Modern history

The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War

A joint biography of John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today's world

During the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, two immensely powerful brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world.

John Foster Dulles was secretary of state while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency. In this book, Stephen Kinzer places their extraordinary lives against the background of American culture and history. He uses the framework of biography to ask: Why does the United States behave as it does in the world?

The Brothers explores hidden forces that shape the national psyche, from religious piety to Western movies―many of which are about a noble gunman who cleans up a lawless town by killing bad guys. This is how the Dulles brothers saw themselves, and how many Americans still see their country's role in the world.

Propelled by a quintessentially American set of fears and delusions, the Dulles brothers launched violent campaigns against foreign leaders they saw as threats to the United States. These campaigns helped push countries from Guatemala to the Congo into long spirals of violence, led the United States into the Vietnam War, and laid the foundation for decades of hostility between the United States and countries from Cuba to Iran.

The story of the Dulles brothers is the story of America. It illuminates and helps explain the modern history of the United States and the world.



Chapter 1: Unmentionable Happenings

Chapter 2: The Taint of My Environment

Chapter 3: Dull, Duller, Dulles

Chapter 4: That Fella from Wall Street


Chapter 5: A Whirling Dervish with a College Education

Chapter 6: The Most Forthright Pro-Communist

Chapter 7: A Matchless Interplay of Ruthlessness and Guile

Chapter 8: The Self-Intoxicated President

Chapter 9: The Tall, Goateed Radical

Chapter 10: The Bearded Strongman


Chapter 11: A Face of God




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