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Eisenhower, the CIA and Cold War Aerial Espionage
  • ISBN/SKU: 9781591140825
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Era: 20th Century
  • Number of Pages: 572
  • Subject: Cold War
  • Date Available: March 2010
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Full Description:

Dino A. Brugioni, author of the best-selling account of the Cuban Missile crisis, Eyeball to Eyeball, draws on his long CIA career as one of the world's premier experts on aerial reconnaissance to provide the inside story of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's efforts to use spy planes and satellites to gather intelligence. He reveals Eisenhower to be a hands-on president who, contrary to popular belief, took an active role in assuring that the latest technology was used to gather aerial intelligence. This previously untold story of the secret Cold War program makes full use of the author's firsthand knowledge of the program and of information he gained from interviews with important participants. As a founder and senior officer of the CIA's National Photographic Interpretation Center, Brugioni was a key player in keeping Eisenhower informed of developments, and he sheds new light on the president's contributions toward building an effective and technologically advanced intelligence organization.

The book provides details of the president's backing of the U-2's development and its use to dispel the bomber gap and to provide data on Soviet missile and nuclear efforts and to deal with crises in the Suez, Lebanon, Chinese Off Shore Islands, Tibet, Indonesia, East Germany, and elsewhere. Brugioni offers new information about Eisenhower's order of U-2 flights over Malta, Cyprus, Toulon, and Israel and subsequent warnings to the British, French, and Israelis that the U.S. would not support an invasion of Egypt. He notes that the president also backed the development of the CORONA photographic satellite, which eventually proved the missile gap with the Soviet Union didn't exist, and a variety of other satellite systems that detected and monitored problems around the world. The unsung reconnaissance roles played by Jimmy Doolittle and Edwin Land are also highlighted in this revealing study of Cold War espionage.

Dino A. Brugioni, a retired senior analyst in the CIA, briefed presidents from Eisenhower through Ford. He was involved in the exploitation of U-2, SR-71, and satellite imagery, and discovered and analyzed World War II aerial photography taken of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp. During World War II, he was a bomber crew member who flew 66 bombing missions. Now a resident of Hartwood, VA, he is also the author of Photo Fakery and The Civil War in Missouri.

Praise for EYES IN THE SKY

"Brugioni’s work may be difficult to follow at times as it travels back and forth between various programs and historical developments with rich operational detail; nevertheless, it remains a remarkable achievement in the scholarship on Cold War aerial reconnaissance. Eyes in the Sky should serve as an important reference for many years to come and as a starting point for much more research in the future."

— Air and Space Power Journal

“This book is an exciting read—almost a page turner—like a novel with the emotional punch of a documentary movie….In summary, my recommendation for both the informed student of national intelligence-gathering means and for the novice just starting to learn our country’s history in this area of national security is to read Eyes in the Sky. I consider it to be a good book. And what better place to start to learn about the historical record of national intelligence collection means and methods than through the eyes (no pun intended) of this author who was part of the initial cadre at NPIC. This is a well-written, engrossing book—truly capturing the history and the growth of our nation’s intelligence-gathering capabilities.”

Air Force Research Institute

"...Well-written, engaging, and filled with lots of color . . . .For those unfamiliar with the subject, this is an excellent introduction. . . .A useful addition to the literature on the development of these vital intelligence systems, and a fun read."

Technology and Culture, April 2011

"The years of the Eisenhower presidency (1953-1961) saw the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union at its most dangerous…I was a witness to the climax of the 1958-1960 confrontation, and even a half-century after the events Mr. Brugioni describes, Eyes in the Sky still gives me the shivers."

Brigadier General John S. D. Eisenhower, USA (Ret.), 45th United States Ambassador to Belgium

"Eyes in the Sky addresses post-World War II overhead reconnaissance, photogrammetry, and the key people involved in that enterprise.  Its author, Dino Brugioni, not only explains why President Dwight Eisenhower and his advisors sought international transparency through ‘open skies,’ but how their covert reconnaissance projects succeeded in achieving it—thus illuminating the course over which the Cold War would play out. It is a significant contribution to the history of an era."

—R. Cargill Hall, Chief Historian Emeritus, National Reconnaissance Office, editor of Early Cold War Overflights, 1950-1956

"A superbly researched and skillfully written account of Eisenhower's personal role in assuring the development of surveillance technology, such as the U2, to meet Cold War intelligence requirements, both in assessing Soviet strategic capabilities and in crisis situations such as Suez in 1956."

—Brigadier General Douglas Kinnard, USA (Ret.),author of President Eisenhower and Strategy Management

"This is a vitally important book from an impeccable source, and should be on everyone's reading list for it tells a moving, fast paced story of the past even as it sets standards for the present. Always reliable and accurate, author Dino A. Brugioni does the nation a service by portraying the true picture of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's superb decision making process in the steps he took to win the most vital element of the Cold War, the intelligence game."

Colonel Walter Boyne, USAF (Ret.), National Aviation Hall of Fame honoree and former director of the National Air & Space Museum 

"Dwight Eisenhower did more than any other president to enhance our country's intelligence capabilities.  He did so by turning to engineers and scientists to harness America's then-exploding technology.  These projects ushered in an 'Age of Enlightenment.'  The remarkable story of this triumph is told here by a man who witnessed it all first hand."

—Albert D. Wheelon, first Deputy Director of the CIA for Science and Technology 

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