by Stephen Kinzer
St. Martin's Griffin
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.
"A disturbing, provocative, important book. Stephen Kinzer vividly brings the Dulles brothers, once paragons of American Cold War supremacy, to life and makes a strong case against the dangers of American exceptionalism." -- Evan Thomas, author of Ike's Bluff: President Eisenhower's Secret Battle to Save the World
"The culmination of an oeuvre (All the Shah's Men, Overthrow and others) featuring the Dulles brothers in supporting roles, The Brothers draws them from the shadows, provoking a reevaluation of their influence and its effects." -- Kirkus.com
"The errors of the Dulles brothers are vividly described in this highly entertaining book...A thoroughly informative book." -- Revista: The Harvard Review of Latin America
About the Author:
Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, Poisoner in Chief: Sidney Gottlieb and the CIA Search for Mind Control, and numerous other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as the New York Times's bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as the Boston Globe's Latin America correspondent. He is a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, contributes to The New York Review of Books, and writes a column on world affairs for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.