- Paperback: 624 pages
- Publisher: Westview Press; 6 edition (July 26, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813345111
- ISBN-13: 978-0813345116
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 1.4 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #817,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The US Intelligence Community 6th Edition
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This is an indispensable guide to a subject that has often been shielded by secrets and lies. Richelson brings order and clarity to the astounding complexity of US intelligence. Thoroughly researched and carefully documented, this volume is the best place to begin exploring the intelligence community as it exists today.”
Steven Aftergood, Federation of American Scientists
For years now, Jeff Richelson's The US Intelligence Community has been the go-to book for experts and laymen alike who want to know the latest about espionage organization and tradecraft in the United States. Now with his sixth edition of this classic work, he reaches new heights of excellence in research and presentation. No one has ferreted out the details of this subject better than Dr. Richelson.”
Loch K. Johnson, Regents Professor, University of Georgia; Senior Editor, Intelligence & National Security
Praise for Previous Editions:
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Top Customer Reviews
What's good about this one:
-The description of the intelligence cycle.
-The discussions of challenges facing the U.S. intelligence community post Cold War (but pre-9/11; belay that, many of the issues addressed are still challenges that have not been resolved, just set to one side in the pursuit of the global war on terror).
-The description and discussion of the processes and policies surrounding the intelligence cycle.
-It is a good reference work for tracing the establishment of several of the agencies.
What's not so good about this:
-The world changed two years after this book's publication in 1999. And all the shortcomings of this book stem from this. The description of the strategic organization of the U.S. military is not accurate. The Dept. of Homeland Security is not mentioned. The National Intelligence Director is not mentioned. Bin Laden and Al Qaeda aren't mentioned. The patriot act isn't here. The National Geospatial Intelligence Agency is here under its old name, the National Imagery and Mapping Agency. And so forth...
-There have been some bigger changes that are mostly technology driven. At the time this book was written, the idea that one could get 1 meter resolution satellite imagery for free (though a little dated) was pretty shocking for most folks, but if you go to Google maps right now...
Over all, 'The U.S. Intelligence Community' is out of date for descriptions of the current establishment and much of the technology, but is pretty darn good for processes and some of the big concepts. Caveat lector: be mindful that technology changes constantly, and what's in this book was declassified, hence even further out of date than the copyright date would indicate.
Post Script: Thank you, W. Blair for pointing out that there is a newer edition. This review only applies to the fourth, not fifth and current edition. Darn you, W. Blair, for forcing my hand to get the new edition 8-)
E. M. Van Court
That aside, the organizational charts are amazing and very useful. This book has been used in the American Military University's intelligence studies program as a foundation textbook for many classes (coupled with other good books too!). While some spooks stick in their niche areas, others have copies of this book on their shelf to see what the rest of the IC does...
The only downside for this book - the cost. I would have never imagined paying near $50 on a paperback book. It was worth the cost though...