Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Seeds of Fire: China And The Story Behind The Attack On America Paperback – January 15, 2001
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Customers who bought this item also bought
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
A fusillade of disconcerting facts pointing to pathetic performance by mainstream America's press as a vehicle for responsible investigative reporting." -- Mark Dankoff, Christian News and Freedom Writer
From the Publisher
Author Gordon Thomas - whose new book, Seeds of Fire: China and the Story Behind the Attack on America, skyrocketed to 49 in amazon.com sales rank listings in two days, has just learned that Jonathan Pollard - the spy convicted of espionage against the United States 17 years ago - was secretly visited in his U.S. Federal Prison on Monday, January 7 by former Israeli Prime Minister, Benyamin Natanyahu. Pollard - who is a central figure in Thomas' Seeds of Fire - was convicted of espionage against the United States. "But I am told on the highest authority in Israel that Natanyahu's visit is the first step in persuading the Bush administration to set him free so he can go to Israel, the country for whom he spied," said Thomas. The author is renowned for his contacts in Mossad, the Israeli secret service. His book was the preview bestseller to Seeds of Fire. Titled Gideon's Spies, it took Thomas two years to research and write. Mossad directors and other key officers granted him exclusive interviews. In Seeds of Fire he details how one of those officers, former Operations Chief Rafi Eitan, ranks Pollard as the most effective spy Israel has ever had. Eitan told the author in a taped interview that he would "only wish to have Pollard free again before I die." "His targets were the innermost intelligence secrets of the U.S. He stole more than the Russians ever did," said Thomas. Esther Pollard, the spy's wife, said, "This was a very personal meeting between Bibi and Jonathan. I cannot tell you what Bibi said. But it was an excellent meeting. A very long meeting, and it left Jonathan filled with hope." The ex-Israeli prime minister traveled to Pollard's prison in North Carolina and spent hours with the spy alone, said Thomas. Mrs. Pollard added that her husband has been kept in solitary confinement during his life sentence. She said that previously Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu had tried to secure Pollard's release as part of a package deal with former President Bill Clinton at the Wye talks - but failed. "But CIA chief George Tenet has let it be known that if Pollard is freed it could be a resignation matter for him," said Thomas. "Tenet regards Pollard as a man who nearly wrecked the CIA intelligence gathering operations throughout the globe," said Thomas. "He believes that if Pollard is sent back to Israel he could have something useful to do for Mossad," he added. "Seeds of Fire describes Pollard's never before revealed role in the theft of the most important software in the U.S. intelligence arsenal." Seeds of Fire is backed by over 100 pages of never before published documents that not only show how the theft was carried out - but also how it eventually led to China having a copy of it. "Seeds of Fire shows how China used it to prepare itself to become a new Superpower. Quoting from a CIA Briefing paper - prepared by incumbent CIA director George Tenet for President Bush - Thomas reveals the agency's fear about a coming conflict with China. Hours after Gordon Thomas had revealed exclusive details in Seeds of Fire about the full intent of China's threat, it was confirmed today by the CIA - and followed up by ABC News and the Associated Press. Said Dandelion President Carol Adler: "Not for the first time, Gordon Thomas has set the news agenda with is revelations. There are many more in Seeds of Fire which we believe will find their way into the mainstream news media in the coming days. But remember: you read it here first!"
Top customer reviews
However, the deduction of two stars was for the following reasons. First, this book is NOT a compilation of reasons why some believe that China will go to war against the US by 2015. That is the premise under which the book is promoted, but it simply isn't true. Not only does the author not provide a modicum of reasoning as to why China would even want to do this, but he tries to demonize China by pointing to its domestic policy in the handling of the student uprising to claim that it is indicative of potential conflict in the realm of foreign policy. Clearly, how a nation handles the affairs of it's own people is going to differ from how a nation handles the affairs of citizens from other countries. Basically, if you are looking for a book which discusses the threats of China on the US in the possibly near future, you had better look elsewhere.
Next, the book is a little disjointed. It can basically be broken into three parts:
1) The sale of enhanced PROMIS to foreign countries by Mossad agents to steal national secrets.
2) The Student uprising of 1989 in Tiananmen Square and the resulting massacre
3) A Pentagon report on the status of many nations (not just China) dealing with their potential threats to the US.
Unless the author had some highly sophisticated and transcendental writing style which I simply could not comprehend, the three sections, in my opinion, are loosely joined.
There were some aspects about the Tiananmen massacre which were left out that I feel would be of interest to the reader. One example is that many of the leaders, such as Wang Dan and Wuer Kaixi, profited by all the publicity by becoming successful businessmen.
Overall, the story is captivating, but I wonder how much of it really happened and how much is the author filling in holes that resulted in interviewing many different people who each had their own, and sometimes conflicting, history of the events leading up to the Tiananmen massacre.
At least in the United States (and to a lesser extent in Ireland), Freedom of Information Acts provide some purchase on the vast amounts of information that governments and their bureaucracies wish to keep from the public they allegedly serve. In the case of Britain, despite his fine promises, Prime Minister Tony Blair has yet to introduce similar legislation, in spite of being re-elected with another overwhelming majority this year. One has to wonder why.
When Thomas's superb reporting of the cataclysmic events in China during the student uprest, and the horrors of Tiananmen Square, are laid beside the CIA briefings on that country up to 2015 (provided for the incoming Bush administration), the reader is invited to come to his or her own conclusions about the future role of China in world affairs - conclusions that could easily interfere with a good night's sleep. And his handling of the manner in which the U.S. Department of Justice, the Israeli spy network, and the infamous Robert Maxwell, all jockeyed for ways of stealing the extraordinary Promis ultra-surveillance software from its authors, equally gives cause for sobering reflection. If that was then, what's going on now?
There is nothing simple about Thomas's book, because he deals in complex, and not always fully visible, subject matter. But his handling of the material is such that its clarity of expression allows the interested, alert reader to review and absorb an amount of data as would qualify one for a good university degree in current affairs. If an informed citizenry is essential for the preservation of democracy, then Seeds of Fire should be essential reading for all citizens.