Born out of the ashes of World War II, the covert action arm of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created to counter the challenge posed by the Soviet Union and its allies and bolster American interests worldwide. It evolved rapidly into an eclectic, well-resourced organization whose activities provided a substitute for overt military action and afforded essential backup when the Cold War turned hot in Korea and Vietnam. This comprehensive examination of a still controversial subject sheds valuable new light on the undercover operations mounted by the CIA during the Cold War. Using a wide range of unpublished government records and documents, James Callanan traces the growth of the agency chronologically as it forged a covert action mission that sought to advance US foreign and defense policy in all corners of the globe. Offering a powerful perspective on a pivotal period in American history, "Covert Action in the Cold War" makes a crucial contribution to our understanding of global politics during the Cold War.