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Spycraft Audiobook
Spycraft
Written by: 
Robert Wallace, Henry Robert Schelsinger
Narrated by: 
David Drummond
 >   > 
Spycraft Audiobook

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

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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 (722 )
5 star
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4.0 (381 )
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4.0 (375 )
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Dave Spokane, WA, United States 10-11-11
    Dave Spokane, WA, United States 10-11-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 02-21-10
    Jeffrey 02-21-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    "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 2014
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    "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 2015

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

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "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
  •  
    Robert Patterson Calgary, AB Canada 03-10-09
    Robert Patterson Calgary, AB Canada 03-10-09 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Informative, Interesting and Well Written"

    A great peace of history.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful

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