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Books: NPR Interview With Stephen Kinzer, Author of THE BROTHERS

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Books, Documentaries, Reviews:  November 3, 2013

NPR Interview With Stephen Kinzer

Author Of



Well, here’s a book I’m buying.

THE BROTHERS is a really good example, I’m thinking, of what I learned in Cultural Studies–the power of those with cultural power to effect vast and sweeping changes in a nation.

The “brothers” are John Foster and Alllen Dulles.  AT the same time, one was head of the CIA, the other Secretary of State.  Together they changed the course of our nation from being a nation that would help out with something like World War I or II, to a nation that went out actively and sought out actively “monsters” to police.

The “brothers” could no begin to imagine the blowback from this shift in philosophy–with which we are dealing profoundly today.

I think it would take a long time to pass before a nation could look back on accumulated history and see the philosophical shift and to understand how it happened and why it happened.

Kinzer is a journalist, not a historian.  So there might be a critique mounted against his credentials.  But, I don’t think one can say that THE BROTHERS is a populist, read lightweight, book.

I’m going to read it…

At the very least, you’ll learn a lot from the interview by NPR’s Terry Gross:

Interview: Stephen Kinzer, Author Of The Brothers : NPR.


Here’s a quote from the web page:

In 1953, for the first and only time in history, two brothers were appointed to head the overt and covert sides of American foreign policy. President Dwight Eisenhower appointed John Foster Dulles secretary of state, and Allen Dulles director of the CIA.

Journalist Stephen Kinzer says the Dulles brothers shaped America’s standoff with the Soviet Union, led the U.S. into war in Vietnam, and helped topple governments they thought unfriendly to American interests in Guatemala, Iran, the Congo and Indonesia. In his new book, The Brothers, Kinzer says the Dulles’ actions “helped set off some of the world’s most profound long-term crises.”

John Dulles died in 1959. President Kennedy replaced Allen Dulles after the covert operation he recommended to overthrow Fidel Castro in Cuba ended disastrously in the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

Kinzer tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross that the Dulles’ shared background and ideology played out in their policy decisions: “They had this view of the world that was implanted in them from a very young age,” Kinzer says. “That there’s good and evil, and it’s the obligation of the good people to go out into the world and destroy the evil ones.”

Written by louisaenright

November 3, 2013 at 2:33 pm

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