"WE HELPED TO OVERTHROW THE BATISTA DICTATORSHIP… ONLY TO INSTALL THE CASTRO DICTATORSHIP"
(COHN, Roy) (DELOACH, Cartha) SMITH, Earl E.T. The Fourth Floor. An Account of the Castro Communist Revolution. New York: Random House, 1962. Octavo, original blue cloth, original dust jacket. $1250.
First edition of Smith's dramatic account of his time as Eisenbower's ambassador to Cuba in the late 1950s, charging the U.S. with playing "a major role in bringing Castro to power," inscribed by Smith in the year of publication to Cartha "Deke" DeLoach, Hoover's No. 3 at the FBI: "With best wishes to Deke De Loache [sic] from Earl E.T. Smith, 1962." Yhis copy with the laid-in business card of Roy Cohn, Joseph McCarthy's infamous chief counsel.
Smith, the prominent financier who served under three presidents, was appointed Ambassador to Cuba by Eisenhower in 1957 and served until 1959 at the fall of Batista. In Smith's 1960 testimony to the Senate, he charged U.S. government agencies, the press and officials on the fourth floor of the Senate, with playing "a major role in bringing Castro to power." Here he substantiates that argument, stating: "we helped to overthrow the Batista dictatorship, which was pro-American and anti-Communist, only to install the Castro dictatorship which was Communist and anti-American."
This copy is inscribed to Cartha "Deke" DeLoach, who "spent more than 25 years in the FBI, rising to deputy associate director, the No. 3 position, behind only Hoover and the associate director, Clyde Tolson." At the time of the inscription, DeLoach headed the FBI's Criminal Records Division, and soon became Hoover's chief liaison to President Johnson. Tim Weiner, author of Enemies: A History of the FBI, describes DeLoach as a "talented political hatchet man, a trusted deputy to Hoover… crucial to intelligence investigations" in the Johnson years. After serving as FBI spokesperson following the murders of civil rights workers Chaney, Goodman and Schwerner, DeLoach "supervised the investigation of the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968. But he had also been part of the bureau's scrutiny of the civil rights movement and was aware of the bureau's secret surveillance of Dr. King." At DeLoach's death, then-FBI director Robert Mueller praised his lifelong "commitment to the F.B.I. and to the American people" (New York Times).
This copy also contains the laid-in business card of Roy Cohn as "Chairman of the Board" of Lionel Corporation. The great-nephew of Joshua Cowen, its founder, Cohn headed the group that took over control in 1959. By then he was infamous as prosecutor in the Rosenberg case and chief counsel to Joseph McCarthy in his investigation of communists. Cohn's business card is inscribed on the verso in an unidentified hand: "Season's Greetings—I hope you will enjoy this important book by one of our Lionel Directors." Smith, who also founded the brokerage firm Paige, Smith & Remick, was on Lionel's board of directors when Cohn was chairman. "First Printing" stated on copyright page.
Tiny closed tear to pristine dust jacket. A fine inscribed presentation copy with two memorable associations.