Disciples: The World War II Missions of the CIA Directors Who Fought for Wild Bill Donovan

DISCIPLES                                                DOUGLAS WALLER

They are the most famous and controversial directors the CIA has ever had—Allen Dulles, Richard Helms, William Colby, and William Casey. Disciples is the story of these dynamic agents and their daring espionage and sabotage in wartime Europe under OSS Director Bill Donovan.

Allen Dulles ran the OSS’s most successful spy operation against the Axis. Bill Casey organized dangerous missions to penetrate Nazi Germany. Bill Colby led OSS commando raids behind the lines in occupied France and Norway. Richard Helms mounted risky intelligence programs against the Russians in the ruin of Berlin after the German surrender.

Four very different men, they later led (or misled) the successor CIA. Dulles launched the calamitous operation to land CIA-trained, anti-Castro guerrillas at Cuba’s Bay of Pigs. Helms was convicted of lying to Congress about the CIA’s effort to oust Chile’s president. Colby would become a pariah for releasing to Congress what became known as the “Family Jewels” report on CIA misdeeds during the 1950s, sixties and early seventies. Casey would nearly bring down the CIA—and Ronald Reagan’s presidency—from a scheme to secretly supply Nicaragua’s contras with money raked off from the sale of arms to Iran for American hostages in Beirut.

Mining thousands of once-secret World War II documents and interviewing scores of family members and CIA colleagues, Waller has written a brilliant successor to Wild Bill Donovan.


This is a book about four men who worked with the founder of OSS and what would later become the CIA. During World War II each one would play a role during WWII in espionage, sabotage. Richard Helms even ran intelligence programs against the Russians after Germany fell in Berlin. But when each man would become director of the CIA they would almost bring down the agency one way or another. The author begins though by taking you back in time to the beginnings or before we are involved in WWII. How Wild Bill Donavon got to where he was and how they were picked and trained. He goes into some of their missions during WWII and you get to see that in the field they were very successful. Each man had certain strengths and weakness and each would play a role. Then he goes into the fifties and the U-2 spy incident, Iran and Guatemala. Helms would be fired by Nixon because he did not want to help with the Watergate which had to do with the “bay of pigs”. Colby was in charge when the leaks of what was called the “church files”. Casey was part of the Iran-contra scandal. Each one really had their hands in more than what was mentioned by reading this book you get a clear picture of what was and is going on. A good book. I received this book from Netgalley.com I gave it 4 stars Follow us at www.1rad-readerreviews.com

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