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Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis

By Davis, Jack

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Book Id: WPLBN0000704325
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 50.62 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2006

Title: Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis  
Author: Davis, Jack
Language: English
Subject: Government publications, CIA research reports, National security.
Collections: CIA Documents Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: Central Intelegence Agent


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Davis, J. (n.d.). Sherman Kent and the Profession of Intelligence Analysis. Retrieved from

Excerpt: In the 1930s, Sherman Kent believed that life provided no more worthy professional calling than persuading Yale University undergraduates that an understanding of history was essential to development of a first-rate intellect. Professor Kent?s tools of persuasion included a reputation for tough grading, a colorful personal style, and an enthusiasm for drawing wisdom from the study of History 10, ?Development of European Civilization.? With the onset of World War II, Kent, like most Americans, changed priorities to serving the nation?s defense. Not quite suited for the front lines of combat or espionage, in 1941 he joined a cadre of scholars in the newly formed Research & Analysis Branch of the Office of Strategic Services (forerunner of the Directorate of Intelligence). Kent showed uncommon talent for adapting scholarly methods to the rigors of producing intelligence analysis in support of the war effort, including cajoling egotistic professors to work as teams, meet heroic deadlines, and satisfy the needs of action-oriented customers. At War?s end, Kent delayed returning to Yale to join the prestigious civilian faculty at the new National War College and later to produce Strategic Intelligence for American World Policy, a book he felt compelled to write to ensure that first-rate intelligence analysts would be enlisted to support postwar security. In the autumn of 1947, Kent did return to Yale to relaunch his professorial life. But Strategic Intelligence, published in 1949, attracted the attention of leaders of the new Central Intelligence Agency, including its no-nonsense Director, General Walter Bedell Smith, who ?ordered? Kent to return to intelligence work. Kent stayed this time, from 1950 until his retirement in 1967.


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