Directors of Central Intelligence

Allen Welsh Dulles (1893-1969)

DCI, 26 Feb. 1953-29 Nov. 1961

Material on Dulles

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Baker, Russell. "The Other Mr. Dulles--Of the CIA." New York Times Magazine, 6 Mar. 1958, 17, 96-97. [Petersen]

Bancroft, Mary. Autobiography of a Spy. New York: Morrow, 1983.

Bancroft worked for Allen Dulles and the OSS station in Switzerland in World War II, and this work makes explicit that the two were also lovers. "[H]er most important work was with Hans Bernd Gisevius, a top officer of German military intelligence.... [H]er real job was to make sure he was not a double agent (she concluded he was not) and then to elicit and pass on the detailed information he supplied about the day-to-day shifts of power and strategy within the German Government." See Robert McG. Thomas, "Mary Bancroft Dead at 93; U.S. Spy in World War II," New York Times, 19 Jan. 1997.

Brands, H.W., Jr. "Allen Dulles and the Overthrow of Clausewitz." In Cold Warriors: Eisenhower's Generation and American Foreign Policy. Contemporary American History Series. New York: Columbia University Press, 1988.

Charlesworth, Lorie, and Michael Salter. "Ensuring the After-Life of the Ciano Diaries: Allen Dulles' Provision of Nuremberg Trial Evidence." Intelligence and National Security 21, no. 4 (Aug. 2006): 568-603.

This is an interesting article about Dulles' efforts to retrieve a copy of the diaries of Count Ciano, Mussolini's foreign minister 1936-1943, from Ciano's wife and the use of the diaries at the Nuremberg trial of Hitler's foreign minister, Joachim von Ribbentrop. See also, Michael Salter, "Intelligence Agencies and War Crimes Prosecution: Allen Dulles's Involvement in Witness Testimony at Nuremberg," Journal of International Criminal Justice 2 (2004): 826-854; and Howard McGaw Smyth, "The Ciano Papers: Rose Garden," Studies in Intelligence 13.2 (Spring 1969): 1-63.

Edwards, Robert, and Kenneth Dunne. A Study of a Master Spy, Allen Dulles. London: Housemans, 1961.

Rocca and Dziak: "This attack on Allen Dulles may be an example of KGB-directed disinformation."

Grose, Peter. Gentleman Spy: The Life of Allen Dulles. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1994.

Clark comment: Publication of this biography of Allen Dulles, Director of Central Intelligence from 1953 to 1961, ranks as one of the more important events in intelligence historiography in the 1990s. Grose's research is of the highest quality, and he tells his story well. Agency critics and noncritics alike have found things to quibble about in Grose's presentation, but the heart and soul of the work remain unscathed. For anyone seriously interested in this period of American and/or intelligence history, Gentleman Spy is a mandatory read.

Click for an extensive selection of reviews.

Jackson, Wayne G. Allen Welsh Dulles As Director of Central Intelligence, 26 February 1953-29 November 1961. 5 vols. Washington, DC: CIA History Office, [released with deletions,1994].

Zubok, "Spy vs. Spy," CWIHPB 4 (Fall 1994), fn. 22, describes this five-volume work as the "internal CIA history of [Dulles'] tenure as Director..., declassified with deletions in 1994, copy available from the CIA History Office and on file at the National Security Archive, Washington, DC."

Kent, Sherman. "Allen Welsh Dulles: 1893-1969." Studies in Intelligence 13, no. 2 (Spring 1969): 1-2.

This is Kent's tribute to his boss, broadly and specifically as it related to analysis.

Kinzer, Stephen. The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War. New York: Times Books, 2013.

Goldstein, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2013, sees this as "a bracing, disturbing and serious study of the exercise of American global power." The author "displays a commanding grasp of the vast documentary record." He provides a "devastating critique" of the Dulles brothers, "who are depicted as jointly responsible for acts of extreme geopolitical myopia, grave operational incompetence and misguided adherence to a creed of corporate globalism." For Peake, Studies 58.2 (Jun. 2014), and Intelligencer 20.3 (Spring-Summer), Kinzer's narrative "calls attention" both to the brothers' similarities and "their sharp differences."

Mosley, Leonard. Dulles: A Biography of Eleanor, Allen, and John Foster Dulles and Their Family Network. New York: Dial, 1978.

Campbell, IJI&C 3.1, says that "Leonard Mosley's book as a source on Allen Dulles ... is full of inaccuracies and imagined events." Petersen warns, "Caveat Lector."

Murphy, Mark. "The Exploits of Agent 110: Allen Dulles in Wartime." Studies in Intelligence 37, no. 5 (1994): 63-70.

In 1917, with the U.S. declaration of war on Germany and the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the young Allen Dulles moves from the U.S. Embassy in Vienna to the U.S. legation in Bern. He was assigned to "take charge of intelligence." And the story goes on from there, with Dulles returning to Bern with the OSS in 1942. Dulles' handling of two important sources, Fritz Kolbe and Hans Bernd Gisevius, is discussed.

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