Great True Spy Stories

Title:                  Great True Spy Stories

Author:                Allen W. Dulles

Dulles, Allen W., ed. (1968). Great True Spy Stories. New York: Harper & Row

LCCN:    66020733

UB270 .D83


Date Updated:  January 25, 2017

Of this book, Kirkus Reviews says the following. An omnibus display of The Craft of Intelligence[1] (1963) in some forty pieces which have been generally and specifically introduced by the editor, three quarters of which deal with modern times, World War II, and after. Mr. Dulles believes that an agent may achieve a great coup without being very interesting (Fuchs) or may be exciting without accomplishing anything significant (Nathan Hale) and has liquidated some legends (Mata Hari). You will however be re-introduced to Cicero, Penkovskiy, Casanova, Fuchs, George Washington among others, and the contributors include such names as Alan Moorehead, Corey Ford, Alexander Hamilton, Rebecca West and Herodotus. Not for the dilettante since this is intended coequally as history and entertainment, a substantial spyscape which runs to 450 pages.

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[2]

Dulles selected thirty-nine stories from books and articles, three-fourths of which cover World War II and the postwar period. He interpreted “spy story” broadly to encompass anything within what is called “secret intelligence operations.” His aim was to draw on published materials to present clandestine intelligence as conducted “in the present historical era.” Such operations he divided into eight categories, among which are defection, double agents, deception, and cryptology. He provided short introductory essays to each section but did not vouch for the accuracy of the stories he had included; of greater lasting value are his comments which one wishes were not so brief. He might have enlightened the reader on a number of matters, beyond his valuable remarks on the unreliability of Wennerstrom’s claim of association with the Americans; the increasingly important role of illegals in Soviet penetration operations; his view of the Fields; his doubts about or difficulty in verifying many of the American Civil War stories of secret service (and his calling attention to Edwin C. Fischel’s important articles on this matter). What he wrote of the Fields assumed greater significance following the allegations of Steven in Operation Splinter Factor that Dulles used them as a means of destroying certain popular leaders in Eastern Europe, allegations that were never considered serious by objective observers. Dulles was not able to say anything of Ultra and its overall role or its value in specific instances, such as its identification of the German agent Cicero along with the identification made by Dulles’ agent George Wood. Though he could not vouch for everything in the stories he chose, Dulles might have made exceptions and commented on known flaws in certain of them, such as Alexander Foote’s. The story of OSS’s attempt to get Japanese codes in Portugal is unchallenged.

This is a review by the Defense Intelligence School.[3]

An anthology of 39 selections covering such topics as espionage, counterespionage, double agents, deception operations, codes and ciphers, and defection. Mr. Dulles’ foreword and introductory comments to each section are especially valuable in view of his extensive intelligence experience.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[4]

A collection of spy adventures ranging in time from Greek antiquity to the Cold War. The former director of CIA and head of OSS in Switzerland during World War II has selected thirty-nine stories and hos divided them into groups illustrating elements of the intelligence process: networks, counterespionage, double agents, codes and ciphers, and the technology of espionage. Dulles provides a review of intelligence literature in the foreword and in prefaces for each section containing material from his own experiences.

Further Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[5]

Of special interest are chapters 3 and 4, “Counterespionage: Spy to Catch a Spy,” and “Double Agents: Walking Both Sides of the Street” include a collection of nine accounts of counterespionage taken from the best in this field, with a short introduction to each chapter. Two of the stories are taken from the period of the American Revolution and the remainder from later periods. An account taken from Alexander Foote’s Handbook For Spies[6] details the Swiss counterintelligence success in closing down the valuable Soviet Rado-Rossler network through radio direction.

[1] Dulles, Allen W. (2006). The Craft of Intelligence: America’s Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World. Guilford, CT: The Lyons Press.

[2] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 170-171

[3] Defense Intelligence School (1981). Bibliography of Intelligence Literature: A Critical And Annotated Bibliography of Open-Source Literature (7th ed, rev.). Washington, D.C. : Defense Intelligence School, p. 22

[4] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p. 143

[5] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., p.

[6] Foote, Alexander (1964). Handbook for Spies. London: Museum Press


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10 Responses to Great True Spy Stories

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