Register of the Wilbur Eveland papers

Finding aid prepared by Beth Goder and Hoover Institution Archives Staff
Hoover Institution Archives
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Stanford University
Stanford, CA, 94305-6003
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© 2012


Title: Wilbur Eveland papers
Date (inclusive): 1941-1983
Collection Number: 80118
Contributing Institution: Hoover Institution Archives
Language of Material: English
Physical Description: 14 manuscript boxes (5.6 linear feet)
Abstract: The papers contain drafts and galleys of the book by Wilbur C. Eveland, Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East (New York, 1980) relating to the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in American diplomacy in the Middle East, and photocopies of personnel records and correspondence with Central Intelligence Agency officials and others relating to publication of the book. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
Physical Location: Hoover Institution Archives
Creator: Eveland, Wilbur

Access

Collection is open for research. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 
The Hoover Institution Archives only allows access to copies of audiovisual items, computer media, and digital files. To listen to sound recordings or to view videos, films, or digital files during your visit, please contact the Archives at least two working days before your arrival. We will then advise you of the accessibility of the material you wish to see or hear. Please note that not all material is immediately accessible.

Publication Rights

For copyright status, please contact the Hoover Institution Archives.

Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Wilbur Eveland papers, 1941-1983, [Box number], Hoover Institution Archives.

Acquisition Information

Acquired by the Hoover Institution Archives in 1980.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. To determine if this has occurred, find the collection in Stanford University's online catalog at http://searchworks.stanford.edu/ . Materials have been added to the collection if the number of boxes listed in the online catalog is larger than the number of boxes listed in this finding aid.

Alternative Forms of Material Available

PDF files of declassified documents available through reading room workstations. Digital copies of select records also available at https://digitalcollections.hoover.org. 

Related Materials

Charles Richard Crane memoirs, Hoover Institution Archives
George Lenczowski papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Philip C. McConnell papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Harley C. Stevens papers, Hoover Institution Archives
Alfred M. Lilienthal papers, Hoover Institution Archives

Biographical Note

Wilbur Crane Eveland was an intelligence agent known for his work with the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) in the Middle East. He was born on July 1, 1918, in Spokane, Washington. At 17, Eveland lied about his age so that he could join a Marine Corps Reserve battalion at Puget Sound Navy Yard but failed the West Point written test when he took the examination the next year. Eveland then took classes at the University of California, Berkeley, and Harvard University. In 1940, Eveland joined the United States Army, where in January 1941 he was recruited as an agent for the Corps of Intelligent Police, later known as the Counter Intelligence Corps. He was put in charge of the Counter Intelligence Corps field offices in Panama and held several other intelligence positions until 1948, when he decided to become a military attaché.
As preparation for work as a military attaché, Eveland took a one-year course in Arabic at the Army Language School, after which he was stationed at the American embassy in Baghdad, Iraq, from 1950 to 1952. Upon returning to the United States, Eveland was appointed as the Near East intelligence specialist for the Office of the Assistant Chief of Staff of the Department of the Army.
Throughout the 1950s, Eveland worked for several United States government agencies. From 1953 to 1954, he organized and headed the Near East and African Branch of the Office of Foreign Military Affairs within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. While in this position, Eveland was one of two officers to meet with Gamal Abdel Nasser to discuss aid to Egypt. In 1955, Eveland became a consultant to the Operations Coordinating Board, an entity responsible for monitoring implementation of National Security Council policies, reviewing proposals for clandestine political actions abroad, and reviewing covert CIA expenditures ( Ropes of Sand, p. 110).
Although not technically a CIA agent at this point in his career, Eveland was sent on a mission to Syria for the agency in 1955, where he was tasked with working with conservative groups in the country. Upon returning from this assignment, Eveland was recruited into the CIA, where he worked closely with Allen Dulles. From 1955 to 1959, Eveland was assigned to the American embassies in Damascus, Syria, and Beirut, Lebanon, as a CIA agent using Department of State cover. During this time, Eveland completed several missions in Syria, some involving coup attempts, including a mission to deliver half a million pounds to Syrian politician Mikhail Ilyan that Eveland completed shortly before the beginning of the Suez Crisis. Eveland participated in joint United States and United Kingdom planning sessions and also served as the contact person for Camille Chamoun, President of Lebanon.
From 1959 to 1961, Eveland was on CIA assignment to Rome, Italy, under cover as a Vinnell Corporation engineering company executive in charge of petroleum related construction, maintenance, and training projects in the Middle East and Africa. In 1962, he resigned from the CIA to become the vice president of Vinnell, although he was retained as an unpaid consultant to the CIA to maintain his security clearance. In the 1970s, Eveland worked as a consultant for various companies in the petroleum industry.
Eveland decided to write a book documenting American policy in the Middle East while watching the port of Beirut burn at the start of the Lebanese Civil War in 1975. The contract for Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East was signed in 1977. Publication was delayed when the CIA requested a prepublication review of the work, but when the agency later chose not to examine the book, Eveland published the work in 1980. Eveland died in 1990.
Sources:
Eveland, Wilbur Crane. Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 1980.
Graham, Robert. "The Middle Eastern Muddle." Review of Ropes of Sand. New York Review of Books. 23 October 1980. Accessed through http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/1980/oct/23/the-middle-eastern-muddle/

