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Spies Against Armageddon Paperback – July 7, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 356 pages
  • Publisher: Levant Books; first edition (July 7, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985437812
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985437817
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (119 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #707,414 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Best-selling spy novelist Daniel Silva writes: "Buyer beware: Once you crack the cover of Spies Against Armageddon, you won't be able to put it down. It is much more than simply the most authoritative book ever written about Israeli intelligence. It is storytelling and drama of the highest order." --Advance Praise

R. James Woolsey, former Director of Central Intelligence, writes: Raviv and Melman have redefined the gold standard for nonfiction about intelligence. This remarkable history of Israeli intelligence from the War of Independence to Stuxnet calls it straight. By describing the roots of both the triumphs and the screw-ups thoroughly and fairly the authors help us see not only how Israel's survival has been effectively protected but the huge debt the rest of us owe. --Advance Praise

Wolf Blitzer, the CNN anchor, writes: "These two world-class journalists take us to places we've never been before. They back up their points with tons of excellent research and reporting. They clearly know their stuff. I learned so much reading this book. I know you will, as well." --Advance Praise

About the Author

DAN RAVIV has been an award-winning CBS News correspondent for over thirty years, with a Middle East specialty. He hosts a national radio show, CBS News Weekend Roundup. He is author of COMIC WARS, a book about the Marvel Comics bankruptcy and renaissance. YOSSI MELMAN is an Israeli columnist with a worldwide reputation for breaking news on espionage and security. He is author of THE NEW ISRAELIS, THE NUCLEAR SPHINX OF TEHRAN, and other books. Melman is winner of the Sokolov Prize for Journalism (Israel's equivalent of the Pulitzer) and a former Nieman Fellow at Harvard. He organized and participated in ironman triathlons in Israel and has run 30 marathons and 4 ironman competitions. Together, RAVIV and MELMAN wrote BEHIND THE UPRISING: ISRAELIS, JORDANIANS, AND PALESTINIANS (1989(, the national best seller EVERY SPY A PRINCE: THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF ISRAEL'S INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY (1990), and FRIENDS IN DEED: INSIDE THE U.S.-ISRAEL ALLIANCE (1994). Raviv resides in Washington, and Melman in Tel Aviv. Their articles have appeared in many international newspapers and websites. Wolf Blitzer, the CNN anchor, writes: "These two world-class journalists take us to places we've never been before. They back up their points with tons of excellent research and reporting. They clearly know their stuff. I learned so much reading this book. I know you will, as well."

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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This book will make readers more aware of the stakes, the opportunities and the dangers.
Alan A. Elsner
This book is very detailed and gives me a broad view of the Israeli intelligence organizations as well as their history.
satified customer
I have read this book from cover to cover and highly recommend it to anyone who likes a good spy story.
A. P. Getts

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

93 of 96 people found the following review helpful By Alan A. Elsner VINE VOICE on July 9, 2012
Format: Paperback
This detailed and exciting account of the history of the Israeli secret services, including the Mossad, the Shin Beth and others less well-known to the public, should be required reading for anyone interested in the history and politics of the Middle East. It is even more relevant because its opening chapter deals with the ongoing Iranian nuclear crisis and Israel's clandestine efforts to derail and delay the Iranian nuclear program.

The book clearly benefited from detailed interviews the authors conducted with leading players, some now deceased. The authors themselves are a winning team of a well-known Israeli reporter and a veteran American correspondent (full disclosure, I was a reporter in Israel for several years in the 1980s and knew one of the authors quite well.)

Starting with the founding of Israel in 1948, the book runs through some well-known episodes such as the kidnapping of Adolf Eichmann from Argentina to stand trial in Jerusalem. But there are many other vignettes that were unknown to me -- and I consider myself something of a professional student on Middle Eastern history. There is a comprehensive account of how Israel built its own nuclear program with help from France and others. The story of how Israel managed to persuade an Egyptian Air Force pilot to defect, bringing with him his top secret Soviet plane, could be the subject of a fantastic movie all by itself. Thus, Israel became the first Western nation to acquire a Soviet MiG-21 and it was a treasure trove for U.S. intelligence.

In another chapter, the authors describe Israel's success in protecting its civilian aircraft from hijackers and bombers -- and America's refusal to imitate some of the Israeli techniques despite repeated warnings.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Potomac on July 18, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
Being very familiar with the history of the Israeli intelligence services, I found this book to be a trough of new, fascinating information. I highly recommend it to any one who is interested in espionage and Middle East affairs.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Richard T. Nowitz on July 11, 2012
Format: Paperback
Its hard to add anything after reading Alan Elsner's review but to say this is a great read. Its a page turner and very informative. I found the historic roots of the evolution of Isreal's intelligence service especially interesting, not to mention the philosophy of their operation which was constantly evolving to meet ever changing threats to the Jewish state. I'd give the book 5 stars +. I hardly think anyone would be disappointed. Millman & Raviv should be proud of their latest non-fiction thriller!
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul Arking on September 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
As an enthusiast of Israeli history, especially when involving intelligence or espionage operations, this book was a wealth of information, an unprecedented compendium from minor anecdotes to major sagas detailing the history of the Mossad, the Shin Bet, Aman--their heads, their operations, their rivalries, their politics, their offshoots and affiliates (Kidon, Sayeret Matkal, etc.), their successes, their failures, and more. While some of the stories are known legends (e.g., Osirak, Entebbe, Eli Cohen), I am quite certain that this book will contain quite a few heretofore unknown stories and details for most. There were also quite a few details (e.g., some regarding the Syrian nuclear reactor operations) that really caught me by surprise.

That said, I only have two complaints. The first is one of politics. The authors apparently take a left-of-center political position and from time to time make no effort to hide it. While most politicians in the books are simply named, many of the Likud politicians have the "right-wing" descriptor prepended to their names, as does the Likud party itself (a simple search will reveal that "right-wing" turns up twice as many times in the book as "left-wing" does). As another example, Ariel Sharon is unabashedly and overtly scorned in part of the book with a tangential anecdote that needn't have been cited and, having been cited, needn't have been done so in such a wryly opinionated way by the authors. Even references to Obama (and his not-so-subtle anti-Israel actions) seem slightly overly forgiving, excusing, and optimistic.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By David M. Sherman on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the way history ought to be written; exciting, well researched, brilliantly organized, and accessible to the general public. Other reviews have provided a detailed summary of the book. Be assured that you will not be overwhelmed with the details but intrigued by the events. I highly recommend this book for content and an intriguing peak into the world of spying. The authors should be praised for their willingness not only to provide a cogent history of Israeli spying, but to make critical judgments about the events that are so complex and controversial. Wonderful book....
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book had been recommended to me and I thought it was going to be a boring and "too much detail" book... WAS I WRONG... I typically like historical fiction but I couldn't put "Spies" down. I'll admit that I even read it at work on my iphone...
Kudos to Raviv and Melman.
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