For all kinds of reasons--penetrating research, narrative flow, nifty phrases, occasional gentle wisecracks, helpful appendices-- 'Curveball" is a remarkable achievement. Equally appealing is the tone: Drogin leaves the reader to ponder the many complexities rather than arguing his own views. Even the footnotes are fascinating. The book also cleared up a disturbing concern of mine going back to CIA chief George Tenet's February 2004 Georgetown speech, a chunk of which I happened to catch on CSpan. He came across as a policy advocate, not the detached collector and evaluator of intelligence that's needed in the job. "Curveball" provides a context that helps explains this dangerous man. Of course, the book does a lot more than that, describing, much like a business school case review. how the "intelligence community" leadership can abandon common sense in favor of catering to the White House or competing with other agencies. One wonders if the same thing is going on today with respect to Iran.