If these sound like the stuff of science fiction or imaginary tools of James Bond's gadget-master Q's trade, think again. They are real-life devices created by the CIA's Office of Technical Service. Now, in the first book ever written about this ultrasecretive department, the former director of OTS teams up with an internationally renowned intelligence historian to give listeners an unprecedented look at the devices and operations deemed "inappropriate for public disclosure" by the CIA just two years ago.
Spycraft tells amazing life-and-death stories about this little-known group, much of it never before revealed. Against the backdrop of some of America's most critical periods in recent history - including the cold war, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the war on terror - the authors show the real technical and human story of how the CIA carries out its missions.
©2008 Robert Wallace, H. Keith Melton, and Henry R. Schlesinger; (P)2008 Tantor
"Forget James Bond's famous 'Q' and Hollywood, this is the most remarkable and revealing book ever published about the history and technology of spying." (Peter Earnest, executive director, International Spy Museum)
This book, never gets dry. Never gets boring. From era to era, mission to mission it's level of detail and intrigue stay high. It ignites the imagination, while providing awesome insight into recent history and the clandestine service.
Exactly what i expected! 5 Stars!
A book about the history of gadgets used in spycraft.
Lots of excellent little side mission stories within. Also a few of major events explained from a different point of view. Explained in a such a manner that no technical aptitude is required to understand and enjoy.
A fun listen. Very satisfied.
I'm Robert's wife, a retired physician and homeschool mom whose grown kids now love history, literature, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction
I learned a lot of tidbits from history made interesting by the devilish details behind them. A good listen.
This book tells you the high and low tech ways that the CIA spyed on its targets, usually the Russians. It is well written. It does a good job of taking you there.
Learning about the history of the CIA's Spytechs.
I found his narration to be okay. It wasn't stellar, but it wasn't annoying either.
The breaks between chapters were not long enough. A chapter would end and the following one would immediately begin. I found this fairly jarring.
I've been listening to audio books for well over twenty years (even before audible was available). Secretly, I wish I could be a narrator.
It was interesting to learn about the technology that helps keep our country safe from our enemies and the people who help make it happen. As and electronics engineer, I regret I never even thought of working for CIA or NSA. (I'm too old for that now.) I was really impressed how CIA taps into small entrepreneurs and inventors to get cutting edge technology. Most of the technology discussed in this book is obsolete now, so one can only image what they're doing now.
I was hoping to get the story of developing and using spy gadgets, instead I got a self-serving story of a CIA historian who praised the work the department he worked for at some point. Bunch of abbreviations, dates and names I don't care about. Politics inside CIA. Booooooring. I only made it through first 2 hours and then gave up.
It took a while for me to get into this one, but after a couple hours in I found myself unable to shut it off.
The book is a definite must read for lovers of spy-tech and spy history. It is very detailed in its stories of individual instances used to illustrate techniques and technologies. Unfortunately, it meanders just a bit in its tellings. In using individual people as vehicles for technology, it seems to cover large spans of time (years or decades) talking about a specific peice of spycraft, then jumps back in time to tell yet another story of another person, in the same time periods, to talk about another peice of technology. Finally, the use of the title word (Spycraft) for every peice of technology, technique, and procedure, while potentially acurate, gets some what distracting as you listen along and hear everything described as a "new piece of spycraft" or an "innovative development in spycraft."
All in all, the reading is magnificent, the stories are fun and the technology is innovative. A great genre piece.
This book had great information about the tech. The real-world examples made it a thriller at times. Technical people will appreciate this book. The political analysis and back-drop help paint a precise picture of the time periods.
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