bravely and sensibly, a life of exceptionalndifficulty.nCord Meyer lost his twin brother,nand an eye, in the Pacific War. Notnsurprisingly, he was even more franticallynconcerned than most people aboutnpreventing another world war. Servingnas an assistant to the United States delegationnat the San Francisco Conferencenin 1945, he sensed much earlier thanndid most the futility of the Unitedn•”. . . si’ll-imiH)riaJ!l and iiftcu liorinu.”nNations. He became one of the leadersnof the United World Federalists, a groupnaimed at forming a more effective worldnorganization to keep the peace. Meyer’snsuccessful struggle with communistnsympathizers within the United WorldnFederalists, as well as his observationnof the Soviets’ aggression and obstruction,nconvinced him of the importancenof the Soviet threat and the unlikelihoodnof Stalin’s acceptance of the UWFnprogram.nIn 1951 Meyer joined the CIA, becomingninvolved in covert politicalactionnprograms. Surviving a deviousnsmear campaign at the height of Mc­nCarthy’s influence—Meyer emphasizesnthat Allen Dulles and the CIA stoutlyndefended their employees—he rosensteadily. Meyer, it should be noted, regardsnJoe McCarthy’s “lasting and significantnlegacy” not as any injury tonAmerican civil liberties but as a disorientationnand confusion inflicted onnthe American intellectual community,ngiving many persons the impressionnthat opposition to communism wasnequivalent to unjustified, paranoid hysteria.nI think it would be more accuratento say that McCarthy provided manynpeople, mostly of a later generation, anlather slim excuse to believe that. Therenis little reason to think McCarthy hadnthat effect at the time.nDuring the 1950’s, Meyer supervisedncovert efforts to counter Soviet politicalnand propaganda efforts. He wasnresponsible for our own propagandanS4inChronicles of Culturenefforts—Radio Free Europe, Radio Libertynand secret aid to anticommunistngroups in Western Europe—mostly,tonthe moderate left. In describing hisnduties, he offers, incidentally, a finenbrief portrait of communist infiltrationnmethods. He sardonically notes the misrepresentationnof many of these efforts,nand of the CIA’s outlook, when theynbecame publicly known in the laten1960’s. The New Left and its fellow-n— .Vt’/i- York limes Bonk Renewntravelers, and the sensation-seekers innthe mass media, were successful in obscuringnfrom the public, and perhapsneven from themselves, the actual characternof the CIA’s secret political efforts.nAs Meyer notes, “It was important tonthem not to allow their preferred imagenof the Agency as a conspiratorial groupnof right-wing fanatics to become blurrednby the intrusion of embarrassing evidencenthat many of its policies werenenlightened and its leaders intelligentlynliberal.” The CIA quickly became anfavorite dart board of the unintelligentlynliberal.nMeyer ultimately became AssistantnDeputy Director for Plans. The DeputynDirector for Plans actually ran the CIA’sn”clandestine service,” its secret intelligence,ncounterintelligence and covertactionnarm. He was in a good positionnto observe the Agency’s decline andnnear downfall. One may not alwaysnagree with his loyal defense of the CIA,nbut he is quite successful in showingnthat a great majority of the chargesnmade during the crusade against thenCIA in the mid-70’s were false or wildlynexaggerated. In particular, the Agency’snrecord of adherence to the law and obediencento Presidential authority was farnbetter than most people think. As hennotes, the reporting of the period wasnexceptionally biased and poor. For example,nthe CIA’s mail-opening operation,nwhich from 1953-1973 examinedncorrespondence between American cit­nnnizens and the Soviet Union, was not atnthat time illegal. But the Justice Department’snfinding of this received far lessnpublicity than the ringing public denunciationsnof invasions of civil liberties.nAs Meyer notes coolly, the mailopeningnoperation was actually of littlenvalue. (There is a school of thoughtnthat tends to defend the CIA’s mostndubious and underhanded activities asnparticularly essential; Meyer seems tongive little comfort to this group.) Henalso regards with ill-concealed distastenthose like William Colby who, in hisnview, fumbled the ball when the CIAncame under fire, and those who deliberatelynbetrayed their trust, like PhilipnAgee. Meyer is highly critical of thenabortive assassination plots, which henmaintains he knew nothing about. Henbluntly dismisses assassination as beyondnthe pale morally; the use of thenMafia against Castro he rightly observesnwas “monumental folly.” Actually, itndoes not seem to me that assassination,nas morally repugnant as it is, can be dismissednquite so summarily; it is at leastnconceivable that an occasion mightnarise where the assassination of a dictatornmight be absolutely necessary.nMeyer does not mention, however, thenCIA’s drug experiments on uninformednsubjects, which would seem to be thenmost reprehensible actions committednby the Agency. Strangely, this issuenhasn’t interested the CIA’s enemies allnthat much either; a good many of themnseem to be more offended by plans tonkill foreign tyrants than by the victimizationnof innocent American citizens.nParticularly interesting sections ofnthe book are Meyer’s accounts of CIA’snoperation in Chile and the Angolannwar. In discussing Chile, Meyer providesna quite convincing defense of thenbasic policy of the CIA’s covert politicalnactivities. This was begun by thenKennedy administration in 1962, andnnot as a sinister conspiracy againstnChilean democracy. Rather the CIA,ncountering Soviet subsidies to Allende’sncoalition, supported the reform-mindednChristian Democratic Party againstn