General Walter Bedell Smith As Director Of Central Intelligence: October 1950-February 1953

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General Walter Bedell Smith As Director Of Central Intelligence: October 1950-February 1953

By Ludwell Lee Montague
Pennsylvania State University Press, 1992
308 pp. $45.00
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In this second volume of the Central Intelligence Agency's valuable historical series, Montague gives an insider's terse view of the organizational growing pains in a peacetime intelligence service. He regards "Beetle" Smith as the real founder of the CIA, inheriting a faltering and diffident bureaucratic morass and pounding it into shape for combat in the looming Cold War. Montague, himself an intelligence officer, offers a perspective quite different from that of Arthur Darling, academic author of the first of the formerly classified studies (reviewed in Foreign Affairs, Spring 1991). Taken in tandem, the two histories reveal the agonizing controversies that arose in the drive to make the new intelligence agency effective. Thanks to Penn State Press, scholars of intelligence now have conveniently available essential and fresh primary sources on an ill-understood set of problems. Yet to be released is the next volume on the climactic years of Allen Dulles.