SPIES & STRATAGEMS by Stanley P. Lovell

SPIES & STRATAGEMS

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KIRKUS REVIEW

When ""Wild Bill"" Donovan took on Stanley Lovell as Director of Research and Development for the wartime intelligence agency, he told him he was to be the Professor Moriarity of the OSS. Here, some twenty years later, are the stories that can now be told, and for the peace-oriented they are astounding indeed. The inventions, deadly, demonic or otherwise, of the agency were aimed to aid agents throughout the world, and ranged from duplicated Phillipine currency on Japanese-source stock for the fullfillment of the ""I shall return"" prophecy to Aunt Jemima, an explosive that looked like flour and could even be baked. Men drawn by the genius of General Donovan included John Ford, who took down Operation Overlord on film, and J.P. Morgan, who handled the ticklish un-vouchered funds. The staff also sported Jim the Penman, a master forger on leave from a Federal penitentiary. Mr. Lovell brings up the Lethbridge Report, the plan to use gas at Iwo Jima which might have saved 23,000 lives (he travelled to Admiral Nimitz with the plan, to have it ultimately vetoed, by the President?); the feud between OSS Donovan and U.S. Army Intelligence Strong: the information that led to the bombing of Peenemunde; an interview with Spengler, chilling in its accuracy, that led Lovell to accept his wartime post -- and finally, to the shut-down or ""murder"" of the OSS, on ten days' notice at the end of the war, leaving some 30,000 operators stranded, and the CIA to inherit ""nothing but office space"" for all the brilliant work and knowledge accumulated in the war years. A personal, inside view of the life of a great agency with definite opinions deftly shaded for the sake, perhaps, of the security or reputations still involved.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1963
Publisher: -Hall