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You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger (Bluejacket Books) Paperback – February 24, 2004


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Frequently Bought Together

You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger (Bluejacket Books) + Office of Strategic Services 1942-45: The World War II Origins of the CIA (Elite)
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Product Details

  • Series: Bluejacket Books
  • Paperback: 220 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (February 24, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1591143535
  • ISBN-13: 978-1591143536
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 8.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #227,766 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The funniest (unofficial) record of rugged adventure in the OSS." -- New York Times

Enlightening, alarming, and very, very funny in places. It is also the story of some brave and gallant men. -- The Sphere

Grade-A entertainment. -- Boston Herald

I haven't laughed so much over a book since "No Time for Sergeants." -- Daily Oklahoman

About the Author

Roger Hall, a free-lance writer, editor, and novelist, lives in Delaware.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 56 customer reviews
I have always loved this book and glad it is back in print.
43#+
More than any other book I can remember, this one had me laughing out loud when reading to myself.
Dana Taylor
I first read this book thirty years ago and laughed 'till I cried, it was that funny.
John Floyd

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By George Coppedge on April 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
Hall's book is his funny story volunteering for, training in, and working within America's WWII OSS unit (pre-cursor to the modern CIA). Like all good soldiers, Hall sought to escape the boredom, heat, and humidity of camp life for anything else. So, he volunteered for the OSS - only knowing that at least it was something different and possibly dangerous - oh my!

The book takes us through numerous training assignments of Hall's - patrolling, ambushing, parachuting, espionage basics, infiltration into civilian organizations, and more. Typical of most American WWII soldiers, he spent far more time training than he ever did in combat. The most interesting sections of the book are his parachute and espionage training. He describes both in fascinating detail. It is quite funny to see how amateurish much of his spy training was - I suppose that's why the CIA would have liked for the book not to be published.

Hall writes in an irrevent and playful style that makes his book both fun and easy to read. He is the type of original smart-ass that self-important superior officials love to hate. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, especially as it pokes fun at a rather serious business.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Richard A. Roberts on April 29, 2006
Format: Paperback
Sometimes, just sometimes, the things of your youth are

better than when you experienced them the first time: things

like "You're Stepping on My Cloak and Dagger," Roger Hall's

memoirs of his experiences in the OSS (Office of Strategic

Services, forerunner of the CIA) during WW2.

In 1966 Miss Estele, Greenon High School's librarian, once

very sternly suggested to me that I get my own copy of Mr.

Hall's book. Seems that I had checked out the school's copy so

much that it was in danger of disintegration.

Not wishing to run afoul of the lady with the piercing

eyes which could wound at 50 paces, I broke down and bought a

copy for myself.

I destroyed it with repeated readings.

I bought a second.

I destroyed it. Read the words off the page.

I went for a third copy. But alas the book was not to be

found. Literally for decades I searched used book stores and

book sales. Libraries. No dice. Gone. Phfttttttt.

But the book was always with me. I have never attended a

briefing or presentation without thinking of the great

exploding map overlay caper. Phrases and descriptions stalked

their ways into my daily vocabulary like two great stalking

things. I mean, how can you top, "...the account being one in

which the fact quotient was in inverse ratio to the difficulty

of the feats of derring-do allegedly performed"? I even once

wrote on a subordinate's performance evaluation, "...highly

praised for his capabilities and performance and resoundingly

damned for his irreverence.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Lucy Huntzinger on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
One of the funniest books I've read in any genre. If Dave Barry had been eligible for enlistment in 1942 this is the the kind of book he might have written. Roger Hall's account of his time in the O.S.S. is full of dry wit, bawdy humor, accute assessments of the Army's intelligence operations during World War II, and his own vivid personality. The pace is fast, people and situations are clearly delineated in a few deft words, and the irreverence only heightens the sobering reality of military life in a time of war. Thirty years after I first read it this book still makes me laugh.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Eric Oppen on October 23, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I first read this book in the summer of 1976, when I was at Shattuck School in Faribault, MN. I thought it was an absolute hoot, and was I ever delighted to find that my high school had a copy, too! After I graduated HS, I had my eyes open for a copy, but for a long, long, long time the only ones I could find for sale had exorbitant price tags. How this was ever let go out of print escapes me.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Linda Hall on November 11, 2008
Format: Paperback
I must admit to being prejudiced in my opinion, because YOU'RE STEPPING ON MY CLOAK AND DAGGER was written by my husband, Roger Hall. This is a wonderful book, considered a cult classic in the espionage field, about Roger's adventures in the OSS during World War II. If you don't believe me, just take a look at the OTHER Amazon reviews, and Google the title of the book and Roger's name to see reviews from major newspapers and magazines around the world. On this Veterans' Day, I salute my beloved late husband, Roger, and all others who served our country.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Holabird My Past on July 22, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In August 1964, when I arrived at Fort Holabird, MD, the home of the US Army Intelligence School (USAINTS) I was pleasantly surprised. The place was more like a small college campus than a military installation, except for the mess hall which served better food than any institution of higher learning. There was a small but excellent library that even had a very good selection of classical music.

The most popular book in the library was "You're Stepping On My Cloak and Dagger." Not only were the library copies well-worn, the bookstore had trouble keeping copies in stock. The training portions of the book were so familiar that everyone loved the book. This book is to the intelligence business what M.A.S.H. is to combat surgeons.

No one who has ever been in the intelligence business (about 40 years for me) could read this book without laughing aloud throughout. I think that even readers without this personal experience will find the book hilarious.

I have given away numerous copies of this book over the last four decades. My last copy has been missing for many years (an unreturned loan) so I was ecstatic to find the book back in print. I have ordered several copies so that I will never again be without this long-time favorite volume.
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