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Publisher's Summary

In this remarkable tour de force of investigative reporting, James Bamford exposes the inner workings of America's largest, most secretive, and arguably most intrusive intelligence agency. The NSA has long eluded public scrutiny, but The Puzzle Palace penetrates its vast network of power and unmasks the people who control it, often with shocking disregard for the law. So sensitive was the information uncovered that the agency twice attempted to suppress the book, threatened the author with prosecution, and even raided one of the libraries he used. 

This is a brilliant account of the use and abuse of technological espionage.

©1982 V. James Bamford (P)2018 Tantor
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: History

What listeners say about The Puzzle Palace

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Great NSA genesis - but watch the publication date

This book is an excellent telling of the genesis of the NSA and how they got to be so pervasive and secretive. Many struggles they have encountered around legality and ethics are documented in this detailed history, and it seems many of these issues are still faced daily today. But keep in mind this book was published in 1982 - so the story telling ends abruptly before the end of the cold war and doesn't cover anything more modern than a Cray 1 supercomputer. Your 5 year old iPhone 4 had more processing power than what the NSA had to work with at the time. Bamford states that the NSA's goal is to stay 5-years ahead of the state-of-the-art commercially available computing power - so I'd really like to read an updated version of this expose with a look at their current capabilities.

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Still relevant today

It is mind blowing to think that this was put out in 1982 and topics discussed in the book are still relevant nearly 40 years later. The Narrator is OK, I needed to keep coming back to the book periodically in order to finish the book.

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Complete and Authoritative

In depth presentation of the NSA up to 1982, the date of publication. It's almost as though the reader is present at historic milestones of the NSA.

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excellent history lesson on an important Intel ent

Book has some age to it, but the history won't change much. Excellent recounting of a highly secretive intelligence agency