Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment” as Want to Read:
Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Ike's Spies: Eisenhower and the Espionage Establishment

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  244 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
Dwight D. Eisenhower's public image was that of a wide-grinning Daddy Warbucks who preferred the golf course over the cabinet room. He was perceived as a military bureaucrat who never held a combat command. A Republican sandwiched between two Democratic administrations, he lacked the political vigor of his predecessor Harry S. Truman and the star quality of his successor J ...more
Paperback, 368 pages
Published November 1st 1999 by University Press of Mississippi (first published January 28th 1981)
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 Ike's Spies, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Ike's Spies

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
C.H. Cobb
May 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Ambrose is an expert on Eisenhower, a fact which is quite apparent in Ike’s Spies, a heavily researched, fascinating book about the beginnings of the CIA. A very good read, the volume is a good representation of the quality of Ambrose’s writing and story-telling. Though the author is favorably disposed toward Eisenhower, he does not sugar-coat Ike’s miss-steps, nor those of his agents.

The book begins with Churchill informing Eisenhower of the ULTRA secret in 1942, and then moves into the gradual
Mar 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, kindle-book
This was good, but not as good as I had hoped.
Beryl Cook
Feb 24, 2016 rated it really liked it
Raised in the era of 007 movies, I never thought of the actual details behind the use of spies by our leaders. This book begins with Eisenhower's education by Churchill on the whole spy system. This ultimately leads to the joint arrangement between the U.S. and Britain with their mutual use of spies, code crackers, recruitment of double agents, and the French underground, all.of which contributed so heavily to winning WWII. Afterwards, the Cold War begins, and so does more intrigue and covert op ...more
Aug 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Fascinating historical account of Ike's use of intelligence and espionage as General during WWII and as President. Focus is on WWII where Churchill introduces Ike to espionage, and on the Cold War where intelligence & espionage were used successfully and not so... as in attempted Castro assassinations and ultimately the Bay of Pigs. Ike didn't invent espionage, but became a brilliant master -- a supreme commander -- at using intelligence and creating effective intelligence organizations. All ...more
Nov 13, 2015 rated it liked it
A bit ponderous but interesting history, especially the WW II era. I remember the 50's and 60's pretty well although as a young boy/teenager I probably wasn't as aware as I should be, so this book brought me up to date on some of the events of that period. The book tries to exonerate Eisenhower from the CIA's shenanigans, but their black ops are still a black mark on our country in my opinion. But that's just an opinion.
Don LaFountaine
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. History has shown Ike to be an easy going, he had things under control, and such a likeable person that he was above anything and everything. This book shows how he was not such a benign and caring person; that there were things he held dear, and if someone or something got in his way or had to die, then so be it. It was an interesting book about a President who gets much deserved accolades, but a person who has had a number of his deeds whitewashed.
Dave Mccormick
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
More like a 3.5 star book for me. Effectively debunks many myths of Ike being an ineffectual president or just interested in playing golf. Covers the start of the OSS and events that led to it's growth as the CIA. Although Stephen Ambrose is clearly a fan of Eisenhower, the book is pretty even-handed in it's assessments of the intelligence successes and failures under his watch.
John Hilton
Feb 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Informative and exciting

