A Look Over My Shoulder, by Richard Helms, begins with President Nixon's attempt to embroil the Central Intelligence Agency, of which Helms was then the director, in the Watergate cover-up. Helms then recalls his education in Switzerland and Germany and at Williams College; his early career as a foreign correspondent in Berlin, during which he once lunched with Hitler; and his return to newspaper work in the United States. Helms served on the German desk at OSS headquarters in London; subsequently, he was assigned to Allen Dulles's Berlin office in postwar Germany. On his return to Washington, Helms assumed responsibility for the OSS carryover operations in Germany, Austria, and Eastern Europe. He remained in this post until the Central Intelligence Agency was formed in 1947. At CIA, Helms served as a division chief; as chief of operations for Frank Wisner; as deputy director for plans (operations); as deputy director; and, ultimately, as director, from 1966 to 1973. He was appointed ambassador to Iran later that year, and he retired from government service in January 1977.
A Look Over My Shoulder focuses on subjects such as intelligence collection, covert action, the uses and misuses of intelligence, and the problems secret intelligence encounters in an open society. Helms discusses It was often thought that Richard Helms, who served longer in the Central Intelligence Agency than anyone else, would never tell his story, but here it is - revealing, news-making, and with candid assessments of the controversies and triumphs of a remarkable career.
"An unsurpassed insider look into how American intelligence actually operates."
-The New York Times Book Review
"GRIPPING . . . HELMS'S ACCOUNT IS FASCINATING, ACUTE, AND SUBTLE."
-from the Foreword by HENRY A. KISSINGER
"A book of unusual depth and richness."
-The New York Times
"Fascinating . . . A must-read . . . [A Look over My Shoulder] speaks to the present about truth and the role of a secret intelligence agency in a democracy."