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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1987, Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad is a unique primer that teaches the principles, strategy, and tradecraft of counterintelligence (CI). CI is often misunderstood and narrowly equated with security and catching spies, which are only part of the picture. As William R. Johnson explains, CI is the art of actively protecting secrets but also aggressively thwarting, penetrating, and deceiving hostile intelligence organizations to neutralize or even manipulate their operations.

Johnson, a career CIA intelligence officer, lucidly presents the nuts and bolts of the business of counterintelligence and the characteristics that make a good CI officer. Although written during the late Cold War, this book continues to be useful for intelligence professionals, scholars, and students because the basic principles of CI are largely timeless. General readers will enjoy the lively narrative and detailed descriptions of tradecraft that reveal the real world of intelligence and espionage. A new foreword by former CIA officer and noted author William Hood provides a contemporary perspective on this valuable book and its author.

The book is published by Georgetown University Press.

©2009 William R. Johnson (P)2012 Redwood Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

" Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad will not only be a fascinating read for the general public but will also serve as a text for a whole new generation of CI trainees." (James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence and author of Fair Play: The Moral Dilemmas of Spying)
"This classic work, packed with timeless principles and highly readable, is a vital addition to the bookshelf of any intelligence professional." (David N. Edger, former CIA operations officer, and visiting professor, University of Oklahoma)

What listeners say about Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Good insight in CI

Will help you understand the key concepts of CI, though the material is a little outdated, but what should you expect for a book written in the 80s? Many useful techniques discussed and should be considered when dealing with intelligence and CI in practice. Would like to get more current techniques in play these days, but again the subject matter discussed still is relevant in today's intelligence gathering and compiling.

1 person found this helpful

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Outdated but good

It was a great overview of counterintelligence and management of counterintelligence from the early 1990s. Many of the basics (the “plumbing” as the author calls it) are still sound, but it is definitely outdated.

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Break down of basic skills

This book broke down everything that I needed to know about CI. It's an essential read for someone that is considering that career field or is already in it and is looking for additional mentorship.

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A great CI book

My favorite CI book. Very helpful!! It provides few good tips and some common sense, obvious or well known techniques.

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This is not a spy novel

Would you consider the audio edition of Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad to be better than the print version?

Yes, only because I listen while I retouch my work and it would be difficult to read and do photoshop at the same time.

Who was your favorite character and why?

That is a silly question, think of this book as a textbook.

What does Gary L. Willprecht bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

His voice.

If you could give Thwarting Enemies at Home and Abroad a new subtitle, what would it be?

Counterintelligence, a brief introduction.

Any additional comments?

It's listed on the CIA's reading list under books about operations.

3 people found this helpful

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  • N
  • 03-13-19

Informative but...

The only thing these books make me do on a regular basis is lose my appetite especially when I see the topic of conversation, or several of them to be more accurate, walk past me as I'm reading. They have no respect.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-14-21

spy skills

details the technical skills used by the CIA in counter intelligence operation all around the world