I focus on fiction, sci-fi, fantasy, science, history, politics and read a lot. I try to review everything I read.
This book should be read by anyone interested in the history of the CIA. I have rated this five stars, but this is not the perfect book, just a must read. The author clearly focuses only upon the failures of the CIA and glosses over any successes. Nevertheless, there is substantial value is focusing on failures (of course there is also value is focusing on successes, but that would be a different book). This book also does not seem to go out of its way to suggest tangible changes to improve the CIA.
The material is somewhat dry, and there is some jumping around. The narration is quite good, which helps keep the book interesting. This is not the best book about the CIA, but it is an indispensable viewpoint for anyone who wants to understand the agency.
This is a well written and interesting book, well worth the read. I was amazed at the books subtle tone which allows neo-conservatives to see a strong president taking charge and knee-jerk liberals to see a detached simple-minded bumbler. As I read, I was astounded that the Bush reelection site would be pushing this book (it seemed to present Bush in such a poor light). So I would read the passage again and find that, with a neo-conservative mind set, the same passage could be read as a ringing endorsement of the President. Amazing writing. The down sides are the book is way too short and covers way to little. It barely gets going, and it is over.
I was surprised I liked this book as much as I did. I expected a puffy action adventure story. Instead I got a detailed, nuts and bolts story of a very few people circumventing checks and balances to fund a secret war against a superpower. This book, like “Overthrow”, shows how the US government can be manipulated (for good or evil) by a handful of motivated individuals. This book was very well narrated, presented interesting characters, and seemed to present each character from their own perspective as well as the perspectives of others. It tells a fine story, but includes a lot of detail and context. Many would find this dry, but I was completely interested.