The Secret War

Title:                      The Secret War

Author:                  Sanche de Gramont

Gramont, Sanche de (1962). The Secret War: The Story of International Espionage Since World War II. G. P. Putnam’s Sons

LCCN:    62007347

UB270 .G7

Date Updated:  August 29, 2016

Ted Morgan is the pen name for the actual author, Sanche de Gramont. The book is often listed with Morgan as the named author.


In 1955 the Hoover Commission recommended “greater boldness” in U.S. Intelligence to match Russia’s master spy system. The story of how that Soviet spy network has affected the U.S. since the War and what “bolder” methods have been used to combat it is here told by Pulitzer Prize winner Sanche de Gramont.

His story, assembled presumably from high sources and backed by years of careful research and study, is not told in an especially exciting or dramatic way. It is rather a rational, fascinating, low-keyed evaluation of spying which gives the reader valuable information on the important hush-hush world which affects daily diplomacy. The CIA, and its silent, radio-monitoring partner, the National Security Agency, is compared in terms of organization and personnel with Russia’s spy and secret police organizations. The Cuban fiasco, the U-2 flyover, the Judy Coplon case in which a Justice Department employee was arrested for spying, the Rosenberg case, and many other contemporary classics of espionage are reviewed.

Men like “Wild Bill” Donovan of OSS, Allen Dulles of CIA, or Russian Colonel Rudolph Abel are all given their due as master movers and workers in the espionage underworld. Of no small interest to readers too is the concluding section in which Communist brainwashing techniques on prisoners and fugitives are explained in some detail.

An important and valuable book for Americans today, yet one which cannot be read and digested at a sitting. This has won the $10,000 Putnam award and will have major publisher promotion.

This is a review by the Defense Intelligence School.[1]

A journalistic study of CIA and foreign intelligence organizations conducting secret espionage activities in the 1950s. The book is considered worth reading, particularly for the case studies involved.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[2]

A popularized expose of many espionage activities and covert operations of the CIA and foreign secret agencies during the tense cold war years of the 1950s. Deals with a number of specific espionage and internal security cases, mainly Soviet. Chapter 1, “Total Espionage,” is a brief survey of such activities as they relate to the cold war; chapter 15, “The Future of Espionage,” argues that “the CIA is considered a kind of freak in a democratic society, but it is allowed to exist (under increasing control, one hopes), because it has proved its necessity. The Soviet intelligence system, on the other hand, is the core of the regime and its disappearance could lead to the end of the Communist dictatorship in the Soviet Union as we have known it for forty years.”

The appendix lists American diplomats expelled from the USSR between 1947 and 1961, and Soviet diplomats expelled from the .United States between 1948 and 1961.

[1] 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. 28

[2] 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. 141


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One Response to The Secret War

  1. Pingback: Merchants of Treason | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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