Nash

 

Nash, Douglas E. "Civil Affairs in the Gulf War: Administration of an Occupied Town." Special Warfare 7 (Oct. 1994): 18-27. [Gibish]

[MI/DesertStorm]

Nash, Jay Robert. Citizen Hoover: A Critical Study of the Life and Times of J. Edgar Hoover and His FBI. Chicago: Nelson-Hall, 1972. [Petersen]

[FBI/To90s]

Nash, Jay Robert. Spies: A Narrative Encyclopedia of Dirty Deeds and Double Dealing from Biblical Times to Today. New York: Evans, 1997.

Clark comment: With a glossary of acronyms and terms, a filmography, a bibliography, and an index, this large-format, soft-cover book is 624 pages long, which on the face of it might make its $24.95 price tag seem a decent deal. Perhaps, but I am sorry I anted up that amount. There is way too much misinformation contained between this book's covers to make it a useful reference work. Glaring examples of a lack of serious research on the part of the author begin with his "Introduction" and continue throughout the narrative. In addition, Nash gives the reader no assistance in determining where he has gone wrong because entries do not have bibliographic citations.

Nash misses the whole thrust of the work of the British and American cryptologists who broke the German Enigma and Japanese Purple systems. He argues that "none" of these efforts "would have been productive had it not been for the spies in the field who first secured the enemy codebooks and enciphering machines.... Polish and French underground resistance fighters obtained copies of the German Enigma machine and sent these to London where they were copied at Bletchley [Park]. The 'unbreakable' codes and ciphers Enigma produced were subsequently broken, but only because the codebreakers had the actual German machines.... [B]y the time America entered the war..., it was able to break the Japanese Purple Machine, which had been duplicated from the German Enigma Machine." (p. 9)

The author misses an important chronological point in discussing the Berlin Tunnel -- that is, the length of time the Soviets allowed the operation to continue after they learned of its existence. Nash states that when George Blake learned of the tunnel, "[h]e informed the Communists who promptly sealed off the eastern end." (Emphasis added) (p. 93)

Nash seems too willing to accept the worst from Sir Roger Hollis' detractors, stating that "a host of ... more than coincidental events ... point[] to him as the Soviet agent who got away." (p. 268) The National Security Agency gets scarcely more than a page of discussion, and almost half of that is devoted to the James William Hall, III, spy case. Additionally, only the code-and-cipher-breaking function is mentioned, completely ignoring NSA's central role in U.S. communications security. (pp. 371-372)

The author also has a tendency to insert unproven and, perhaps, unprovable throwaway lines into his narrative. An example is this statement that appears as an irrelevant aside about Lafayette Baker in Nash's item on Allan Pinkerton: "...Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, who was most likely involved in Lincoln's assassination." (p. 391)

Polmar and Allen's Spy Book (New York: Random House, 1997) came out the same year as Nash's work; the former is significantly the better intelligence encyclopedia.

Kruh, Cryptologia 22.3: expresses a differing opinion: "Illustrated with scores of photographs and drawings, this hefty volume should provide many weeks of interesting reading."

[RefMats/Encyclopedias/Gen][c]

Nash, Philip. The Other Missiles of October: Eisenhower, Kennedy, and the Jupiters, 1957-1963. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1997.

Clark comment: There is negligible intelligence content in this work, but the author's study of the Jupiter IRBMs in Turkey and Italy and their eventual withdrawal in exchange for the removal of the Soviet SS4s from Cuba is a piece of the Missile Crisis puzzle that is usually treated almost as a footnote. As Rosenberg, History 26.3, notes, this is "an excellent and very well written account" based on research that "is thorough and up to date."

[GenPostwar/60s/MissileCrisis]

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