The Perfect Failure

The Perfect Failure

Kennedy, Eisenhower, and the CIA at the Bay of Pigs

Book - 1987
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Publisher: New York : Norton, c1987
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780039024734
Branch Call Number: E841 .H54 1987
Characteristics: 224 p. : maps ; 22 cm


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Jan 25, 2017

This is a very mixed bag of a book [David Talbot's book, Brothers, is far superior].

A book of limited scholarship: the author accurately explains that the entire Bay of Pigs invasion operation originated and was pushed by Eisenhower and his administration - - but waffles from time to time in his placing some or most responsibility on JFK, sometimes he appears to, other times, throughout the book, he doesn't.

I disagree with some of the facts or pronouncements in this book: Higgins claims that CIA deputy director, Richard Bissell, was a personal friend of President Kennedy. Everything I've read, including Bissell's personal statements after JFK's assassination, indicates that Bissell despised President Kennedy, nothing unequivocal about his emotion for him. (Just as Allen Dulles was also so inclined.)

Higgins states that Robert McNamara created the DIA in 1964 - - clearly it originated from the Eisenhower Administration, although the largest financing from the government occurred on August 1, 1964 under SecDef McNamara during the LBJ Administration.

There are other items occurring in the book I would also pick at, and the author strongly suggests that Eisenhower overthrew the Arbenz government of Guatemala because it was about to go communist - - utterly absurd!!!

No mention that Eisenhower's number one financial backer, Floyd Odlum, was also the number one shareholder of record in United Fruit, and that was the primary reason Eisenhower dispatched the CIA to do a military coup there. President Arbenz was a classic capitalist, and was in the act of trying to create a middle class in his country! [Following the money is always the number one path to understanding, placing everything in the political theater context is meant to confuse.]

Semi-scholarly, perhaps, but not the best book on the subject, really . . .
[One of Higgins' sources is Joseph Alsop, who was a CIA media asset, and whose cousins [unnamed sources], Kermit Roosevelt and Archibald Roosevelt, were with the CIA.]


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