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By Way of Deception: The Making of a Mossad officer Paperback – January 1, 2002

ISBN-13: 978-0971759503 ISBN-10: 0971759502

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 372 pages
  • Publisher: Wilshire Press Inc. (January 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971759502
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971759503
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 6 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (104 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #500,242 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Intelligence agencies should never try to ban books about themselves. Like Peter Wright's Spycatcher (Penguin USA, 1987), which was suppressed in Britain , this book on Israel's legendary spy organization by a former Mossad katsa or case officer has ended up on the New York Times best seller list. Among the controversial revelations that led Israel to seek a ban (which was quickly overturned in the United States and Canada) is Ostrovsky's charge that the Mossad refused to share knowledge of a planned suicide mission in Beirut, resulting in the deaths of 241 U.S. Marines in 1983. Another New York Times best seller, Dan Raviv and Yossi Melman's Every Spy a Prince ( LJ 7/90), provides more reliable details on Israel's spy network.
- Wilda Wil liams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Victor Ostrovsky was born in Canada and raised in Israel. At eighteen he became the youngest officer in the Israeli military at the time, eventually rising to the rank of lieutenant commander in charge of naval weapons testing. He was a Mossad case officer from 1982-1986. Victor Currently lives in Scottsdale Arizona where he paints and has an art gallery in old town Scottsdale.

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Customer Reviews

This is a book about how one man became a Mossad agent in the Israeli foreign intelligence agency.
John G. Hilliard
Some letters were misspelled with numbers... It looks to me like those mistakes were due to poor OCR of the original paper book (it's quite old by now).
E. Simon
This book will clarify many questions and open your eyes up to what is real and what is done by way of deception.
LD Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

81 of 91 people found the following review helpful By Blahblahblah on January 21, 2005
Format: Paperback
One thing you should know about this book is that in the sequel, The Other Side of Deception, Ostrovsky admits that some of the info in By Way of Deception was deliberately inaccurate and meant to serve as a message to the Mossad that they want to leave him alone or he will reveal the real info. The Other Side of Deception also reveals his true reasons for writing an expose, not so much idealism as it was self-preservation (if he weren't Machiavellian, do you think they would have made him a case worker?).

To address another reviewer's doubts: he was given protection by the Canadian government. And he acted quickly to make sure he had a lot of publicity so any sudden death would be carefully investigated with the Mossad being the obvious suspect.
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51 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 8, 1998
Format: Hardcover
Ostrovsky's book is a must for people who want to understand the secret services. Initially, you are shocked by the revelations, recognizing that it may compromise Israeli national security and its agents. Then you are awed by the training, the logistics and coordination of information gathering. You then become worried, that such a complex and effective organization has no real accountability. Perhaps, the real worry is that Ostrovsky describes a mode of conduct whereby Mossad redefines right and wrong (redefining it in terms of "what's good for Israel and especially Mossad is good, the hell with the rest"), and acts on that basis. And finally, you reconcile your emotions with the knowledge that this couragous book can only force a re-evaluation of Mossad practices. Today's Israeli leaders cannot ignore the claims made by this book, and because of it, there is a little more accountability in the world. I enjoyed the book thoroughly.
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68 of 77 people found the following review helpful By CollectedReader on June 25, 2002
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic book if you are looking for an operational manual on intelligence training. Most of the book focuses on how the mossad pick and train their agents, along with the author's experience with the training methods. It also touches upon the politics and foreign relationships within the intelligence community.
The last part of the book details several missions of the Mossad from an insider's perspective. This gave real insight into details often missed when reading newspapers (often manipulated by the intelligence community).
Buy the book, you will not be disappointed. This is a must have for any intelligence library.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By LLM on May 7, 2006
Format: Paperback
This book is best read along with its followup, The Other Side of Deception. The author is/was a true patriot who was honored to serve his country. He reveals many thrilling tales of derring-do, the grinding routine of spycraft and his shock and disillusionment with the personal corruption and immorality of many fellow agents.

According to the author, the Mossad nominally answers only to the Prime Minister but often acts on its own agenda and in many cases against the interests of Israel and any prospects for peace. The assassination arm conducts killings authorized by secret Star Chamber-like hearings. Illegal arms sales to unsavory regimes fund operations. A tiny staff conducts worldwide operations with the assistance of local Jews. He refers to staff by their first names only which made it amusing when "Ephraim" wrote his own book, reviewed and panned by Ostrovsky.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book and its sequel should be essential reading for every American, especially now with American sons and daughters coming home in body bags from Iraq.
The sequel to this book, The Other Side of Deception, was published over 10 years ago. What it reveals is stunning when compared to current events. And deeply disturbing.
However, you must read the first book first to fully appreciate the second book.
I wouldn't be surprised if the majority of negative reviews of this book were not the work of some of his former colleagues, or 'ordinary' citizens engaged to write for them. Any astute and extraordinarily well-read person can determine that the facts Ostrovsky states about various operations in his book have the definite ring of truth about them. They can be verified with contemporaneous news accounts, available now on microfiche at any large American library that houses world newspapers.
I lived in NYC while most of the events he describes were going on, and kept up daily with a broad variety of news sources worldwide. I was front and center when these stories broke. Ostrovsky's account fills in the nagging questions the various accounts presented at the time, and confirm what I was hearing under the table as suspicions from our intelligence sources.
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62 of 75 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is a great book written by a man who put his life on the line inorder to let the world know how terrible the Mossad really is. He eloquently summarizes his life story, growing up as an ardent Zionist, climbing high in the Israeli military ranks, and finally becoming disillusioned after achieving the dream of many Israelis: joining the Mossad. He explains in great detail many of the ways, training techniques, and past operations of this ultra-secret "intelligence agency" that he was a part of for four years. If, as some people say, this book is not factual, why is it that most of the events are actually recorded in old newspapers, magazines, T.V. news, etc.? All you have to do is spend enough time and you can find for yourself the articles on Yehia Meshad, Jonathan Pollard, Sabra and Shatilla, the Fallashas, and so on. Offcourse the major difference is that Ostrovsky, as an insider, ties things together and goes into the details that we could never find in the news. Furthermore, why would the Israeli govt. and Jewish groups in the U.S. try to prevent this book from being published in the first place? Finally, I just heard that this book is out of print and banned in the U.S. now. If this is true, it is a shame. It just goes to show that Ostrovsky is right.
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