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The Art of Intelligence Audiobook

The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service

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Publisher's Summary

A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career while illustrating the growing importance of America's intelligence officers and their secret missions.

For a crucial period, Henry Crumpton led the CIA's global covert operations against America's terrorist enemies, including al Qaeda. In the days after 9/11, the CIA tasked Crumpton to organize and lead the Afghanistan campaign. With Crumpton's strategic initiative and bold leadership, from the battlefield to the Oval Office, U.S. and Afghan allies routed al Qaeda and the Taliban in less than 90 days after the Twin Towers fell. At the height of combat against the Taliban in late 2001, there were fewer than 500 Americans on the ground in Afghanistan, a dynamic blend of CIA and Special Forces. The campaign changed the way America wages war. This book will change the way America views the CIA.

The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Crumpton's espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever. From his early years in Africa, where he recruited and ran sources, from loathsome criminals to heroic warriors; to his liaison assignment at the FBI, the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, the development of the UAV Predator program, and the Afghanistan war; to his later work running all CIA clandestine operations inside the United States, he employs enthralling storytelling to teach important lessons about national security, but also about duty, honor, and love of country.

No book like The Art of Intelligence has ever been written - not with Crumpton's unique perspective, in a time when America faced such grave and uncertain risk. It is an epic, sure to be a classic in the annals of espionage and war.

©2012 Henry A. Crumpton (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (378 )
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  •  
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 05-20-12
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 05-20-12

    Avid general reader with a fondness for British and Irish Writers and world history.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Looking for a place in History?"

    Interesting but not fascinating. This book contains details of the CIA's involvement in various world events but these are muddied by the author's use of acronyms and un-necessary descriptions of the physical attributes of his characters. It would have been much more rewarding to learn more about their interactions with others and less about whether they could 'growl, spit' etc. That the author was flattered by the fact that George W. Bush put his hand on his back is, perhaps, understandable but self-aggrandizing and his recall of conversations had with various people is either a result of perfect recall or that they were all recorded - both of which are unlikely. Still, there are lessons to be learned and the author points out some of these very clearly. It is to be hoped that politicians and public servants have taken note and action.

    12 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Dallas, TX, USA 08-01-12
    Ron Dallas, TX, USA 08-01-12 Member Since 2010
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    "A biographical Text Book."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The organization. He organizes it in chronological order in parts, intelligence collection methods in others, and in other various ways. It makes allows for too many rapid departures and side stories.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    Break it out into clear sections. Only occasionally drift off subject. Do not use the side story as a vehicle to lengthen the book and drive home obvious points. Its a book on Intelligence for the love of Pete! People interested in reading this subject probably have at least the basics down.


    Did David Colacci do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    Only one Character so hard to say. But he was very dry.


    Did The Art of Intelligence inspire you to do anything?

    I wanted to know more about some of the key individuals and events talked about. So i wiki'd them. I guess that counts.


    Any additional comments?

    Though it is informative, it is like reading a text book. 70% of the information you already know or have been exposed to. you have to wade through the personal and political agenda of the author to get at some of the better bits of info though.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    H. de Gyor Northern Virginia, USA 06-06-12
    H. de Gyor Northern Virginia, USA 06-06-12 Member Since 2010

    Henrik de Gyor

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    "Insider perspective on the modern world of intel"
    What did you love best about The Art of Intelligence?

    An insider perspective of the world of intelligence and modern warfare as they hunt for the most wanted terrorists. Crumpton pinpoints the differences between multiple agencies he collaborated with over the years from education, technology, tradecraft, protocol, dealing with politics, decision making as well as working with the private sector.


    What did you like best about this story?

    An insider perspective of the world of intelligence and modern warfare. The reasons behind introducing drones and their evolution into effective predators is described in great detail. Fascinating look into use of data to improve decision making. The story is surprisingly revealing.


    What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

    The narration was direct and purposeful, but not droning.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    There were some beautiful uses of data described. The collaboration between government agencies described is awe inspiring. There is some parts of prayer and deep patriotic feelings by the author.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rex Dillon 04-03-16
    Rex Dillon 04-03-16 Member Since 2015

    Contrarian

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    "Mediocre Grandstanding"

    Sadly, the portion at the beginning, when he speaks of his time in Africa is so vague, it might as well be edited out. The portion covering Afghanistan adds no new insights. Instead of this book, read/listen to Ghost Wars or Taliban.

    The portion regarding Silicon Valley and US universities is as vague as the segment on Africa. I would not recommend the time commitment of this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edo Hirosaki, Japan 07-29-15
    Edo Hirosaki, Japan 07-29-15 Member Since 2010
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    "A Look Behind the Curtain of Today's Intelligence System"

    This book provides an interesting and compelling look at what happens in the CIA's world on covert intelligence without compromising the safety & security of those who continue to serve our nation. The perspective of the author is quite unique and he describes how decisions are made and what the Company did to respond to Al Qaeda before and after 9/11. He points out the same fault in the U.S. approach to foreign policy that Charlie Wilson has in the past--no matter how well we fight the battle, we always seem to screw up the end game. I would highly recommend this book to anyone interested in int'l relations, espionage, politics, and/or the CIA. It's well worth listening to and the reading progresses quickly and smoothly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Todd 05-23-12
    Todd 05-23-12
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    "A good read, an essential perspective"
    Where does The Art of Intelligence rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    This is an excellent view from the inside. It is an essential perspective in the discussion of how to respond to modern asymmetrical warfare.


    What did you like best about this story?

    This story operates as a description of the evolution of thinking about how we confront and destroy modern threats to the nation.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LMB 02-11-13
    LMB 02-11-13 Member Since 2015

    LMB

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    "It can stay Clandestine"

    Could only get 1/3 through this. Just nothing to keep my attention, and I really tried. No suspense. No enlightenment. Very slightly interesting in the beginning to hear about the history of the CIA. Nice to hear it from his voice.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 05-31-12
    Andy Westport, CT, United States 05-31-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "too redacted"

    There were some really good stories in this book, but Mr. Crumpton purposefully left out too many details....like what country was involved. As a result, it was often difficult for the listener to really get a mind's eye understanding of the full picture.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 07-23-16
    Joe Bloggs WASHINGTON, IL, United States 07-23-16 Member Since 2011

    Simple Joe

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    "Like a Baked Potato - plain without anything else"
    Any additional comments?

    Very interesting overall, but the lack of specific details makes the book bland as hell. He basically covers his career and the highlights through the years. We get a pseudo inside look at the CIA and intelligence, but the story continually suffers from a lack of specificity. I understand that anything like this has to be scrubbed of details to protect the innocent, but that doesn't mean it makes for good reading.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Callum Davenport-Lambton california 06-28-16
    Callum Davenport-Lambton california 06-28-16 Member Since 2016
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    "very interesting, yet falls short of expectations."

    very interesting topic. author was a little to brief on the topics I found most interesting and left out details about trade craft I was hoping would be included.

    I am not sure I really like the way the narrator read the book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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