It always helps when the reader of the audio book (David Drummond in this case) is engaging, and this was definitely an example of that. It actually felt like he was the one who wrote it, it was so smooth.
The content is fascinating; exploring spy technology from the old OSS up through now. It was really cool to hear about how audio surveillance has changed over the years. Today we forgot just how much transistors and integrated circuits have truly shrunk things.
Another great aspect is the personal touch, the book is not just about the technology but the people in the OTS ("techs") who deploy (frequently at high risk) the surveillance or even defuse bombs.
A great book that fulfills every child's spy curiosity. Very good detail into the early years of the CIA and the obsticles they had to overcome.
The only drawback I found was; I was hoping for a little more honesty about 9-11.
Interesting book. Fun. But, has a tendency to leave out some very important historical details. Extremely white washed version of the history of the CIA. Paints some people who where clearly villains as patriots. If you're going to read this book... spend some time on "Legacy of Ashes." They balance each other.
This book is quite dry and unexciting. To be fair, it never pretends to be anything else. It does provide quite intriguing facts on what CIA Techs developed and provides some intriguing stories of exploits that CIA spies had to carry out during the cold war. One main frustrating part is the endless TLA's or three letter acronyms which may work better if you were reading rather than listening. I gave up on most except the main one for the branch that makes the spycraft (can't remember it already). The book also is a combinations of at least 2 but maybe 3 authors and thus is bit disjointed with definitions of some terms not coming until the end. The material at the core is actually quite fascinating - as an example they were using texting devices back in the 70's. One author is too caught up in trying to also provide a chronological history to the dedicated staff in his department, and causes it to read a bit like a retirement speech at times. It is a suitable memorial to the great work the staff did for the country's security, but does not translate well to a book.
After the first hour or two, I thought it was'nt going to be very good. But it builds. The book jumps around a lot.
Semi-technical. Historical. Funny.
More in-depth than I thought it was going to be.
/technical job. amateur radio operator.
I generally love this sort of book. Unfortunately it comes off like a CPA reading a budget report. The narrator is OK, but not the best choice. A reader with a greater tonal range and more active style would have helped. I got through the whole thing, but only be taking several breaks to listen to other books.
the story was very interesting as it related to Cold War and World War two events. However the books did not even attempt to explain the failures that led to 9/11 or to combat terrorism. for this reason, it is in need of an update. However, the book does an amazing job explaining the incredible achievements that were achieved by the intelligence community in the last century.
Yes. Som dry material better absorbed this way
The technical hints and finds applicable to the average guy
The betrayal of some of our top agents.
Great book that details discussion of how CIA Technical Services Directorate equips field officers and agents with the technical resources required to carry out the mission of the CIA. Squirrel and rat carcasses, pin-home microphones and so much more! Includes stores of many missions.