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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms everything you think you already know
At the time of this review there are 13 reviews on Amazon.com and none here. I guess this tells us that people here are a good deal less interested in what the CIA does than they are in the US. But what this book does is underline that this view is a mistake...

Frank Olson was a chemist who worked for the CIA who, according to the press of the time appeared to...
Published on 2 Dec. 2010 by A. Mutimer

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get the papaerback edition!
I bought the paperback edition because it was £10 cheaper, but I'd have spent the extra money if I'd realised how it was compromised.

It's a large print version - that's not so bad in itself (apart from making it a bit weighty), but it's missing the notes and index which is a major drawback for a work like this. Also there's no bibliography (I assume there...
Published on 23 Feb. 2011 by D. Dearden


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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Confirms everything you think you already know, 2 Dec. 2010
By 
A. Mutimer "amutimer" (Essex, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Terrible Mistake: The Murder of Frank Olson and the CIA's Secret Cold War Experiments (Hardcover)
At the time of this review there are 13 reviews on Amazon.com and none here. I guess this tells us that people here are a good deal less interested in what the CIA does than they are in the US. But what this book does is underline that this view is a mistake...

Frank Olson was a chemist who worked for the CIA who, according to the press of the time appeared to suddenly lose his mind and then commit suicide by jumping through a closed 13th floor hotel window. That is not what happened. This book tells you what did happen.

I want to tell you what happened, but this book is about 860 pages long and you come to understand what really happened only in the last few pages, so it would mess the book up totally if I was to tell you. So, without giving the game away, I can tell you these things. The CIA experimeted using LSD on thousands of people; many of them went insane or had prolonged psychotic episodes, some died. The experiments, if we can dignify them with that word, were unctrolled and often performed by unqualified people. These experiments also had horrendous objectives one of whoich was to find out if it would be possible to enahnce hypnosis with drugs to the point where somebody could be caused to kill another person without their ever knowing what they had done. They had other similar objectives The book is long and is filled withmore of this.

If you are interested to know how little you, as a citizen, are worth in these people's eyes, you get some inkling of it here. I will only add that all this was going on in the 50s and what only discovered after 10 years of absolutely resolute effort on the part of he author. More recent attrocities are stillbehind the wall and so we can only imagine what they are doing now. All of this is illegal of course, but it is the history of all the secret services that they break the law - usually with impunity. There are now many of us who believe that they have effectively undermined democracy. You will find nothing in this book to make you think otherwise.

OK that is about all i can tell you about content without messing anything up, but what about style? Well two things stand out about this book; first it is one of very few books I have read where the author has the skill to tell a rather complex story without at any point allowing the flow of dates and people and organsations and acronyms to get so dense that you lose the thread. He does this by not cramming - hence the 860 pages. Second, Albarelli gives you FACTS, facts he has dredged up for himself. He does repeat what he read in sonme else's books, indeed you find out contantly how wrong many previous writings about this story have been. And he allows the facts to do the talking. So rarely does he comment on the facts that on the rare occassions when he does - perhaos 3 or 4 times in the whole book - it really stands out. I have read many reviews of other books where people have said that the author works this way and, in general, I find that to be untrue. Most authors just cannot help but hit you with their opinion and interim conclusions - but not this guy. Albarelli really does let the facts speak. The feeling you get is like when somne reads you something truly outrageous from say a newspaper, and instead of expressing their anger they merely look up at you. It's like that.

While I was reading the book I just felt taken along by the flow of information, but as I approached the end I experinced several emotions; excitment that I was about to find out what really happened - it's not what you think!; sadness for the family of Frank Olson; and a true sense of fear about the world we now live in. The CIA and others have been bid down to the lowest moral denominator and individuals are of no consequence. They crossed that line 60 years ago. I am absolutely sure they can do things, and do do things that are criminal and undetectable and that totally pervert justice and democracy, and nobody, regardless of which country they arein, is safe from them. That's what I took from this book.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Don't get the papaerback edition!, 23 Feb. 2011
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D. Dearden "Derek Dearden" (Lyndhurst. UK) - See all my reviews
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I bought the paperback edition because it was £10 cheaper, but I'd have spent the extra money if I'd realised how it was compromised.

It's a large print version - that's not so bad in itself (apart from making it a bit weighty), but it's missing the notes and index which is a major drawback for a work like this. Also there's no bibliography (I assume there would have been one?).

I'm also concerned that it's not actually complete - on the title page it says 'Volume 2 of 3' but I don't see any offerings of Volumes 1 or 3 on Amazon. As the other reviewer mentioned it being 856 pages long and this is only 557 in 16 point type, I'm sure it must be only a part. This is confirmed by the fact that the table of contents is divided into "Book 2", "Book 3" and "Book 4". No sign of "Book 1"! And "Book 4" is subtitled '1975-1985', yet it only covers 1975.

Having said all that, the content is 5-star and then some. Critically important and meticulously researched, and lucidly expounded.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars dawn, 3 Mar. 2011
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i love reading but this book is very difficult to get into. I ended up putting it down. very boring and I would not recommend it at all... stay away for the book ;-)
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