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Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War Hardcover – November 15, 2012


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Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War + American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present + Circle of Treason: A CIA Account of Traitor Aldrich Ames and the Men He Betrayed
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Georgetown University Press; 11.1.2012 edition (November 15, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589019261
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589019263
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #640,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

" Spying In America reveals how important espionage has been to the American chronicle. Historian Michael Sulick tells the story from a unique perspective―a career clandestine services officer who knows what is important. As motivating as Lawrence of Arabia; as insightful as le Carré; as reliable as David McCullough... indispensable reading for a basic foundation.

" -- Hayden B. Peake, former army and CIA intelligence officer



" Spying in America could only have been written by an intelligence professional as experienced and knowledgeable as Michael Sulick. He knows the intelligence and counterintelligence disciplines in a way most are never exposed to. His special insights are invaluable as he weaves connections between events and cases that are essential....This book is a fast, easy read with compelling material that should be on the bookshelves of any real student of the subject." -- David G. Major, president and founder of the CI Centre® and SPYPEDIA®

About the Author

Michael J. Sulick is a retired intelligence operations officer who worked for the CIA for twenty-eight years. He served as chief of CIA counterintelligence from 2002 to 2004 and as director of the National Clandestine Service from 2007 to 2010, where he was responsible for supervising the agency's covert collection operations and coordinating the espionage activities of the US intelligence community.


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Customer Reviews

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Very readable, very thorough, this is a good book for all.
J. Secco
The author, Dr. Sulick, was extraordinarily informative and the perfect person to write such a high caliber book.
Joyce
Good telling of great anecdotes of spying against the US throughout a long period of history.
James L. Zackrison

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Rob Slaven TOP 500 REVIEWER on December 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover
As usual, I received this book as part of a GoodReads drawing and despite that kind and generous consideration my opinions are candidly stated below.

The primary danger for any work on history is that the author will provide information with such force and determination that the result is as dry as a mouth full of crackers. Sulick's treatment of the history of espionage against the United States does not so suffer. His presentation of the topic is pleasingly broad, covering the long history of the country, but still provides enough specific detail about particular cases to inform and entertain.

The book is divided into five roughly chronological parts covering the Revolutionary War, Civil War, 1914-1945, 1930s and 1940s, and lastly the Russian spies around the development of the Atomic Bomb. While obviously there is some odd overlap the arrangement does make sense as later sections deal with specific programs within the government while overlapping in time frame with others.

Each part begins with an overview of espionage in the subject area or period in history and later sections within each part give specifics on individual spies. So a reader wishing for more of a brief reading could peruse the more global sections and skip those that relate to individual players for a briefer read. These are, at times, a bit redundant and of marginal usefulness.

In summary, the author does a wonderful job of taking a potentially dry topic and making hold the reader's attention. One is introduced to a few specific personages of spy fame but also given a sound overall understanding of why espionage works so well in America and entertaining insight on how the bumbling spies of yesteryear screw up and endanger themselves and their counterparts. A wonderful introduction to the real world of international espionage.
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8 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jason Kirkfield VINE VOICE on April 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Through a stroke of good timing and the generosity of two publishers, I had the opportunity to read two books about spying in America, sharing the particular connective thread of pioneering detective Allan Pinkerton. This nearly concurrent reading allowed for increased contextual appreciation of history and, as a bonus, a useful personal insight.

Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War, by retired CIA clandestine service director Michael Sulick, is a sesquicentennial-long survey of spying attempts on American soil, while The Hour of Peril: The Secret Plot to Murder Lincoln Before the Civil War, by mystery writer Daniel Stashower, focuses on the pre-Inauguration assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln.

I feared Sulick's survey would be a dry chronicling through the dusty CIA archives, but he catalogues case studies of two dozen spies in a narrative arc which mostly maintains interest over the years. The early chapters are lengthy and insightful, especially the one on Benedict Arnold, making later chapters seem thin.

More troubling are the many instances of repetitive text throughout the book. Three pairs of examples follow:

Example #1

"Throughout this long period there were far more incidents of espionage against the United States than could be included here. My selections were based on the importance of the particular case or its relevance to a host of issues regarding espionage in American history." (p.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Provides an excellent summary of spying in various eras. Clear and well written. I have found it to be an excellent resource for the books on spying in wartime that I am currently writing for young readers.
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By Amazon Customer on February 2, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A great read... some of these historical books can be rather dry. This book, however, has held my constant attention. It offers a fascinating history of espionage in the U.S.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Spying in America is a brilliantly concise overview of our nation’s clandestine services. In one quick read Sulick has highlighted both our success and our failures as America has grown from an upstart nation to world superpower.

My lone criticism of his effort is that he takes multiple opportunities to target Senator McCarthy’s efforts to limit Soviet espionage in America, citing the Venona documents to support his claim. When, in fact, the Venona documents do just the opposite and give credence to most of Sen. McCarthy’s claims.

Putting that aside, Spying in America is perhaps the best synapsis I’ve read on America’s covert affairs.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A compelling read. Mr. Sulick provides the best factual history of intelligence activities against America to date. A must read for spy buffs.

Odell Lee
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Serious historians writing about the Cold War and modern history in general cannot ignore the fact that espionage was an integral part in the annals of humanity.
Unfortunately, only a small number of books were written about the history of espionage in America and this book is a very good and important addition to it. It was, I believe, written for those have do not have any knowledge about the subject or whose knowledge is incomplete or limited.
Starting with the American Revolution and ending with the Cold War era, Michael Sulick has written about more than thirty cases of spy cases. There are also chapters about less famous spies, women included. It is definitely a fast and enjoyable read comprising three centuries of espionage written by a professional historian and practitioner as well.
The author offers a very good explanation as to why Americans have spied against their country, and he also discusses in great detail the cases of those who were not born in the USA and were engaged in the Great Game. The motives for spying are broad. Some spies have given away secrets to the enemy because of greed, whereas others, such as Benedict Arnold, have betrayed secrets becasue of ego, money and revenge. Many of the spies during the Cold War have been driven by ideological factors, but this changed after the seventies of the previous century when money was the name of the game.
Indeed, the main and best part of this book focuses on the Cold War era, where so many spies were engaged in the game of transmitting secrets to the Russians. The element of counterespionage is much emphasized, and this is understandable, since Mr. Sulick was the chief of CIA counterintelligence for some years.
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