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Inside the CIA: Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency Mass Market Paperback – February 1, 1994
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Inside the CIA: Revealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency
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It's an older book (my fault for not looking deeper) than I would have liked. Not as current as I'd hoped it would be. If I had my choice on this book and another, I'd choose the other.
How it helped: We get a nice look at a day in the life of the Director. We get a clear explanation of how the CIA functions as an organization. We get an idea of how the different branches within the CIA feel about each other and the rivalries they nurse. We get an interesting look into the mindset of the officers, today and yesterday. We get an interesting look at how the personality of an individual Director affects the way the organization does business.
How it hurt: The CIA is presented the way the CIA wants to be seen. It comes across as little more than a big 'ol benevolent think tank with daring aspirations of bureaucratic inertia. It is strongly implied that the most nefarious activities they engage in during this modern era are fishing the fecal matter of foreign dignitaries out of hotel room toilets and recruiting OTHER people to spy. While I don't doubt things like this make up the bulk of the daily grind for Operations Officers, I also had the strong feeling the job descriptions of the Operations Directorate were... neutered.
If you're expecting an officially sanctioned expose, this is NOT it. If you're looking to understand the culture of the CIA and how it functions as an organization to do what it does (whatever that is) this book offers a tantalizing look, but you have the feeling you're only seeing the tip of the iceberg.
The book was functional, informative and a bit dull. I'll have to keep digging for the dirty tricks department rumored to have .... what?
The book is useful for gaining background information that can later be important for understanding events in context. I'm not dismissing the book for those looking for some entertainment value, just warning that it's not a page-turner.