Scope and Content of Collection

The Wilbur Eveland papers contain material related to his book Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East, an autobiographical work that discusses the role of the Central Intelligence Agency in American diplomacy in the Middle East. Published in 1980, the book describes Eveland's intelligence missions to countries such as Syria, Egypt, Lebanon, and Iraq, and his interactions with Allen Dulles and John Foster Dulles. Included are descriptions of a meeting with Gamal Abdel Nasser in 1954, various missions in Syria, the Suez Crisis, the Eisenhower Doctrine, and other events of significance in the Middle East. Because Eveland served as a consultant within the petroleum industry after resigning from the CIA in 1962, the book also describes the petroleum industry's role in diplomacy and policy in the Middle East.
The Ropes of Sand file includes drafts, research materials, and other documents related to the book. Many of the typescripts and galleys include annotations by Eveland and others. The curriculum vitae of Eveland can be found in box 8, folder 2. This file also includes Freedom of Information Act requests from Eveland and the resulting documents from various government agencies. Reviews of Ropes of Sand can be found in the materials for the dust jacket and also within the Increments.
The papers include Declassified U.S. government records that relate to the Middle East, the Baghdad Pact, and the Syro-Egyptian Union. Some of these documents have been stored as PDF files, which can be accessed through the reading room workstations.

Subjects and Indexing Terms

Secret service--United States.
United States. Central Intelligence Agency.
Middle East--Foreign relations--United States.
United States--Foreign relations--Middle East.

Box: 1-14

Ropes of Sand file 1941-1980

Scope and Contents note

Includes galleys, typescripts, printed matter, correspondence, diaries, badges, and one sound recording related to the publication of Ropes of Sand: America's Failure in the Middle East. Arranged alphabetically by format, with drafts arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder: 1 : 1

Badges, Corps of Intelligence Police, 1941, undated

Box: 1

Correspondence

Box/Folder: 1 : 2-3

Berger, Elmer, 1978-1980

Box/Folder: 1 : 4

CIA and Department of Justice, concerning security commitments, 1980

Box/Folder: 1 : 5

Philby, H. A. R. (Kim) letter, undated

Box/Folder: 1 : 6-7

Diaries, 1977-1979

Box: 1-12

Drafts

Box/Folder: 1 : 8

Typescript, undated

Box/Folder: 2 : 1-3

Typescript, undated (contd.)

Box/Folder: 2 : 4-6

Typescript, Innocents Abroad by Eveland and Thomas Faber, circa 1978

Scope and Contents note

Early draft of Ropes of Sand
Box/Folder: 3 : 1

Typescript, Innocents Abroad by Eveland and Thomas Faber, circa 1978 (contd.)

Scope and Contents note

Early draft of Ropes of Sand
Box/Folder: 3 : 2-5

Typescript, outline and annotated first draft, 1978

Box/Folder: 4 : 1

Typescript, outline and annotated first draft, 1978 (contd.)

Box/Folder: 4 : 2

Typescript, partial first draft, June 1978

Box/Folder: 4 : 3-5

Typescript, Innocents Abroad by Wilbur Eveland and Thomas Faber, August 1978

Scope and Contents note

Early draft of Ropes of Sand
Box/Folder: 5 : 1

Partial typescript, outline, revision notes, chapter drafts, 1978-1979

Box/Folder: 5 : 2-15

Typescript, "Norton Book," Prologue-Chapter 13, circa 1979

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence
Box/Folder: 6 : 1-14

Typescript, "Norton Book," Chapter 14-Chapter 27, circa 1979

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence
Box/Folder: 7 : 1-2

Partial typescript, circa 1979

Box/Folder: 7 : 3-5

Typescript, Star's draft, April 1979

Box/Folder: 8 : 1

Typescript, Star's draft, April 1979 (contd.)

Box/Folder: 8 : 2

Partial draft, outline, book proposal, notes, April 1979

Scope and Contents note

Possibly part of Star's draft.
Box/Folder: 8 : 3-5

Typescript, October 1979

Box/Folder: 9 : 1-2

Typescript, October 1979 (contd.)

