The well-organized pathology of Allen Dulles

As Talbot explains, “What I was really trying to do was a biography on the American power elite from World War II up to the 60s.” It’s a huge, sprawling book, and an amalgam of all the appalling things Dulles and his cohort definitely did, things the evidence suggests they probably did, and speculation about things they might plausibly have done. More than a biography, it’s a exploration of well-organized pathology.

Source: A New Biography Traces the Pathology of Allen Dulles and His Appalling Cabal

6 thoughts on “The well-organized pathology of Allen Dulles”

    Review of ‘The Devil’s Chessboard’by David Swanson

    “Accounts of the escapades of Allen Dulles, and the dozen or more partners in crime whose names crop up beside his decade after decade, illustrate the power of a permanent plutocracy, but also the power of particular individuals to shape it. What if Allen Dulles and Winston Churchill and others like them hadn’t worked to start the Cold War even before World War II was over? What if Dulles hadn’t collaborated with Nazis and the U.S. military hadn’t recruited and imported so many of them into its ranks? What if Dulles hadn’t worked to hide information about the holocaust while it was underway? What if Dulles hadn’t betrayed Roosevelt and Russia to make a separate U.S. peace with Germany in Italy? What if Dulles hadn’t begun sabotaging democracy in Europe immediately and empowering former Nazis in Germany? What if Dulles hadn’t turned the CIA into a secret lawless army and death squad? What if Dulles hadn’t worked to end Iran’s democracy, or Guatemala’s? What if Dulles’ CIA hadn’t developed torture, rendition, human experimentation, and murder as routine policies? What if Eisenhower had been permitted to talk with Khrushchev? What if Dulles hadn’t tried to overthrow the President of France? What if Dulles had been “checked” or “balanced” ever so slightly by the media or Congress or the courts along the way?”

  2. Quite interesting an interesting review until Mr. Schwartz reaches the JFK assassination and- of course- goes off the rails. It is an epidemic among popular writers 50+ years out that they are incapable of looking back at the event with any seriousness of purpose.

  3. “More than a biography, it’s a exploration of well-organized pathology.”
    ~Reviewer of Devils Chessboard.

    There is actually a term for this type of well-organized pathology:

    “Political Ponerology; An interdisciplinary study of social issues primarily associated with Polish psychiatrist Andrzej Łobaczewski. As a discipline it makes use of data from psychology, sociology, philosophy, and history to account for such phenomena as aggressive war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and despotism.”


    1. Thank you for this, Willy. This is a new one for me even though I have often found inspiration in the scholarship of Central Europe.

  4. I just finished the book a couple of days ago. I found the Martinez info intriguing. When and where did he meet with RFK, to what purpose? Even more intriguing was was East Coast Establishment guy Dulles, to my knowledge not a frequent visitor to the Southwest US being in Dallas twice earlier in 63.

  5. Career Objective

    The book alludes to some nefarious meaning behind Paulino Sierra Martinez meeting with Dulles in 1963. It’s worth pointing out that RFK also met with Sierra that summer.

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