as the overthrow of Mohammad Mossadegh in Iran and Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán in Guatemala, Mr. Kinzer implies, the brothers gave us in the end the allegedly warlike, unjust, hated America we live in now.

“The Brothers” is a long book pieced together largely from secondary sources. Mr. Kinzer’s compilation of clandestine capitalist mischief rolls inexorably onward from first page to last, seldom pausing to speak good of the dead. This approach is one-sided and somewhat monotonous, at times even obsessive, but not exactly unfair. After all, the positive side of the story has often been told, and those who see merit in the brothers’ work are unlikely to be swayed by Mr. Kinzer’s fervent rebutta

via Book Review: ‘The Brothers’ by Stephen Kinzer –

3 thoughts on “Booklist | ‘The Brothers’ by Stephen Kinzer”

  1. Until now, the only thing I knew about the Dulles brothers was that there is an airport named after one of them. However, after researching a little bit about them, I am struck at how much the actions of two men shaped America’s image for decades. Not only did they instigate coups in Guatemala and Iran, they were very much involved in the affairs of the Middle East and Africa. It has also been suggested that without their influence, the United States would not have entered the Vietnam war and Guatemala would not have been plunged into a very bloody civil war. It is shocking how the influence of one or two men can shape the history of a nation and the world.

  2. I’ve never heard of these brothers before, which surprises me seeing as they have had so much influence in American Modern history. From what it sounds like, the author doesn’t really approve of these guys, and the sources are all second hand, so I wonder how far this book will be to the brothers. Either way, I’m very interested in reading it. I can’t wait for Christmas break!
    If anyone likes this book, it sounds similar to a book I read called Winter: the Story of a Berlin Family It’s a novel, not a biography, but its about two brothers who grow up during the two world wars. It’s fascinating and gives a different perspective on these wars. (Basically the only similarities are that its about two brothers in a critical part of history, but it’s still very interesting and worth reading!)

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