Review: Secret History–The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954

5 Star, Atrocities & Genocide, Corruption, Country/Regional, Crime (Corporate), Crime (Government), Crime (Organized, Transnational), Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback, History, Intelligence (Government/Secret), Justice (Failure, Reform), Misinformation & Propaganda, Voices Lost (Indigenous, Gender, Poor, Marginalized)
Amazon Page
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenomenal “Primary” Source Relevant Today
July 26, 2010

Nick Cullather

This is the original, Stanford has also just produced a new version, Secret History: The CIA’s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala 1952-1954. I bought this used and not only loved the speed of delivery, but the notes from the previous owner.

My next review will cover The CIA in Iran: The 1953 Coup and the Origins of the US-Iran Trade. The two “successes” would both be condemned by history, but more pointedly, led to the CIA misadventures in Cuba, Chile, the Philippines, Viet-Nam, and so on.

There is a great deal in this book that I was not aware of, and that is with 294 reviews tagged Intelligence (Government/Secret)at Phi Beta Iota the Public Intelligence Blog, all leading back to their Amazon page.

In a nutshell, PBSUCCESS was a stunningly inept widely known endeavor penetrated across multiple points by the Guatemalan government, which succeeded only because the Army lost its nerve and deposed their own elected President. Especially new to me were the US Navy blockage of the Guatemalan ports (one on each coast), and the failure of CIA-trained “saboteurs” to derail the shipment of arms from the port to the capital city that the President was able to procure despite a global US embargo on arms for Guatemala.

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