Category: INTELLIGENCE BOOKSHELF

REVIEW: The CIA At War. Inside the Secret Campaign Against Terror

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By Ronald Kessler. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2003. 313 pages, endnotes, bibliography, photos, index Kessler, a New York Times journalist and best-selling author, gained impressive access to the CIA and recorded interviews with many of its highest officers, past and present. The result is the CIA at War, a tantalizing journey into the organization,

REVIEW: Partners at the Creation. The Men Behind Postwar Germany’s Defense and Intelligence Establishments

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By James H. Critchfield. Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2003. 243 pages, bibliography, glossary, photos, index This insignificant memoir tells how its author attended the birth of West Germany's intelligence service—the so-called Gehlen Organization, which evolved into the Bundesnachrichtendienst. It will not achieve what I believe to be its goal: to help historians. It is

The Great Game. The Myth and Reality of Espionage

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  In his book Frederick Hitz compares the exploits of fictional spies, such as Le Carre’s George Smiley, to real-life secret agents. Hitz is a former CIA operations officer, and also served as the CIA’s inspector general. The book is based on a seminar he teaches at Princeton University ————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————————– The Great Game. The Myth

REVIEW: The Secret State. Whitehall and the Cold War.

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The Secret State: Whitehall and the Cold War By Peter Hennessy. London, UK: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press, 2002. 234 pages, endnotes, photos, index Just as anyone who lived through Edward Heath's three-day week can be identified by their tendency to stash candles in kitchen drawers ("in case the lights go out"), so anyone who

REVIEW: Fighting The Nazis. French Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1935-1945

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Fighting the Nazis: French Military Intelligence and Counterintelligence 1935-1945 By Colonel Paul Paillole. New York, NY: Enigma Books, 2003. 492 pages, photos, charts, index.   Originally published in France in 1975 this interesting work provides a remarkably detailed account of Paillole's service as the leader of French counterintelligence prior to and during World War II.

REVIEW: The American Agent. My Life in the CIA

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The American Agent: My Life in the CIA By Richard L Holm, 462pp, St Ermin's Press Richard L Holm features in no indexes in books about the CIA that I could find, apart from Bob Woodward's Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA. Woodward mentions him as a respected operations officer who once briefed him

REVIEW: The Reader of Gentlemen’s Mail. Herbert O. Yardley and the Birth of American Intelligence

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By David Kahn. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2004. 242 pages Few authors have so successfully mined the history of codebreaking. In Kahn's latest book, he explores the life and times of Herbert Yardley, one of the forgotten figures of U.S. intelligence. Yardley's achievements had less to do with his talents as a cryptanalyst,

REVIEW. A Secret Life. The Polish Colonel, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country

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By Benjamin Weiser. New York: Public Affairs, 2004. 383 pages. Espionage is the staple of intelligence fiction. In reality, espionage provides a very small part of intelligence collection, much more of it coming from technical sources. But the right spy in the right place with good access can be crucial. And, as most intelligence practitioners

REVIEW: Intelligence in War. Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to al Qaeada

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Intelligence in War: Knowledge of the Enemy from Napoleon to Al-Qaeda By John Keegan.New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2003. 387 pages. In his new book Intelligence in War, John Keegan asks the question of just how useful intelligence information is in wartime. His answers are at times surprising, but well supported by fact. Keegan examines

REVIEW: Fixing Intelligence. For a More Secure America

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By Lt. Gen. William E. Odom, US Army, Ret. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2002. 230 pages. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________ There are two very important themes running through this book, and they earn the author a solid four stars and a “must read” recommendation. First, the author is correct and compellinging clear when he points out

REVIEW: Terror in the Name of God. Why Religious Militants Kill

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By Jessica Stern. New York, NY: Harper Collins, 2003. 368 pages. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Those who support the current US administration's views about a global American empire; the demonization of terrorists and major efforts to hunt down and eradicate them will not suffer Jessica Stern gladly. Those who are inclined to discount all religion because of its

REVIEW: Paradoxes of Strategic Intelligence. Essays in Honor of Michael I. Handel.

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By Richard K. Betts and Thomas G. Mahnken, eds.  London, UK: Frank Cass, 2003. 210 pages, end-of-chapter notes, index. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ This volume will come as no surprise to those who knew the late Michael Handel, technically a political scientist but more a historian, who was an expert on military intelligence and an authority on the

REVIEW: America’s Strategic Blunders. Intelligence Analysis and National Security Policy, 1936-1991

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By Willard C. Matthias. University Park, PA: The Pennsylvania State University Press, 2001. 367 pages, footnotes, index. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Accidentally released as 9/11 brought to the fore painful political questioning about the failure of intelligence analysis and communication breakdown within the United States national security apparatus, Willard C. Matthias’s America’s Strategic Blunders features a red-hot issue

REVIEW: Trust but Verify. Imagery Analysis in the Cold War

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By David T. Lindgren. Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2000. Pp. xiii+222. __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ For some reason, books on cryptology apparently sell well. Go to your local Borders and look in the espionage section and you will find half a dozen fairly recent books on code breaking. I find this inexplicable, because numbers are (in my

REVIEW: Baghdad’s Spy. A Personal Memoir of Espionage and Intrigue from Iraq to London

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By Corinne Souza. Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Publishing, 2003. 238 pages, bibliography, photos, no index. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Baghdad’s Spy was first published by Mainstream Publishing Company (Edinburgh) Ltd in 2003. This article is based on the 2004 edition.   Baghdad’s Spy is a portrait of espionage as told from the perspective of the daughter of a senior

REVIEW: Intelligence and The War In Bosnia 1992-1995

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By Cees Wiebes. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 2003. 463 pages, index. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In 1994, a battalion of Dutch troops arrived in eastern Bosnia on a peacekeeping mission as part of the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR). The Dutch area of responsibility included the nearby town of Srebrenica that was controlled by the Bosnian Muslim

REVIEW: A Look Over My Shoulder. A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency

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By Richard Helms, with William Hood. New York, NY: Random House, 2003. 452 pages. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ In the parlance of espionage, the autobiography of America's one-time spymaster, Richard Helms, might best be called a "sleeper agent." For nearly half of the book's 512 pages, Helms — who died in October — assumes the mild-mannered cover of

REVIEW: The Encyclopedia of the Central Intelligence Agency

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By W. Thomas Smith, Jr. New York, NY: Checkmark Books, Facts-on-File, 2003. 282 pages. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ An encyclopedia is defined as a comprehensive reference work containing full, complete, in-depth, thorough, wide-ranging, all-encompassing, accurate, exhaustive, articles on numerous aspects of a particular field, usually arranged alphabetically. Thomas Smith's entry into the field falls short on nearly every

REVIEW: Democracy, Law and Security. Internal Security Services in Contemporary Europe

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By Jean-Paul Brodeur, Peter Gill, and Dennis Töllborg, eds.  New York: NY:  Columbia University Press, 2003.  354 pages. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ The academic attention to intelligence as a factor in international relations and domestic security has increased markedly in the last twenty years, and this book is a good example.  The editors of have drawn from papers

REVIEW: The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Spies and Espionage

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By Rodney Carlisle.  Indianapolis, IN:  Alpha Books, 2003.  340 pages. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________ […] The same cannot be said of Spies and Espionage—it is an encyclopedia of errata.  After short comments on intelligence in Elizabethan times, the American War of Independence, and the Civil War, the book focuses briefly on the formative interwar period in the early