DESPERATE DECEPTION (P) Paperback – Jan 1 2000
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From Kirkus Reviews
A fascinating study of the efforts of British intelligence to push America out of its isolationist stance and into the Allied camp during the early days of WW II. Freelance writer Mahl has convincingly drawn on a variety of sources--including recently declassified FBI and government files, memoirs, personal papers, and little-known official reports--to weave together a portrait of extraordinary schemes and activities. He argues that such conventional sources as the official British history of the war are misleading and inadequate. Britain, lacking the resources to fight Nazi Germany alone, needed the immense production capacities and vast manpower of the US to save itself. But the British government was deeply concerned about American intentions: The nation seemed both unpredictable and unreliable in its support of Britain. To gain American allegiance, Britain launched a sizable propaganda campaign and a number of intelligence actions, many carried out or managed by William Stevenson (``Intrepid''), Britain's spy extraordinaire. Mahl asserts that British agents had willing accomplices in FDR's White House, filled with an anglophile elite that identified deeply with Britain. His research reveals that foreign money was poured into some congressional elections to defeat isolationist politicians, that British agents spent money freely to ease the passage of the Lend- Lease Act, that they planted pro-British articles in interventionist newspapers and magazines, and that some national opinion polls were rigged to reflect a deeper and stronger pro- British sentiment than existed. British agents set up Bill Donovan's Office of Stragetic Services and helped run it, and they established or influenced a number of organizations pushing for American intervention. Their efforts were ingenious and effective. They were also either dubious or downright illegal, but Mahl argues that, given the desperate situation in Europe, Britain had little choice. A carefully researched, engrossing addition to WW II history and the history of covert operations. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top Customer Reviews
For those students of power structure and are familiar with the work of the late Carrol Quigley, many of the people mentioned in his work play roles in this book.
Members of the Round Table network( a global network of discussion groups of people waging propaganda justifying the British Empire on moral grounds) include:
Walter Lippman - American Round Tabler, whose column in the Intl Herald Tribune was to guide American foreign policy in an anglophile direction.
Thomas Lamont - Director and Chrm of the Board at J.P. Morgan, allied with FDR and instrumental in getting lifelong Democrat Wendell Willkie the 1940 Republican Presidential nomination.
British members of the Round Table group include Ambassadors to the US - Lord Lothian(Phillip Kerr) and Lord Halifax. Some other members in MI6 in the US were also affiliated with this group.
The Rockefeller family also loaned much of the office space for the British intelligence operations during the war, so they definitely had some knowledge or approval of their operations. Nelson Rockefeller was also appointed Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs.
Basically, there was a group of influential anglophile Americans, who wanted to get America into the war with Germany, so they provided assistance to British intelligence, who set up front organizations to agitate in a pro-British manner. They recruited anglophiles to stage demonstrations to fight Germany, write pro-British propaganda, and destroy the careers of isolationist Congressmen.Read more ›
British Intelligence begins by understanding British history and foreign policy. This can be seen from Caesar's calling them Britons meaning the "People With Painted Faces" as he attempted conquest. The Celts fought a guerrilla war against Caesar and he even knew when to leave such determined people to making their own destiny with Rome. Such determination continued when Queen Elizabeth had to change the minds of several traitors whom she persuades to be sons of England rather servants to Spain. They helped defeat the Spanish Armada with such 'blowback spying' resulting in the 'fire in sky' tactics used to burn the Armada into history.
The author briefly explains English's Divide and Conquer policies against great powers, how the British Empire loses over one fourth its wealth and the need to have America enter the war to save democracies. The book details many openly negative actions of British Intelligence towards American values, but the English never let details get in way of knowing what is important for England to survive. The book only reinforces that British Intelligence sometimes must be nasty to friends to help fight real enemies in the face of two devils to choose from in usefulness.
It is noteworthy that Russia the biggest land mass nation, China the most populous country, America the largest industrial power and Great Britain the greatest empire on earth were all on the verge of defeat in 1941. Only England's intelligence services seem to be doing anything about countering this threat to freedom from dark forces abroad.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Mahl does an excellent job unearthing data that the British secret services sorely wish had remained secret. Read morePublished on Aug. 6 2002 by Brian A. Schar
The book's thesis is that British and U.S. "elites" maneuvered us into WWII to serve the interests of the State. Read morePublished on July 1 2002 by Karen A. Decoster
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