The Devil's Chessboard

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An explosive, headline-making portrait of Allen Dulles, the man who transformed the CIA into the most powerful—and secretive—colossus in Washington, from the founder of and author of the New York Times bestseller Brothers.

America’s greatest untold story: the United States’ rise to world dominance under the guile of Allen Welsh Dulles, the longest-serving director of the CIA. Drawing on revelatory new materials—including newly discovered U.S. government documents, U.S. and European intelligence sources, the personal correspondence and journals of Allen Dulles’s wife and mistress, and exclusive interviews with the children of prominent CIA officials—Talbot reveals the underside of one of America’s most powerful and influential figures.

Dulles’s decade as the director of the CIA—which he used to further his public and private agendas—were dark times in American politics. Calling himself “the secretary of state of unfriendly countries,” Dulles saw himself as above the elected law, manipulating and subverting American presidents in the pursuit of his personal interests and those of the wealthy elite he counted as his friends and clients—colluding with Nazi-controlled cartels, German war criminals, and Mafiosi in the process. Targeting foreign leaders for assassination and overthrowing nationalist governments not in line with his political aims, Dulles employed those same tactics to further his goals at home, Talbot charges, offering shocking new evidence in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy.

An exposé of American power that is as disturbing as it is timely, The Devil’s Chessboard is a provocative and gripping story of the rise of the national security state—and the battle for America’s soul.


  • 001 The Devil's Chessboard

    Duration: 17s
  • 002 Prologue

    Duration: 27min
  • 003 Part 01 Chapter 01

    Duration: 53min
  • 004 Chapter 02

    Duration: 50min
  • 005 Chapter 03

    Duration: 40min
  • 006 Chapter 04

    Duration: 51min
  • 007 Chapter 05

    Duration: 58min
  • 008 Part 02 Chapter 06

    Duration: 53min
  • 009 Chapter 07

    Duration: 44min
  • 010 Chapter 08 Part 1

    Duration: 46min
  • 011 Chapter 08 Part 2

    Duration: 38min
  • 012 Chapter 09 Part 1

    Duration: 49min
  • 013 Chapter 09 Part 2

    Duration: 34min
  • 014 Chapter 10 Part 1

    Duration: 01h03min
  • 015 Chapter 10 Part 2

    Duration: 36min
  • 016 Chapter 11

    Duration: 50min
  • 017 Chapter 12 Part 1

    Duration: 34min
  • 018 Chapter 12 Part 2

    Duration: 37min
  • 019 Chapter 13 Part 1

    Duration: 59min
  • 020 Chapter 13 Part 2

    Duration: 32min
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