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The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service Hardcover – May 14, 2012
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“Crumpton's narrative, especially when chronicling the response to the 9/11 attacks, moves like a thriller, presenting a story of ingenuity and courage under fire…a compelling account of the changes that have allowed the CIA to fight the war on terror with unprecedented resources and success. There is no doubt that the CIA will in the future have to devote more resources to intelligence gathering. The agency should apply to its traditional operations the same ruthless, results-oriented ethos that Mr. Crumpton and his colleagues applied to fighting al Qaeda.” —The Wall Street Journal
"A lively account...combines the derring-do of old-fashioned spycraft with thoughtful meditations on the future of warfare and intelligence work. It deserves to be read." —The Washington Post
“Offer[s] an exceptionally deep glimpse into the CIA’s counterterrorism operations in the last decade of the twentieth century.” —Harper’s
“[A] colorful inside account.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Hank Crumpton’s riveting account of his life in the CIA and the run up to the war in Afghanistan is a treasure for every citizen who wants to know the sacrifices, courage and strategic vision of the clandestine services in war and peace.” —Tom Brokaw
“The Art of Intelligence reflects the character of its author: Honest, smart, direct and impressive. Crumpton offers important new insights into the C.I.A.’s role in the Taliban’s overthrow in 2001, as well as a wider portrait of modern intelligence that is frank and compelling.” —Steve Coll, author of Ghost Wars
"[A] fascinating glimpse into the CIA’s most secret—and secretive—department." —Kirkus --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
About the Author
Henry A. Crumpton is chairman and CEO of Crumpton Group LLC, a strategic international advisory and business development firm. With the rank of ambassador at large, he served as the coordinator for counterterrorism at the U.S. Department of State from August 2005 until February 2007. Crumpton joined the Central Intelligence Agency in 1981 and spent most of his twenty-four-year career working undercover in the foreign field. He is the recipient of the Distinguished Intelligence Medal, the CIA's highest award for achievement. Crumpton received a B.A. from the University of New Mexico and a master's, with honors, from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
Top customer reviews
My copy of the book ended with Chapter 13 being repeated twice. Chapter 14, and the epilogue, acknowledgments, and index are listed in the table of contents, but not included. If you want to use it as a reference by tabbing and highlighting sections, as I did, you might want to first take a good look at the back of the book.
As for the available content, I found it highly interesting and often informative. That said, Crumpton clearly does not provide detailed information or a precise chronology for many incidents he describes due to concerns about operational security. The book is not an account of the CIA per se, but a collection of vignettes that Crumpton uses to illustrate how the Clandestine Services operate as viewed through the prism of his own experiences.
I read this book in one sitting as it was impossible to put it down.
Like many books of this kind, some parts are a bit self-serving ("I did this and accomplished this, despite so and so's wishes"), and other parts are a bit too much on the side of "thank you for your service".
The title belies the content's essence, as it is mostly memoir-driven, albeit with some appreciated analysis and other commentary, especially with regards to the Middle East strategy (though much has changed since this book was published).
A quick read, though I skimmed quite a few parts, as they seemed somewhat redundant.
I would recommend this book.
Perhaps best of all, Crump asks many open-ended, profound questions throughout the book. The willingness to open the discussion and demonstrate that he doesn't know it all himself makes the book very personal and conversational in tone, rather than a lecture. Must-read for anyone interested in intelligence, diplomacy, military, and long-term viability of the United States.