A celebrated British historian of US intelligence explores how the CIA was born in anti-imperialist idealism but swiftly became an instrument of a new covert empire both in America and overseas. As World War II ended, the United States stood as the dominant power on the world stage. In 1947, to support its new global status, it created the CIA to analyse foreign intelligence.

But within a few years, the Agency was engaged in other operations: bolstering pro-American governments, overthrowing nationalist leaders, and surveilling anti-imperial dissenters in the US. The Cold War was an obvious reason for this transformation - but not the only one. In The CIA, celebrated intelligence historian Hugh Wilford draws on decades of research to show the Agency as part of a larger picture, the history of Western empire.

While young CIA officers imagined themselves as British imperial agents like T. E. Lawrence, successive US presidents used the covert powers of the Agency to hide overseas interventions from postcolonial foreigners and anti-imperial Americans alike.

Even the CIA's post-9/11 global hunt for terrorists was haunted by the ghosts of empires past. Comprehensive, original, and gripping, 

More Information
ISBN 9781399816847
Author Hugh Wilford
Publisher John Murray
Imprint Basic Books
Publication date 6 Jun 2024
Format Paperback
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The CIA : An Imperial History (Hardback)

The CIA is the story of the birth of a new imperial order in the shadows. It offers the most complete account yet of how America adopted unaccountable power and secrecy both at home and abroad.

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