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Books  >>  Biography

Stephen Kinzer

The Brothers

Stephen Kinzer The Brothers John Foster Dulles Allen Dulles And Their Secre
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Biographical note:

Stephen Kinzer is the author of Reset, Overthrow, All the Shah's Men, and numerous other books. An award-winning foreign correspondent, he served as the New York Times's bureau chief in Turkey, Germany, and Nicaragua and as the Boston Globe's Latin America correspondent. He is a visiting fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, contributes to The New York Review of Books, and writes a column on world affairs for The Guardian. He lives in Boston.

Excerpt from book:

INTRODUCTION

When John Foster Dulles died on May 24, 1959, a bereft nation mourned more intensely than it had since the death of Franklin Roosevelt fourteen years before. Thousands lined up outside the National Cathedral in Washington to pass by his bier. Dignitaries from around the world, led by Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of West Germany and President Chiang Kai-shek of Taiwan, came to the funeral. It was broadcast live on the ABC and CBS television networks. Many who watched agreed that the world had lost, as President Eisenhower said in his eulogy, “one of the truly great men of our time.”

Two months later, Eisenhower signed an executive order decreeing that in tribute to this towering figure, the new super-airport being built at Chantilly, Virginia, would be named Dulles International.

Enthusiasm for this idea waned after Eisenhower left the White House in 1961. The new president, John F. Kennedy, did not want to name an ultra-modern piece of America’s future after a crusty Cold War militant. As the airport neared completion, the chairman of the Federal Aviation Authority announced that it would be named Chantilly International. He left open the possibility that a terminal might be named for Dulles.

That sent partisans into action. One of them was Dulles’s brother, Allen, who had run the Central Intelligence Agency for nearly a decade. Pressure on Kennedy grew, and he finally relented. On November 17, 1962, with both Eisenhower and Allen Dulles watching, he presided over the official opening of Dulles International Airport.

“How appropriate it is that this should be named after Secretary Dulles,” Kennedy said in his speech. “He was a member of an extraordinary family: his brother, Allen Dulles, who served in a great many administrations, stretching back, I believe, to President Hoover, all the way to this one; John Foster Dulles, who at the age of 19 was, rather strangely, the secretary to the Chinese delegation to The Hague, and who served nearly every Presidential administration from that time forward to his death in 1959; their uncle, who was secretary of state, Mr. Lansing; their grandfather, who was secretary of state, Mr. Foster. I know of few families and certainly few contemporaries who rendered more distinguished and dedicated service to their country.”

Then, in what became a newsreel clip seen around the world, Kennedy pulled back a curtain and unveiled the airport’s symbolic centerpiece: a larger-than-life bust of John Foster Dulles. It was on a pedestal overlooking an evocative reflecting pool at the center of the airport that the architect, Eero Saarinen, hoped would calm travelers’ turbulent spirits.

Half a century after Dulles’s death stunned Americans, few remember him. Many associate his name with an airport and nothing more. Even his bust has disappeared.

During renovations in the 1990s, the reflecting pool at Dulles International Airport was filled. The bust was removed. When the renovation was complete, it did not reappear. No one seemed to notice.

After several fruitless inquiries, I finally tracked down the bust. A woman who works for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority arranged for me to view it. It stands in a private conference room opposite Baggage Claim Carousel #

Introduction      1

PART I: TWO BROTHERS
      1. Unmentionable Happenings      7
      2. The Taint of My Environment      37
      3. Dull, Duller, Dulles      63
      4. That Fella from Wall Street      86

PART II: SIX MONSTERS
      5. A Whirling Dervish with a College Education      119
      6. The Most Forthright Pro-Communist      147
      7. A Matchless Interplay of Ruthlessness and Guile      175
      8. The Self-Intoxicated President      216
      9. The Tall, Goateed Radical      247
      10. The Bearded Strongman      284

PART III: ONE CENTURY
      11. A Face of God      311

Notes      329
Bibliography      368
Acknowledgments      383
Index      385


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