We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda | [Robert Wallace, Henry Robert Schelsinger]

Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda

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.
Regular Price:$34.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

  • Secret instructions written in invisible ink
  • Covert communications slipped inside dead rats
  • Subminiature cameras hidden in ballpoint pens

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

What the Critics Say

"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)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (542 )
5 star
 (175)
4 star
 (193)
3 star
 (113)
2 star
 (44)
1 star
 (17)
Overall
4.0 (215 )
5 star
 (88)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (12)
1 star
 (6)
Story
4.0 (212 )
5 star
 (83)
4 star
 (72)
3 star
 (41)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    K. Lange Las Vegas, NV United States 03-09-12
    K. Lange Las Vegas, NV United States 03-09-12 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    574
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "How they did it"
    What did you love best about Spycraft?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brad Wyoming, MI, United States 12-26-11
    Brad Wyoming, MI, United States 12-26-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Pretty interesting history of the CIA."
    What made the experience of listening to Spycraft the most enjoyable?

    Learning about the history of the CIA's Spytechs.


    What aspect of David Drummond’s performance would you have changed?

    I found his narration to be okay. It wasn't stellar, but it wasn't annoying either.


    Any additional comments?

    The breaks between chapters were not long enough. A chapter would end and the following one would immediately begin. I found this fairly jarring.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 12-22-11
    Bryan San Diego, CA, United States 12-22-11 Member Since 2011

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    24
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Very Informative and Entertaining"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    alex Seattle, WA, United States 12-19-11
    alex Seattle, WA, United States 12-19-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    17
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Boring as hell for a technical person."
    What disappointed you about Spycraft?

    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.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Robert Wallace and Henry Robert Schelsinger again?

    no


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave Spokane, WA, United States 10-11-11
    Dave Spokane, WA, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow to start, finishes well"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chad LA GRANDE, OR, United States 06-04-11
    Chad LA GRANDE, OR, United States 06-04-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "An interesing, if wandering history"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeffrey flint, MI, United States 02-21-10
    Jeffrey flint, MI, United States 02-21-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    27
    11
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Good information"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christian Kent, WA, USA 09-22-09
    Christian Kent, WA, USA 09-22-09 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    55
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "An abridged version might have been better"

    This book is very long and only intermittently interesting. The first seven or so chapters are comprised largely of the humdrum history of CIA personnel, organization, and bureaucracy. The final section is a glorified appendix, and it repeats much of the information found earlier in the book.

    There are intriguing stories of operations and fascinating descriptions of equipment interspersed among the dullness, but it's an exercise in patience getting from one to the next.

    In the end the book illustrated to me what an incredible waste of resources have gone and continue to go into spying on our enemies and ourselves, with little (or no?) substantive results to show for it.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colin Detroit 01-15-11
    Colin Detroit 01-15-11 Member Since 2009

    Thanks Audible for your continued support of "This Week in Tech" over at TWiT.tv

    HELPFUL VOTES
    139
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    109
    78
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    24
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "more Cold War then Al-Queda - but great!"

    so it starts off slow and ends sorta slow, but the middle is great [{}]

    near the end there is some repeating of stuff that was in the beginning of the book but it is really to give more info about the device or operation [{}]

    this is a great book that covers some great times in history, although you dont know of what is told as it was secret at the time and was not made public so its not something that was in newspapers or on tv, you can still understand and appreciate what is going on [{}]

    the beginning of the book is sorta slow but it picks up pretty fast and keeps going until the last 2 hours or so ad its then a recap or just a closing - its not that its a bad ending its just that you dont get much of the Al-Queda stuff its mostly Cold War through the book as that was a huge part and took up so much of the CIA's time - there is then some Vietnam stuff and brief Afghanistan section then back to a recap of items used and some terms and its over [{}]

    I liked the book as it was a departure from normal "Spy Novels" as it was mostly real stuff and how technological problems were overcome as well as a few failures [{}]

    I say get this book because its something that anyone should be able to enjoy

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Max R Bales 03-10-09
    Max R Bales 03-10-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "Great book"

    Part one was mezmorizing, Part two was great but not as much fun as the cold war.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 21-30 of 31 results PREVIOUS1234NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.