Very interesting book. Early chapters dealing with WW2. A little lull in the middle found myself losing interest but I pushed on and the later chapters a great. Worth it
Jul 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm generally not a history fan but this belied the impression of Eisenhower as a sedentary President and showed him as not the bumbling accidental Chief Executive we're accustomed to seeing. Some successes, some failures, but involved.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
His history may sometimes be questionable, but he is incredibly readable--the Ken Burns of military history.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about the behind the scenes at the time of Eisenhower's presidency and the start and power of the CIA at that time. Some I found disturbing. My kind of read though so enjoyed.
Victor Anderson
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Amazingly good read!
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Very interesting having been written in the late 1970's it raises questions about American foreign policy that are more even more salient now.
Matt Clem
A very interesting look at counter-intelligence leading into the D-Day invasion and the birth of the CIA after the war.
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. It is a incredible story about how the CIA was started.
Steve Pierce
rated it it was amazing
Mar 01, 2009
Sam Damon
rated it it was amazing
May 09, 2013
Bob Hurt
rated it it was ok
Jun 02, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Nov 27, 2007
rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2015
Timothy Nargi
rated it really liked it
May 30, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Feb 04, 2015
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2012
Tom Gifford
rated it it was amazing
Dec 31, 2015
Gregory Cane
rated it it was ok
Nov 18, 2015
Jacob Dinerman
rated it liked it
May 29, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Sep 19, 2008
Greg Lundy
rated it it was amazing
Dec 03, 2010
Scott Wisniewski
rated it it was amazing
Jul 07, 2013
rated it it was ok
Dec 22, 2012
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • For the President's Eyes Only: Secret Intelligence & the American Presidency from Washington to Bush
  • Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy
  • The Man Who Kept the Secrets: Richard Helms & the CIA
  • The Cold War: A Military History
  • The Wizards Of Langley: Inside The CIA's Directorate Of Science And Technology
  • Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War
  • Inside the Company: CIA Diary
  • 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI--the Untold Story
  • Dwight D. Eisenhower (The American Presidents, #34)
  • Bin Laden: The Man Who Declared War on America
  • Body of Secrets: Anatomy of the Ultra-Secret National Security Agency from the Cold War Through the Dawn of a New Century
  • Challenge for the Pacific: Guadalcanal: The Turning Point of the War
  • The Double-Cross System: The Incredible True Story of How Nazi Spies Were Turned into Double Agents
  • Beyond Bin Laden: America and the Future of Terror
  • A Fiery Peace in a Cold War: Bernard Schriever and the Ultimate Weapon
  • The Spy's Bedside Book
  • The Phantom Major
  • Zero Hour (Tom Clancy's Power Plays, #7)
Stephen Edward Ambrose was an American historian and biographer of U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower and Richard M. Nixon. He received his Ph.D. in 1960 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

More about Stephen E. Ambrose

Nonfiction Deals

  • Rumi: The Big Red Book: The Great Masterpiece Celebrating Mystical Love and Friendship
    $10.74 $1.99
  • I Will Teach You To Be Rich
    $13.95 $1.99
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
    $10.99 $2.99
  • The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers
    $11.74 $2.99
  • Wherever You Go, There You Are
    $9.99 $2.99
  • I'm Just a Person
    $9.24 $1.99
  • Fire Season: Field Notes from a Wilderness Lookout
    $9.24 $1.99
  • The Professor & the Madman: A Tale of Murder, Insanity & the Making of the Oxford English Dictionary
    $9.74 $2.99
  • The Abundance: Narrative Essays Old and New
    $8.24 $1.99
  • The Public Library: A Photographic Essay
    $27.99 $4.99
  • The Unfettered Mind: Writings from a Zen Master to a Master Swordsman
    $12.99 $1.99
  • A Man Without a Country
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Murphy's Boy
    $7.99 $1.99
  • Real Happiness at Work: Meditations for Accomplishment, Achievement, and Peace
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Proud Tower: A Portrait of the World Before the War 1890-1914
    $14.99 $1.99
  • The Heart of Meditation: Discovering Innermost Awareness
    $12.99 $1.99
  • History of God
    $5.99 $1.99
  • My Year with Eleanor: A Memoir
    $9.49 $1.99
  • The Essential Rumi
    $10.24 $1.99
  • The Name of God Is Mercy: A Conversation with Andrea Tornielli
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Texts from Jane Eyre: And Other Conversations with Your Favorite Literary Characters
    $11.99 $2.99
  • Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Last Hope Island: Britain, Occupied Europe, and the Brotherhood That Helped Turn the Tide of War
    $13.99 $1.99
  • How Dogs Love Us: A Neuroscientist and His Adopted Dog Decode the Canine Brain
    $5.99 $1.99
  • The Rescue Artist: A True Story of Art, Thieves, and the Hunt for a Missing Masterpiece
    $8.24 $1.99
  • How to Travel with a Salmon & Other Essays (A Harvest Book)
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Out of Africa and Shadows on the Grass
    $11.99 $2.99
  • The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914
    $6.99 $2.99