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Fallout: The True Story of the CIA's Secret War on Nuclear Trafficking Hardcover – Bargain Price, January 4, 2011
History To Repeat & Some To Not
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About the Author
Douglas Frantz was the former managing editor of the Los Angeles Times, where he was a business reporter, an investigative reporter and a foreign correspondent based in Istanbul. He has also been a reporter for The New York Times and the Chicago Tribune. He was part of a team which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, in addition to which he is a two-time Pulitzer Prize-finalist, and as won several honors for his investigative reporting. He is now an investigator for the U.S. Congress.
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Top Customer Reviews
The main villain here is a Pakistani scientist ,A.Q.Khan, who has successfully built an international network which has been responsible for becoming a plarform for the selling of nuclear capabilities to various countries-most of them those which have the potential of distributing weapons of mass destrucion and which could easily be classified as rogue states ,the majority being Islamic ones. The core of the book is about the recruitment of the Tinners, a Swiss family that served as Khan's associates, but was also used by the CIA as a conduit in supplying some essential information about the nuclear market to the USA and its allies. Khan's world was regarded as a huge Wal-Mart shop.
The main thesis of the book is in the form of a strong indictment against the CIA which tried to see reality not as it is, but as it wants it to be. The main phrase used here is composed of two words: cover-ups. The truth about the possibility of dangerous elements in getting nuclear weapons was not intended to be shared by the American people. The Agency did not work in a vacuum but was abetted by the relevant Washington policy-makers during the years of 1995-2009.
This book reads like a first-rate thriller and is well written, although understandibly undocumented. However, this does not detract from its importance and will be another significant addition to the literature of intelligence and its role in world politics.
Whatever your views on this topic or how much of the information we must take on face value, there is some interesting information here about the geopolitics of the time. For those with some knowledge of nuclear technology, there isn't much new or detail technical information contained in this book but that isn't really the intent of the authors. What little technical discussions they do engage in detracts from the experience, due to oblique and incomplete references.
I gave this book 3 stars because of the format and editorial style. EVERY single chapter is simply the name of the country where that particular discussion centers. The chapters then really loose any usable structure, I simply didn't care. The names all run together and repeat. Then the overall narrative gets lost, I had a hard time understanding what the time stamp was for some sections. The incidents go back and forth, not very readable. And finally the writing was just like a history textbook, here's what happened on this day, then this happened on this day, then this on the next day. I really glossed over the middle 1/3 of the book and didn't loose anything for it.
It's an okay read, worth knowing the information, but don't expect it to intensely grip your interest.
It is not a glamorous story that can be enjoyed on a long airplane trip.
The book reads like a textbook, is at times tedious and repetitive.
It offers a glimpse behind the scenes of a CIA operation, without revealing any
major secrets and leaves some questions unanswered. We don't know what we do not know.
It also provides an illuminating insight in America's hamhandedness in dealing
with foreign governments. Not our strong point.
Over all, an educational, if somewhat boring read.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The account tells how these middle men worked for their profit and the CIA. But how this Pakistani engineer Kahn operated is not available. Perhaps no one knows about that yet. Read morePublished on February 16, 2013 by Good Natured
I found this book to be quite informative. CIA working diligently on this somewhat complex problem. It's nice to be more up to date in my thinking about nuclear proliferation.Published on January 14, 2013 by leigh lucart
A certain amount of information becomes known, but I tend to see these bits as the cover story, like puddles left after a rain storm. Read morePublished on June 15, 2011 by Bruce P. Barten
As this book self-acknowledges it probably is not the whole truth - that may never emerge from the dusted archives of intelligence agencies around the world. Read morePublished on February 9, 2011 by A. Leask
The book was in perfect condition. Brand new. The indicated timing was accurate. Aaaaah and the book is great. Read morePublished on February 7, 2011 by Wouter