Box/Folder: 9 : 3-6

Typescript, November 1979

Box/Folder: 10 : 1-2

Galley, January 1980

Box/Folder: 10 : 3-4

Galley with Eveland's corrections, January 1980

Box/Folder: 11 : 1-2

Galley with Eveland's corrections, February 1980

Scope and Contents note

Includes note about galley's use during a meeting between Eveland, Mark Lynch, and CIA attorneys
Box/Folder: 11 : 3-5

Galley, "final page proofs before decision to print in light of CIA's refusal to review the book," February 1980

Box/Folder: 12 : 1-3

Galley, master set, second pass, February 1980

Box/Folder: 12 : 4

Index and front matter, March-April 1980

Box/Folder: 12 : 5

Dust jacket materials, 1980

Scope and Contents note

Includes reviews, photograph of Eveland, clippings on CIA and book release
Box: 12

Freedom of Information Act requests and documents

Box/Folder: 12 : 6

Central Intelligence Agency, 1955-1978

Box/Folder: 13 : 1-3

Department of State, 1953-1978

Box/Folder: 13 : 4

Federal Bureau of Investigation and Department of Justice, 1954-1980

Box/Folder: 13 : 5

Photographs, Middle East, 1954, undated

Box/Folder: 13 : 6-7

Printed folios, 1980

Box/Folder: 14 : 1

Proposal for Ropes of Sand, undated

Scope and Contents note

From "Norton Book" typescript
Box/Folder: 14 : 2

Published book, 1980

Box/Folder: 14 : 3

Sound recording, 1977

Scope and Contents note

Telephone conversations with Thomas Farber, John Marks, Ellen Levine, and Starling Lawrence leading to book contracts on compact sound cassette
Box: 14

Increments 1982-1983

Scope and Contents note

Includes clippings of articles written by Eveland, correspondence from Eveland to politicians, and reviews of Ropes of Sand. Arranged chronologically.
Box/Folder: 14 : 4

1982

Scope and Contents note

Includes correspondence
Box/Folder: 14 : 5

1983

Scope and Contents note

Includes Ropes of Sand reviews, clippings by Eveland, correspondence
Box: 14, reading room workstation

Declassified U.S. government records 1955-1958

Scope and Contents note

Consists of formerly security-classified records of the U.S. government, released in full or in part, related to the Middle East, the Baghdad Pact, and the Syro-Egyptian Union. Includes some interfiled material determined to be unclassified. Formats include PDF files and paper documents such as correspondence. Arranged chronologically by date of release by Hoover.
Reading room workstation

2010 release of records, 1955-1958

Message regarding difficulty of present situation, 1958 October 1
Message to proceed, 1958 June 25
Message relaying statements of Akram Hawrani regarding Syro-Egyptian union, 1958 January 30
Outline of a position on politico-military arrangements in the Middle East area, 1955 May 11
James S. Moose Jr. dispatch to U.S. Department of State regarding Embassy comments on statement concerning French policy in Syria, 1955 May 28
Note regarding U.S. assistance to Egypt and other Arab states, circa 1955-1958
Memo regarding U.S.-U.K. interests and objectives in the Middle East in light of the threat posed by current Soviet strategy in the area, 1956 January 13
Memo regarding policy with respect to conflicts between Saudi Arabia and the sheikdoms of Eastern and Southern Arabia and to use of Saudi oil revenues in other Arab states, 1956 January 16
Memo regarding Jordan Valley Development Plan including general discussion of economic developments in Jordan, 1956 January 17
Memo regarding U.S.-U.K. discussions of the Middle East situation, including Baghdad Pact and Soviet strategy, 1956 January 18
Memo regarding Baghdad Pact including related political developments in Jordan, 1956 January 18
Memo regarding U.S.-U.K. discussions of the Middle East situation and W. C. Eveland Jr. message to the secretary regarding recent developments in the Syrian situation, 1956 Janaury
W. C. Eveland Jr. memo to William Rountree regarding Soviet attitude toward Syro-Egyptian union, 1958 January 29
Ambassador McClintock message to the secretary regarding Soviet backing of Syro-Egyptian union, 1958 January 30
Message regarding the Syro-Egyptian union, 1958 January 30
Message regarding Soviet ambassadors to Egypt and Syria and the Syro-Egyptian union, 1958 January 30
Message regarding delayed announcement of the Syro-Egyptian union, 1958 January 30

Scope and Contents note

Records relating to the Middle East, particularly U.S. and United Kingdom interests, the Baghdad Pact, and the Syro-Egyptian Union. Available as PDF files.
Box/Folder: 14 : 6

2011 July release of records, 1955-1956, 1982

Scope and Contents note

Memorandum, letter, and Christmas message, all unclassified, relating to the situation in the Middle East, 1955-1956; unclassified letter, 1982
 

2017 release of records, circa 1955-1958

Interests of the United Kingdom and United States in the Middle East, circa 1955-1958