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The US Intelligence Community Paperback – July 26, 2011

22 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0813345116 ISBN-10: 0813345111 Edition: Sixth Edition, Sixth Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“This work by Richelson should be viewed as the ‘Rosetta Stone’ for understanding the intelligence community…Richelson’s approach is genius, specific, and straight to the point. The US Intelligence Community will prove to be very valuable for people less informed about the intelligence community, as it will be to experts who are already familiar with previous editions.”
International Journal on World Peace

“This is an indispensable guide to a subject that has often been shielded by secrets and lies. Richelson brings order and clarity to the astounding complexity of US intelligence. Thoroughly researched and carefully documented, this volume is the best place to begin exploring the intelligence community as it exists today.”
Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists

“For years now, Jeff Richelson’s The US Intelligence Community has been the go-to book for experts and laymen alike who want to know the latest about espionage organization and tradecraft in the United States. Now with his sixth edition of this classic work, he reaches new heights of excellence in research and presentation. No one has ferreted out the details of this subject better than Dr. Richelson.”
Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor, University of Georgia; Senior Editor, Intelligence & National Security

Praise for Previous Editions:

“The authoritative survey of the American cloak-and-dagger establishment.”
Washington Post Book World

“Fast as the CIA changes, Jeff Richelson is there with excellent sources and a solid grasp of the official terrain. The US Intelligence Community will be vital for any reader who wants to understand the evolution of American intelligence in the post-Cold War world.”
John Prados, author of The Soviet Estimate and Presidents’ Secret War

“Jeffrey Richelson’s new edition is still the best, most comprehensive overview of US intelligence. Required reading for anyone interested in what goes on behind America’s cloaks and daggers.”
David Wise, author of Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames Sold the CIA to the KGB for $4.6 Million

“The authoritative bible on the modern American intelligence establishment.”
Bob Woodward, author of Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987

About the Author

Jeffrey T. Richelson received his PhD in political science from the University of Rochester and has taught at The University of Texas at Austin and American University, Washington, DC. A senior fellow at the National Security Archive in Washington, DC, Richelson has authored numerous works on intelligence, including A Century of Spies, The Wizards of Langley, and Spying on the Bomb.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 624 pages
  • Publisher: Westview Press; Sixth Edition, Sixth Edition edition (July 26, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813345111
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813345116
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #300,938 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

52 of 56 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 22, 1998
Format: Paperback
Richelson does an excellent job of providing a link and detail to all of the U.S. intelligence successes and failures over the last 35 years. This is a superb reference book for the young and old intelligence officer in a Joint or Interagency environment that needs to know how the intelligence system in the United States works. Richelson does not write in theory. All of this book is practical, useful and hard-hitting. It will give you excellent depth and insight into those often heard but little known intelligence successes and debacles. From the USS Pueblo to the origin and current status of satellite intelligence, this book covers it all.
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29 of 35 people found the following review helpful By E. M. Van Court VINE VOICE on November 8, 2005
Format: Paperback
This one was a great reference up to 10 September 2001. Then everything changed and much of what is in this book is out of date. To be fair though, there is stll considerable value here, but that value puts it into the 'buy a used one' category (but hey, that slightly dog-eared, somewhat out of date, reference work on the shelf behind your desk gives you that 'old hand' 'been there, done that' credibility, so this isn't all bad.)

What's good about this one:
-The description of the intelligence cycle.
-The discussions of challenges facing the U.S. intelligence community post Cold War (but pre-9/11; belay that, many of the issues addressed are still challenges that have not been resolved, just set to one side in the pursuit of the global war on terror).
-The description and discussion of the processes and policies surrounding the intelligence cycle.
-It is a good reference work for tracing the establishment of several of the agencies.

What's not so good about this:
-The world changed two years after this book's publication in 1999. And all the shortcomings of this book stem from this. The description of the strategic organization of the U.S. military is not accurate. The Dept. of Homeland Security is not mentioned. The National Intelligence Director is not mentioned. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda aren't mentioned. The patriot act isn't here. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is here under its old name, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. And so forth...
-There have been some bigger changes that are mostly technology driven.
Read more ›
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joseph T. Page II on November 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
I have copies of editions 2, 3, 4 and now the 5th edition of this book - and it has gotten better each time. Dr. Richelson's study of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) is amazing, and a testament to how useful open source information is. While some of the information is inaccurate (and I *can't* say what... ;-), it is to the benefit of the reader that this book offers so many sources. If its wrong, its not because he guessed wrong - it has been mentioned elsewhere. While not being 100% accurate, I would render a guess that 90% to 95% hits near the mark.

That aside, the organizational charts are amazing and very useful. This book has been used in the American Military University's intelligence studies program as a foundation textbook for many classes (coupled with other good books too!). While some spooks stick in their niche areas, others have copies of this book on their shelf to see what the rest of the IC does...

The only downside for this book - the cost. I would have never imagined paying near $50 on a paperback book. It was worth the cost though...
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Edward P. Cerne III on December 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
Richelson does his homework and provides a volume about the structure of the intelligence community either citing current data, or the most recently released declassified data concerning currently classified programs. Ultimately the book is a reference, not a read. He offers only a few pages of analysis on his work, so there is no new perspective on hot topics concerning the structure or function of the IC. That being said, there are not a lot of other books out there about the USIC, so you may have to go with this one if you want to know anything.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Danny L. Thoms Jr. on December 4, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Purchased for class, sixth edition, contents are easy to read and fluid in explanations of subject matter expertise. The defining of problems and contents are addressed logical one after the other, without directing the reader to jump through the book, other chapters, to obtain a better picture of the resolve. The author did their work and some items of interests within the Iraq occupation were outlined and later identified again show trends in behavior of the IC. All though some issues are more directed at the CIA and their means of operation, tying one arm behind their back to expect better information was not the answer either. The text is focused on a grad level understanding of the IC and with that said other books have done equal if not better attempts in providing an introduction arena on the IC. But for depth and a good source of past/present issues, which is easy to comprehend then this book did a very good job at it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sean & Denise on December 1, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Index makes it easy to find a little bit of information on a lot of topics, but the information presented on collection capabilities was only marginally accurate and incomplete even when it was current over a decade ago. I sincerely hope no staffers use this as a reference work to inform fiscal or policy decisions.
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