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A frank and refreshing evaluation of several Chief Executives, their Directors of Central Intelligence, and even some lower in the hierarchy, Executive Secrets shines light on the development and execution of foreign policy through the understanding of the tools available, of which covert action may be least known and understood. This book is a great tool for the press, the public, and many political appointees in the National Security System. A History Book Club Selection with a foreword by Mark Bowden, author of Black Hawk Down.
[Daugherty] gives a frank and refreshing evaluation of several Chief Executives, their Directors of Central Intelligence, and even some lover in the hierarchy. Anyone interested or involved in the development and execution of foreign policy must know the tools available, of which covert action may be least known and understood. This understanding is also pertinent to a wider audience: the press, the public, and many political appointees in the National Security system. This book should help. -- Air Power History
A most informative study of covert action.... This well-researched, thoughtful book is a valuable work that will be treasured by scholars and professionals in the field. Highly recommended. -- Choice
A hard-hitting, balanced and highly successful effort to deal with the issue of presidential responsibility for covert action. -- John Stempel, Patterson School of Diplomacy, University of Kentucky
Daugherty has done us all a tremendous service by attempting to rescue the Agency from the myths, both well-meaning and malevolent, that shape our understanding of it. . . . This book ought to dispel some of the fog that obscures our understanding of the C.I.A. and that prompts the gigantic mood swings in our attitude toward intelligence gathering and covert actions. -- Mark Bowden, from the foreword
There are some interesting and carefully drawn vignettes of covert operations here that demonstrate a skillful blending of declassified documents, investigative reports, and secondary sources. It is these case studies that make this one of those essential works for specialists in intelligence policy. -- Register of the Kentucky Historical Society
If you are a keen observer of the agency, this one will interest and instruct you. -- Rockland (ME) Courier-Gazette
Offers a richly textured book that clears up some common misconceptions of the CIA, as well as an insider's perspective on how covert action really works, or fails. -- Savannah (GA) Morning News
Readers of this timely and occasionally revelatory account may be surprised to learn that President Carter approved a covert action program to attack the internal legitimacy of the Soviet system, and that he repeatedly relied on covert action to achieve his foreign policy aims. -- Zbigniew Brzezinski
Named a 2005 Choice Outstanding Academic Title.
"[Daugherty] has done a great service for those wanting to seriously understand the realistic capabilities of the organization. This is not an easy task, for the CIA has been the subject of many books, movies, and certain mindsets in the population."--Foreign Area Officer Journal
The University Press of Kentucky
Place of Publication
Espionage, Intelligence service, Presidents, United States, Central Intelligence Agency
Daugherty, William J., "Executive Secrets: Covert Action and the Presidency" (2004). American Politics. 39.