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Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda Paperback – May 26, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
I have maintained for a long time that it was the secret services of the East and the West that were responsible for preventing a Third World War.Paradoxically, this was achieved by this hidden war which was played in the misty dead drop sites of Berlin, Vienna, Moscow ,Washington,London and other less famous espionage sites. These were the heydays of hundreds of thousands of spooks-some more famous than the others.Most of them- especially the professional ones- have used a variety of means in order to accomplish their assignments successfully.
In a very interesting and detailed book- perhaps the best there is today on this fascinating subject-the two authors elaborate on the many gadgets the CIA has developed and employed in this battle of wits.There was a special department within the CIA which was responsible for this.What was considered to dwell only in the imagination of authors and scriptwriters was for real.The mentors of the CIA(and its predecessor -the OSS) were their British cousins who have taught their colleagues some useful lessons in the field of espionage.The CIA have surpassed their masters creating for many decades a miscellany of low-and especially high-tech astounding ,innovative technologies.Among them there were cameras, microphones,concealment devices, physical and psychological diguises,ivory letter-opening devices,combustible notebooks, special dead drop rocks,microdot viewers,audio transmitters and bugs.Read more ›
I can highly recommend this book. I have 3 copies, so that I can give a couple as gifts this summer.
Robert Wallace is a good friend and a former colleague.
Cold War intelligence operations and those who managed and ran them were always highly compartmentalized so that only a handful knew the whole story.
Now, with access to former Soviet intelligence files, many things have become more clear. Still, it is for writer/practitioners like Wallace to give us a fascinating and until-now-unknown view of the long U.S. - Soviet standoff.
This book is a great read, hard to set aide. It should be must reading for anyone who wants facts about how technology supported (and sometimes failed) American (and Soviet) intelligence operations during those long and expensive years. Interested college students and their teachers can rely on this text. It is painstakingly researched and noted.
The Agency understandably has a tough pre-publication review process and I am pleasantly surprised to see how much of Wallace's material has been allowed to see print. Although I often knew only a little of the many specifics he writes about, there is no doubt that this is the whole story, satisfying and often surprising even to the Old Timers who were involved.
The authors are among the foremost experts in the field of technology supported tradecraft and thus provide a long overdue "insider's knowledge" optic to seldom witnessed actions playing out behind the scenes in some of the most critically important spy cases since the start of the Cold War. The stories which recount the technical support given to CIA penetrations of the Soviet government and intelligence services like Aldof Tolkachev (alias "TRIGON") and Dimitry Polyakov (alias "Top Hat") are terrific additions to open source literature. In addition, this remarkable book has exceptional photographs of the actual gadgetry used in spy operations and comes with a very useful glossary for those who may not be familiar with espionage lexicon
Highly recommended addition for the bookshelf of any serious minded student of espionage history. "Spycraft" is simply the best book which covers technology support to the art of espionage. A genuine page turner.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Gives one an understanding that there's much more to espionage than James Bond.Published 1 month ago by BW
This book and the accompanying audio book is really in depth. Realize your getting a lol hat had a nice blend of strategy, history and methods employed by the CIA over the years. Read morePublished 1 month ago by jamoreno42
Easy and fascinating read. While some readers will be very familiar with the names and events, this brings a whole new angle. Highly recommended.Published 3 months ago by Trust No One
Tells the story of many cold war adventures and gadgets developed. Ends as when the 9-11 attack begins so its a bit dated.
I couldn't put it down.
Everything you ever wanted to know about the CIA up until 2008 when it was first published, especially their "James Bond" type tools and activities.Published 7 months ago by Detective
Although I thought most of the book was dry, there were some bright spots I found amusing such as the acoustic kitty (thank goodness they only harmed one cat in this failed... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Mystic by the Lake