Of Spies And Strategems

Title:                      Of Spies And Strategems

Author:                 Stanley P.Lovell

Lovell, Stanley P. (1963). Of Spies And Strategems. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall

LCCN:    63008620

D810.S7 L6


Date Updated:  May 3, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Lovell was for over three years director of research and development for OSS. His organization was involved in the creation of special items to be used for intelligence, sabotage, or subversion-items from counterfeit funds to explosives. He calls this but a part of OSS history-the part that came into his purview. It is a chatty book that brings out information on some technical accomplishments and contains cameo shots of certain personalities, among them General Donovan. In cases where Lovell was not directly involved and when he recounts how the new items were used, he is not as good. As an example, he claims that his visit to London in connection with an intelligence item on Peenemünde led to the attack on this important target, an exaggeration of the effect of his role in the decision-making process. There are a number of small errors, such as the name he gives SOE. Lovell’s book received further attention with the appearance of John Marks’ The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate,”[2] wherein Lovell’s brief references to OSS research in truth drugs and interest in hypnotism are spotlighted as the first tipoffs of such research by the U.S. government. Lovell, incidentally, had been asked by General Donovan not to write a book until twenty years had passed from the day of the request. Despite any shortcomings, this is valuable in that it deals with a category of intelligence support (technical) not ordinarily used as the main topic of a work.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[3]

The author, former director of research and development for OSS, relates some of his experiences in developing special weapons, devices, equipment, counterfeit Japanese occupation money, and myriad other gadgets and objects required to support an intelligence, subversion, and sabotage organization with operating elements throughout the world. Unfortunately, the author wrote the book from memory and consequently it lacks detail. However the literature is practically devoid of works on this aspect of intelligence.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, pp. 301-302

[2] Marks, John (1979). The Search for the “Manchurian Candidate”: The CIA And Mind Control. New York: Times Books

[3] 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. 111


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3 Responses to Of Spies And Strategems

  1. Pingback: The Search for the Manchurian Candidate | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  2. Pingback: On Paper | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

  3. Pingback: Scientific and Technical Intelligence, Chapter 10 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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