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Publisher's Summary

A legendary CIA spy and counterterrorism expert tells the spellbinding story of his high-risk, action-packed career while illustrating the growing importance of America's intelligence officers and their secret missions.

For a crucial period, Henry Crumpton led the CIA's global covert operations against America's terrorist enemies, including al Qaeda. In the days after 9/11, the CIA tasked Crumpton to organize and lead the Afghanistan campaign. With Crumpton's strategic initiative and bold leadership, from the battlefield to the Oval Office, U.S. and Afghan allies routed al Qaeda and the Taliban in less than 90 days after the Twin Towers fell. At the height of combat against the Taliban in late 2001, there were fewer than 500 Americans on the ground in Afghanistan, a dynamic blend of CIA and Special Forces. The campaign changed the way America wages war. This book will change the way America views the CIA.

The Art of Intelligence draws from the full arc of Crumpton's espionage and covert action exploits to explain what America's spies do and why their service is more valuable than ever. From his early years in Africa, where he recruited and ran sources, from loathsome criminals to heroic warriors; to his liaison assignment at the FBI, the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, the development of the UAV Predator program, and the Afghanistan war; to his later work running all CIA clandestine operations inside the United States, he employs enthralling storytelling to teach important lessons about national security, but also about duty, honor, and love of country.

No book like The Art of Intelligence has ever been written - not with Crumpton's unique perspective, in a time when America faced such grave and uncertain risk. It is an epic, sure to be a classic in the annals of espionage and war.

©2012 Henry A. Crumpton (P)2012 Penguin Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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  • Overall
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loved it. so much insight

a beautiful wonderful weaving of art. tells the value of intelligence in an ever evolving world.

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VERY INFORMATIVE!

Loved this auible book, it is as extremely informative, a must read or listen for anyone curious about international politics!

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the art of intelligence

it is a great book but because of its pure facts and accuracy it can at times be a little dry. very informative.

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Engaging story - interesting insights

I'm very much interested in military history, and this was a unique view into CIA operations and the initial war in Afghanistan post-9/11.

I found the story very engaging, so much so that I finished this audiobook in three days.

Definitely recommended for anyone who's interested in the intelligence services & military history.

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Brilliant Insight to Clandestine Service

This book blew me away. Crumpton is a skilled writer, which is a cherished talent amongst officers in the CIA who must often explain complex situations and actors through the medium of written report. The story, of both Crumpton's service and of the overarching intelligence/foreign security policy, is revealing and instrumental in demonstrating that the intelligence service requires much more than spycraft. It requires a good deal of open mindedness, cultural acceptance, and broad, inclusive perspective. A must read for any looking to someday work for the State Department or CIA.

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A Fantastic Read

This was an extremely well written book by an expert in the field. I would consider it a must if you are interested in the subject matter, especially the development of the US drone program.

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  • Knight1649
  • Jefferson City, MO, United States
  • 06-27-13

Entertaining book, great subject, well presented

What made the experience of listening to The Art of Intelligence the most enjoyable?

The story. The narrator spoked as if you and he were in a living room or a den simply having a wonderful conversation.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The narrator was the main character and the storyline really doesn't use other characters as anything other than additional decoration to the story line.<br/><br/>The book is almost presented as a debriefing transcript.

What about David Colacci’s performance did you like?

I liked the entire story and the "factual way it was presented." If however, I was not truly interested in the subject, I would never have finished it. Most of the narration is presented in a monotone and the other characters are very flat. Mr. Colacci's performance would be greatly enhanced if he performed the story with his voice rather than presenting it in a "give me the facts, just the facts."

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Life in the shadows

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ok story

it was an enjoyable read. it can inform you what CS does for all of us

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If you love spy stories, this is good meat!

Made even better as I watched Zero Dark Thirty about halfway through the listening of this book. I am fascinated by the events that unfolded after 9/11 and anything in the spy world. I really enjoyed it even if it isn't the greatest story or narration ever. If you're not a spy nut, you may not enjoy it, but if you are, it's one you will like.

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  • Gregory
  • Darien, CT, United States
  • 05-19-12

tedious

Would you try another book from Henry A. Crumpton and/or David Colocci?

no

Would you ever listen to anything by Henry A. Crumpton again?

no

What didn’t you like about David Colocci’s performance?

the attitude is one of false innocence, of surprise at worldly things

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Art of Intelligence?

the first chapters

Any additional comments?

I have only started listening, so this review may be unfair. However, the book is very slow and wordy. It makes me wonder if it was ghostwritten. It is flat and devoid of texture. And I have to say that the author's characterization of the Valerie Plame outing is tendentious and political. He ascribes her unveiling as a CIA agent as due to people on George W Bush's staff. This is only true if you take the view that everybody in the Executive Branch is "on Bush's staff." It is well-known that Plame's unveiling was due to a comment by Richard Armitage at the State Department and that the CIA did not wave off the columnist when it was queried by him. The characterization of the unveiling as coming from Bush's staff and Libby's conviction for perjury as a confirmation of this is simply political cant. And this interpretation is coming from an INTELLIGENCE officer who presumably deals in nuance. It destroyed the believability of the book for me.

16 of 32 people found this review helpful