Join us for some great Mexican food, fellowship and a thought-provoking discussion of American foreign policy and the REAL post WWII history at our March book club meeting. We will discuss The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War by Stephen Kinzer. And we'll find out the answers to G.W. Bush's naive and ridiculous question, "Why do they hate us?"
The Brothers was chosen by Kirkus Reviews as Best Nonfiction Book of 2013. Rather than obtaining a description of this book from a professional reviewer, I will post this review from an Amazon.com customer, as I think it's lucid, thoughtful and accurate.
Best Political/Historical Book in Years
By Mike Feder/Sirius XM and PRN.FM Radio on October 11, 2013
You know those reviews clips, headlines or ads that say "Must Read" or, "...if you only read one book this year..."
I have to say, with all the books I've read before and am reading currently, this one is absolutely the most eye-opening, informative and provocative one I've come across in many years.
And--after all I've read about American politics and culture--after all the experts I've interviewed on my radio show... I shouldn't be shocked any more. But the scope of insanity, corruption and hypocrisy revealed in this history of the Dulles brothers is, in fact, truly shocking.
Just when you thought you knew just how bad the United States has been in the world, you come across a history like this and you suddenly become aware of the real depths to which "our" government has sunk in subverting decency, freedom and democracy all over the world.
George W. Bush asked the question after 9/11-- "Why do they hate us?" The answer he came up with was, "Because of our Freedoms." When you read this book, you come face to face for the real reasons THEY (most of the rest of the world) hate us. It's because these Bush's "freedoms" are only for the United States, no other non-white, non-Christian, non-corporate cultures need apply.
The missionary Christian, Corporatism of the Dulles Brothers--John, the former head of the largest corporate law firm in the world, then Secretary of State, and his brother Allen, the head of the CIA all the way from Korea through Vietnam--constitutes the true behavioral DNA of America-in-the-world. It's enough to make you weep for the billions of people this country has deprived of freedom and security for the last sixty years.
I grew up practically in love with America and the Declaration of Independence. When I was a kid the USA had just beaten the Nazis. I saw the picture of the Marines raising the flag at Iwo Jima. I knew men in my neighborhood that had liberated concentration camps.
But they never taught us the real history of America in high school and barely at all in college. If they had given us a clear picture of our true history, there never would have been a Vietnam in the first place--and no Iraq or Afghanistan either; Global Banks wouldn't have gotten away with stealing all our money and crashing our economy and Christian fundamentalist and corporate puppets wouldn't have taken over our government.
Karma is real. You can't steal a whole country, kill and enslave tens of millions of human beings, assassinate democratically elected leaders of countries, bribe and corrupt foreign governments, train the secret police and arm the military of dictators for decades--you cannot do all this and escape the judgment and the punishment of history.
This book is, in fact, a MUST READ... for anyone who wants to know what their taxes have paid for in the last half century--for anyone who wants to know just exactly why the rest of the world wants either to attack us or throw us out of their countries. And a must read for anyone who no longer wishes their "representatives" in Washington to keep facilitating the stealing and killing all over the world and call it American Exceptionalism.
I'll also add that Stephen Kinzer is also a terrific writer; clear, articulate, factual and dramatic. His inside the inner circle revelations of the Dulles brothers and their crimes is morbidly page-turning.
About Stephen Kinzer
Stephen Kinzer is a former New York Times foreign correspondent and the author of Overthrow: America's Century of Regime Change from Hawaii to Iraq and The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War. He teaches at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University