The book is an extremely well documented story of the US Government recruitment, protection and employment of many documented Nazi SS "scientist" war criminals immediately after WWII. It is a sordid story in my opinion, and a clue to how desperate the US was to grab as many supposed top scientists from Hitler's destroyed Reich before the Soviet Union could get them. Of course, "Operation Paperclip", as it was called, was classified information and kept hidden from the public. To this day, my husband, who is a fan of the Space Race, thinks Werner Von Braun is beyond reproach.
I will be eager to find out about declassification of additional records of Operation Paperclip. The author's coverage is not necessarily in order of occurrence, and seems to jump around alot, which makes it a bit harder to follow. However, the information is so powerful, it doesn't matter. This is well worth a read to any history buff.
Having been born in 1956 and brought up in the early 60's, I remember how America was portrayed (and still is for the most part) as the noble fighter against Nazi (and Japanese) atrocities. America was the liberator. I believe the government, ever bigger after WWII, and the new CIA, have sullied the memory of the countless heroic American soldiers who believed they were fighting for true freedom and against evil, and gave their lives for that idea. The Greatest Generation remains just that, but their government betrayed them in the post war Cold War world.
The "scientists" (many of whom were more like mad scientists) who were recruited by the US after WWII from the Nazi ranks were desperate and would say and do anything to save their skins and so they lied constantly, taking advantage of naive and gullible Americans. The surviving scientists of the Hitler regime, many or most having been in the SS (damning enough already), which ran the notorious concentration camps, were desired by a panic stricken US government which, stupidly trusted the Soviets as an ally in WWII. There were at least two great generals that I know of that wanted to stop Communism during and after WWII. One was General Patton, whose death remains very suspicious and who wanted to drive right through Berlin into Eastern Europe and defeat the "Russian bastards." The other was MacArthur, who was removed from power (and was admittedly a brilliant, but odd man) after offering to push through North Korea into China and defeat the Communists, giving Chang Kai-Shek the chance to take over and make China into a Western friendly nation. If these men had been allowed to do the right thing at the right time, in my opinion, perhaps the US would not have sold its' soul and reputation saving Nazi scientists in order to hurry up and fight against our former "ally". I do not know how a different scenario would have worked out, whether the use of nuclear weapons to destroy the Chinese Communists (which is what MacArthur proposed, but then he wanted the US to support Chang Kai-Shek long before the advent of nuclear weapons) would have led to an even more frightening world or not. One thing I do know - there is right and there is wrong. It was wrong to use the services of men who had committed atrocities on human beings just because we allowed ourselves to be lulled by "Uncle Joe" Stalin, as FDR called him.
Here is the link to the book on Amazon - Operation Paperclip by Annie Jacobsen (published in 2014).