This is definitely a “one of a kind” addition to the body of literature on espionage and foreign intelligence.
It is well written and easy to read. The author, Mr. Olson provides a degree of authenticity to the book as he himself is a former Agency officer. He is best known as the officer to whom the Marine Corps Spy, Clayton Lonetree confessed.
The book is broken into two parts. The first section focuses on the great philosophers and their arguments. It includes everything from the bible, through Machiavelli, to Utilitarianism. The second section contains 50 hypothetical scenarios, each with a moral dilemma. These scenarios run the gamut of using prostitutes, to torture, using academics, seduction, kidnapping, fabricating documents, spying on allies, and so on. Each dilemma is then evaluated by several different people, among whom are intelligence professionals, businessmen, academics, church leaders, and students. The author concludes each scenario with an assessment of what happens in the real world. Since each scenario is short, the reader can move through the book quickly or take frequent stops to ponder each problem.
This book provides a thought provoking look at the world of intelligence and is a worthwhile read for anyone in the security business. In fact, this is good reading for anyone in government. All in all, a great book.