29 of 34 people found the following review helpful
An Amazing History Lesson--with some interesting revelations,
This review is from: The Secret History of the CIA (Hardcover)
Don't buy this book if you are looking for information about the CIA's structure or policies. This is a "National Enquirer" style set of revelations about the CIA's mistakes in judgement and super-tricky Soviet agents' abilities.
The book is written in rough chronological sequence--but, the overlap of some of the stories requires a little backward and forward storytelling. It starts with the pre-CIA origins and moves well into the '90s.
Initial impressions, from early chapters, are that the CIA is foolish; the left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing; and the reader is blinded by 20/20 hindsight. As the book progresses, and the reader is carried through the discovery of moles and double/triple agents, the reader begins to understand how hard the discernment of "the truth" can be. In the end, one is left with a mix of sympathy, amazement, and admiration.
Be sure to read each chapter's footnotes for more interesting tidbits!