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Spying Through a Glass Darkly


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About the Author

David Alvarez is professor emeritus ofpolitics at Saint Mary's College of Californiaand a former scholar-in-residence at theNational Security Agency. He has publishedmany books, including three with Kansas:Secret Messages: Codebreaking and AmericanDiplomacy, 1930-1945; Spies in the Vatican:Espionage and Intrigue from Napoleon to theHolocaust; and The Pope's Soldiers: A MilitaryHistory of the Modern Vatican.

At the time of his death in 2009 EduardMark was senior historian in the Office ofAir Force History. He is the author of AerialInterdiction: Air Power and the Land Battle inThree American Wars and Defending the West:The United States Air Force and EuropeanSecurity, 1946-1998.


"Well written and informed by deep archival research, Spying through a Glass Darkly is the first account of the operations and activities of the SSU. . . the authors engage a number of important historiographical discussions the nature, efficacy, and ideological predispositions of the early intelligence community, and more broadly, on the origins of the Cold War. . . . It is a must-read for scholars of American intelligence and the early Cold War." H-Net Reviews"Poses a fresh challenge to revisionists about the origins of the Cold War, Scholars of intelligence, U.S. foreign relations, and the Cold War will find this work valuable." Journal of American History"The product of prodigious research in a dizzying array of sources, this volume is both a meticulously detailed study of the organizational and operational history of the Strategic Services Unit and a superb primer in how to tease information from often stingy archives." Diplomatic History"Makes a valuable contribution by presenting a complex picture of divers U.S. intelligence agents, including some whose avid anticommunism led them to fall for Soviet deceptions and other whose caution led them to be skeptical of fantastic right-wing or migr reports of imminent communist revolutions." Journal of Military History"This is the most definitive study available concerning this crucial phase of US intelligence history. Highly recommended." Choice
The last big piece of missing American intelligence history how the United States confronted aggressive Soviet intelligence organizations throughout Europe during the critical years between 1945 and the founding of the CIA in 1948 has been filled in by David Alvarez and Eduard Mark. This is an important book that should be in every serious library. Tom Powers, author of Intelligence Wars: American Secret History from Hitler to Al-Qaeda David Alvarez has written an original and well-constructed book that throws light on a vital but hitherto neglected period in the history of American intelligence. His account of the work of the Strategic Services Unit is clearly written and credible, and historians will now have to take seriously his thesis that the Unit influenced President Harry Truman s strategic thinking. Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones, author of In Spies We Trust: The Story of Western Intelligence"Spying Through a Glass Darkly will interest historians of both the American intelligence community and the origins of the Cold War. It is a fitting tribute to the memory of late Eduard Mark by his co-author David Alvarez." Wilson D. Miscamble, C.S.C., Professor of History, University of Notre Dame A fascinating story for anyone interested in espionage and its role in the beginning of the Cold War. Loch K. Johnson, author of A Season of Inquiry Revisited: The Church Committee Confronts America s Spy Agencies

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