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Gup, a well-known investigative reporter with experience at The Washington Post and Time, interviewed hundreds of current and former CIA case officers to tell the stories behind the stars. "In the aggregate, the stories of the stars form a kind of constellation that, once connected, reveal not only the CIA's history but something of its soul as well," he writes. Yet this is, thankfully, not an indiscrete book. He writes of "a young woman who died a violent and selfless death in 1996 ... her name is withheld from this book. The Agency made a compelling case that to identify her would put others at risk." The bulk of The Book of Honor does, in fact, name names and describe how they died. In this sense, it is similar to the runaway bestseller Blind Man's Bluff, which described the secret history of American submarine espionage during the cold war. Yet what's most striking about Gup's accounts is how many of the deaths were routine or accidental. Many agents merely had the misfortune of being on planes that crashed--hardly the stuff of a James Bond adventure. Throughout, Gup is sensitive to a situation in which, "between the values of an open society and the demands of a craft rooted in deception and betrayal, the CIA is asked to steer an uneasy, often irreconcilable course." This fascinating book strikes a clean blow for the open society--but it serves a larger purpose as well: telling the truth. --John J. Miller --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
This book was a ok buy. The author has provided great research on the early stars on CIA's wall. However, the author did not provide any information for the recent deaths of CIA... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Johnnie
Good stories and most interesting. I met Dick Holm and good to hear his story again.Published 10 months ago by Charles Christian
This is an accurate account of a day in the life of CIA Operatives. It is definitely worth the read.Published 11 months ago by Abig&il Ad&ms