Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Secret History: The CIA�s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954” as Want to Read:
Secret History: The CIA�s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Secret History: The CIA�s Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  85 ratings  ·  7 reviews
In 1992, the Central Intelligence Agency hired the young historian Nick Cullather to write a history (classified “secret” and for internal distribution only) of the Agency’s Operation PBSUCCESS, which overthrew the lawful government of Guatemala in 1954. Given full access to the Agency’s archives, he produced a vivid insider’s account, intended as a training manual for cov...more
Paperback, 200 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Stanford University Press
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Secret History, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Secret History

Legacy of Ashes by Tim WeinerFair Game by Valerie Plame WilsonVeil by Bob WoodwardThe Triple Agent by Joby WarrickSee No Evil by Robert Baer
The Real CIA
135th out of 140 books — 31 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 159)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Marko Santos
Terrible, simply terrible what the CIA from that time has done to my country, the repercussion of their action left a visible and palpable scar on the current Guatemalan society, now I believe the present is now and is our responsibility what future we construct from it. Still great damage has been made.

I find importance in history as we can identify patterns and work towards avoiding the same mistakes humanity has made for centuries. The book concludes in showing a pattern of actions taken by t...more
Marla McMackin
Secret History is the product of one year Nick Cullather spent as a staff historian at the Central Intelligence Agency. His job was to use still-classified documents to create a training manual, a cautionary tale for new recruits that focused on Operation PBSUCCESS to overthrow Guatemalan President Jacobo Arbenz. When it was declassified in 1997 and published in 1999, Secret History was the first detailed account of how the CIA carried out the operation.

Cullather’s narrative is both secondary an...more
Ben
Well researched look at PBSUCCESS, the CIA's coup in Guatemala. Cullather uses the CIA's own records to craft a powerful narrative that shows an ill conceived and executed operation which had a powerful impact on American Cold War policy.
David
This book details the events of the CIA's operation to overthrow Guatamalan president Arbenz. This analysis uses declassified government documents collected which provides an interesting perspective of what CIA and the executive branch believed covert operations could produce in the 50's and 60's. It is disappointing that the US promoted an operation that goes against international law, helped provide the inaccurate perceptions of covert action leading to future blunders in Cuba and Vietnam, and...more
Jen
It's books like these that sometimes make me embarrassed to be an American. The title is pretty self explanatory. Really the conclusion is that the American supported coup in Guatemala was successful because the CIA got lucky, not because expert planning had gone into the operation. In reality, the CIA had very little understanding of what was happening on the ground in Guatemala.
Julien Gorbach
This book written by Cullather when he was a CIA staff historian goes a long way to explaining the mistakes the United States made during the Cold War, and their wide-ranging, catastrophic consequences.
James
Mar 24, 2009 James added it
A true story of frightening incompetence that has been repeated again and again in this last half century.
Squirrels Are Awesome
Squirrels Are Awesome marked it as to-read
Sep 12, 2014
Andrew Sternisha
Andrew Sternisha marked it as to-read
Sep 11, 2014
Mario Krušlin
Mario Krušlin marked it as to-read
Sep 06, 2014
Ahron
Ahron marked it as to-read
Aug 20, 2014
Marv
Marv marked it as to-read
Jul 27, 2014
Chad Houghton
Chad Houghton marked it as to-read
Jul 24, 2014
Jeff Petry
Jeff Petry marked it as to-read
Jul 21, 2014
Leni
Leni marked it as to-read
Aug 26, 2014
Frank
Frank is currently reading it
Jun 21, 2014
dusty.rhodes
dusty.rhodes marked it as to-read
Jun 04, 2014
Jeff E
Jeff E marked it as to-read
May 26, 2014
Peter Fettner
Peter Fettner marked it as to-read
May 24, 2014
Shay
Shay marked it as to-read
May 20, 2014
Ryan
Ryan is currently reading it
May 27, 2014
Nadia
Nadia marked it as to-read
May 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
The Hungry World: America's Cold War Battle against Poverty in Asia Illusions of Influence: The Political Economy of United States-Philippines Relations, 1942-1960 Secret History, Second Edition: The CIA's Classified Account of Its Operations in Guatemala, 1952-1954 Managing Nationalism: United States National Security Council Documents on the Philippines, 1953-1960 Of the People: A History of the United States, Concise, Volume II: Since 1865

Share This Book