Mr. Dunlop effectively captures the reader’s attention and keeps the narrative moving quickly. Overall, this book is more than just a biography. It is also a look at how Washington entities tried to protect their turf during the war. In addition to fighting a war, General Donovan faced challenges from J. Edgar Hoover, the Office of Naval Intelligence, and many others. Each of them more interested in protecting their jurisdiction than fighting a war.
The author separates the book into four sections. The first section covers Donovan’s early years in Buffalo, New York and then during World War I. The next section covers the inter-war years when he was a district attorney. It also covers his activities with Great Britain; especially those with Sir William Stephenson who is sometimes referred to as the “Man called Intrepid.” The section on World War II focuses on his wartime travel and bureaucratic infighting with the FBI and the military services. The book ends with his support to the Nuremberg trials. It then covers his work in laying the foundation for the eventual establishment of the CIA.
Bottom line: This book is more than a just a great read and fascinating biography. It is also an interesting look at the wartime activities and bureaucratic infighting that laid the foundation for America’s central spy agency.