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The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service | [Henry A. Crumpton]

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

A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert here 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. The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Henry Crumpton's espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever.
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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

4.0 (193 )
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  •  
    Ron Dallas, TX, USA 08-01-12
    Ron Dallas, TX, USA 08-01-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "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
  •  
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 05-20-12
    Anne Richmond, British Columbia, Canada 05-20-12 Member Since 2011

    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.

    11 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LMB crystal lake, IL, United States 02-11-13
    LMB crystal lake, IL, United States 02-11-13 Member Since 2011

    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 2 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
  •  
    H. Gschwindt De Gyor Northern Virginia, USA 06-06-12
    H. Gschwindt De Gyor Northern Virginia, USA 06-06-12 Member Since 2010

    Henrik de Gyor

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.


    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 2002
    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.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yachtmaster Hawaii, USA 08-30-13
    Yachtmaster Hawaii, USA 08-30-13 Member Since 2012

    Yachtmasterkyle

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    "A Fantastic Read"

    This was an extremely well written book by an expert in the field. I would consider it a must if you are interested in the subject matter, especially the development of the US drone program.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Knight1649 Jefferson City, MO, United States 06-27-13
    Knight1649 Jefferson City, MO, United States 06-27-13 Member Since 2011

    I am a Clinical Medical Hypnotherapist with specialities in Auto Immune, PTSD, ADHD, Cancer, and Autism. I focus on very difficult cases.

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    "Entertaining book, great subject, well presented"
    What made the experience of listening to The Art of Intelligence the most enjoyable?

    The story. The narrator spoked as if you and he were in a living room or a den simply having a wonderful conversation.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The narrator was the main character and the storyline really doesn't use other characters as anything other than additional decoration to the story line.

    The book is almost presented as a debriefing transcript.


    What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

    I liked the entire story and the "factual way it was presented." If however, I was not truly interested in the subject, I would never have finished it. Most of the narration is presented in a monotone and the other characters are very flat. Mr. Colacci's performance would be greatly enhanced if he performed the story with his voice rather than presenting it in a "give me the facts, just the facts."


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Life in the shadows


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gary 04-03-13
    Gary 04-03-13
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    "ok story"

    it was an enjoyable read. it can inform you what CS does for all of us

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Jones Texas 02-12-13
    William Jones Texas 02-12-13
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    "If you love spy stories, this is good meat!"

    Made even better as I watched Zero Dark Thirty about halfway through the listening of this book. I am fascinated by the events that unfolded after 9/11 and anything in the spy world. I really enjoyed it even if it isn't the greatest story or narration ever. If you're not a spy nut, you may not enjoy it, but if you are, it's one you will like.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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