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Thread: Allen Dulles: Nobody reads...

  1. Default Allen Dulles: Nobody reads...

    I am confident all readers of this forum know the Dulles quote, "But nobody reads. Don't believe people read in this country. There will be a few professors that will read the record. The public will read very little."

    For years I have tried, on and off, to find a source for this oft-cited quote. I even posed the question here on DPF in 2008.

    The question has come up again, twice, in conversations (well, e-conversations) I've had in the last few days. I'm sure I've Googled it before. But I Googled it again. One of the hits I got directed me to this forum, and the post I made back in ought-eight.

    Feels like I'm going in circles.

    Joseph McBride, I did not include your name in the subject line of today's post, but trust you'll see this. The quotation is on p. 193 of Into the Nightmare. Do you know a primary source for it?

    No comment now on the cynical-to-ominous nature of the statement, which is self-evident. My bigger concern is the possibility that this quote is erroneous, and that it has reached the level of urban legend. I am not suggesting that is the case – I have no doubt Dulles would make such a remark, and probably did. It's just that I have never seen a bona fide primary source, and the statement seems to have a momentum all its own.

  2. #2


    John, it's a real quote. I posted about it here:

  3. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tracy Riddle View Post
    John, it's a real quote. I posted about it here:
    Thank you, Tracy. After downloading I was impatient enough to use the Search function of my PDF reader. In so doing I found the quote on p. 11 in the second-from-bottom file listed in the links you included.

    I'm skeptical enough to prefer something that isn't a generation removed from the original source. But it sure seems genuine, and now I have a date -- July 9, 1964, a meeting between Dulles, McCloy, and a panel of psychiatrists -- not an executive session per se. Maybe I can find the original in the archives.

    Again -- thanks much.

  4. #4


    You're welcome. Looking through Weisberg's archives, I found what looks like a partial transcript, plus a letter from Harold about it. Szulc said in his article that the transcript was 245 pages long.
    Last edited by Tracy Riddle; 10-06-2013 at 08:10 PM.

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