Copyright ©1999 by Gordon Thomas, All Rights Reserved; Copyright (P)1999 NewStar Media Inc.
One of the first things on this tape is the suggestion that since Israel formed the Mossad after 1948, they have been involved deeply in every major event in world's history, including the Kennedy assassinations and the death of Princess Diana. Immediately, every piece of information divulged in the entire book becomes suspect. There is such a wealth of evildoings listed and discussed that one must believe it was written to bring down the Mossad, not elevate it. Every country is self-serving and must have its spies, and they all have their dirty tricks and unspeakable events, but I came away with the feeling that the Mossad is the worst of them all... which must mean the most successful? I simply do not feel any sense of balance in this book. Surely the Mossad is involved in patriotic activities as well as international snooping? I give it 3 stars for whatever may be true. I would not use this for a reference book.
This was my 6th book from audible and the only one that is riveting - can't put down listening. The voice is the perfect tone and accent to reinforce the reading. The quality of journalism is superb, getting the right balance between factual information and a great compelling narrative. A must listen for anyone interested in current affairs and the dark underbelly of global intelligence. The relation between the CIA and Mossad is intriguing lsitening.
-This is the book all amateur spies wish were true. Form the plot to murder Lady Di to the kidnapping of an old nazi in Argentina or the sale of missiles from Iran, this book documents the different activities the Mossad has undertaken and how it has acted sometimes in accordance to the israeli government and sometimes in disagreement. Smoky rooms, dingy pubs and backroom deals abound. The picture that emerges is that of an agency too caught up in its own self-importance, whose obsession with the sex lifes of anybody borders in the pathological and whose methods seem to consist mostly of plain bullying and blackmail. Unsofisticated and undiplomatic in most cases and worse: with a lack of a priorities as far as objectives. I guess that might be the real picture, I'll never know, but it is hard to understand why anybody would want to write about it.
I found this really interesting and it kinda made me want to be a spy. Like any work of history/journalism, the author has some biases. But, as far as books about israel go, the biases are not overwhelming and the author is upfront enough about his motives for writing the book that a reasonably critical listening should not have much trouble putting these stories in the appropriately broader context. The author lingers on some small potatoes stuff that he seems to be the first to have uncovered, but the whole book isnt that long; so, it's forgivable. He is also obsessed with celebrities (the pope, Princess Diana...); so they get a lot more attention than they should in any book about Israeli national security, but...again...forgivable.
The time was well spent , but it was very hard to keep up with all the jumps in time and personnel. It would have been better if the author would have dealt with the history chronologically - rather than jumping back and forth from one time and director of Mossad to another - often without any glue to hold the disparate parts together.
Yes. but ony to those who are familiar with intelligence organizations.
HIs narration was good because I thought I was listening to an Israeli telling the story
Yes as there is a wealth of information to absorb and one is left with questions some time after listening to it
The revalation of what created the Mossad and thier philospohy.
His use of the language and his easy listening style drew me into the story
The story does not provide a cohesive portrait of the agency and its evolution.
Thomas could have selected one of its many stories and developed it completely or written a much larger and more comprehensive book. It reads like a series of tabloid stories.
It was a rather poor performance. Words were rushed, swallowed and mumbled. You had to strain inorder to understand each sentence. Bikel is an interesting character and a great singer, but this performance only made a poor book worse.
Considering the incredible subject matter, there were no evident redeeming qualities. It would have been much better if Thomas would have spent the time to delve into some of the characters.
This is an excellent book, well researched by an investigative/political reporter who has written 53 books. The great Theodore Bikel was a terrific narrator.
The best thing about it is it takes a neutral stance to Mossad's actions. At times you find yourself cheering them on, then you are horrified by what they're up to. That's just what we already know about the Mossad, that they are tough as they come, so that contradiction is to be expected. It all seems plausible and there is no claim to be involved with any plot to kill Princess Diana, only a coincidental connection with someone in the crash.
Apparently a new edition of the book is coming out in 2012 bringing it up to date. If we're lucky, a new audiobook will follow.
Only complaint: it was abridged! I had the actual book out of the library and read some sections again to get more detail.
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