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To those who have studied modern U.S. foreign policy, the first thing you discover is that every conflict stems from a previous one. But if you were to seek out its origins, much of it can be traced to two men, the Dulles brothers.    

97808050949781384278601In The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles and Their Secret World War, Stephen Kinzer focused on the scope of power and influence wielded by the Dulles brothers, Allen (CIA Director) and Foster (Secretary of State), in Washington and abroad during the early period of the Cold War. Their impressive foreign affairs pedigree (grandfather and uncle both served as Secretary of State) allowed them unprecedented access and opportunity to construct (and eventually deconstruct) America’s standing in the global community.

Author Stephen Kinzer

Author Stephen Kinzer

Although the Dulles’ had convinced politicians and the public that their allegiance was to their country, Kinzer argued that the brothers, who were high-powered attorneys,”sought nothing less than to shape the affairs of all the world for the benefit and well-being of the select, their clients.” How Eisenhower missed it but Truman didn’t could be the topic of Kinzer’s next book. Well-written and throughly researched, though the pace of The Brothers, at times, was slowed with Kinzer giving away the story before the event actually occurred.

Overall, it was an informative read that should be on the bookshelf of anyone interested in America’s past and future foreign affairs.

This review originally appeared in the Tulsa Book Review.

Click here to read more about The Brothers.

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