In response to:
The Double Dealer from the September 8, 1966 issue
To the Editors:
Gar Alperovitz [Sept. 8] speaks of Allen Dulles’s myopia while exhibiting a choice myopia of his own. You don’t have to be Barry Goldwater to see the folly of ascribing the Cold War to our having hurt Joseph Stalin’s feelings. One could come away from a reading of Professor Alperovitz’s “review” believing Stalin to have been little more than a benign comrade-in-arms twitted by a US intelligence officer’s ambitions. If only we had played it square with the man, there would have been no Iron Curtain, no enslavement of Eastern Europe. He would have trusted us then…. This is the hair shirt many American liberals still like to don, but it implies a mis-reading of history just as simpleminded as the devil theory of communism cherished by many American conservatives. Certainly Dulles’s mission was a diplomatic boner, and certainly he should have been fired for countermanding Roosevelt’s orders, but to credit him with the great tragedy of the Cold War gives him a stature, and Stalin a benevolence, that could serve only Charles de Gaulle’s notions of American naiveté.