Sunday, January 6, 2013

Book Review: A Man Called Intrepid

By Rich Kozlovich
A Man Called Intrepid was written by William Stevenson about the head of British Foreign Intelligence, known as British Security Coordination during WWII, William Stephenson.  INTREPID was his code name.  As Winston Churchill said regarding the man who would take on this extremely difficult task; he must be INTREPID.  This book is one of 'the essentials'!
Stephenson was gassed in WWI and sent back to England as 'disable for life’, but that didn’t suit him so he fudged his medical records and became a fighter pilot winning the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Military Cross.  His real skill was analysis of German aviation.  He was the one to first point out that is wasn’t the “Red Baron”, Manfred Von Richthofen who was the most dangerous, but his brother Lothar.  Lothar was the most dangerous because the Red Baron was showy but Lothar cared little for glory and was only interested in destructive results to the enemy.  This brought him to the attention of Admiral Sir Reginald Hall, the head of Naval Intelligence, which eventually brought him to the attention of Winston Churchill. 
At the end of the war he became a very successful international businessman, which gave him contacts in business, science and politics.  He was one of those who very early on realized the danger of Hitler and the fascist movements of Europe, but that wasn’t what anyone wanted to hear about.  He formed his own cadre of information gathers and information sharers throughout the world, which included Winston Churchill and other prominent leaders.  Churchill wasn’t at all popular at that time and all this was kept quiet among this select group.  The framework was already in place when the war started.
This book presents an important history lesson.  You can’t negotiate honorable treaties or agreements with someone who has an agenda.  Appeasement will not work.  Whether it is politics or environmentalism, which is a mixture of politics and religion, they have an agenda and no matter what they agree with today they will renege on for some fabricated reason later. 
I read this book 30 years ago and decided to read it over again for information I may use in the book I am working on.  I was startled to see that this book was foundational to much of what I have been reading for the last 30 years and important to my understanding of events and my conclusions as to what is going on in reality.  The patterns of life keep repeating.    
When I was 19 I read James A. Michener’s book, “The Source” and enjoyed it. I read it again when I was 30 and understood it.  I have been re-reading books I read many years ago and it is amazing how time and experience in life will present you with so many more insights than you had at the first reading.  I have concluding that re-reading books, especially history books, are important for depth of understanding.   
This was written in 1976, after thirty years of British secrets were released to the public in order to explain how and why decisions were made.  More secrets were supposed to be released in 1995, but the secret status of that information was extended.  Probably forever! It makes one wonder what information could be so terrible, and what individuals or what families were involved that this information couldn’t be released after 50 years. 

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