Inside the C.I.A.

  • by Ronald Kessler
  • Narrated by Chris Lane
  • 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In this unparalleled work of investigative journalism, Ronald Kessler reveals the inner world of the C.I.A. Based on extensive research and hundreds of interviews, including two with active directors of Central Intelligence, William H. Webster and Robert M. Gates, and with three former D.C.I.s, Inside the C.I.A. is the first in-depth, unbiased account of the Agency's core operations, its abject failures, and its resounding successes.

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What the Critics Say

"This tour is never dull, especially since it features so much .007 gadgetry, from water-spraying silent drills to eavesdropping devices that work by zapping laser beams through windows." (Los Angeles Times)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Pre- 9/11 look at CIA's strengths and weaknesses

Sometimes fascinating, sometimes boring, and ultimately somewhat tragic, Kessler's review of the CIA provides some valuable context for readers of the 9/11 Commission report. Written before 1999, this book has little to say about terrorism, and even less to say about the direction of the CIA under Woolsey in the Clinton years. Kessler devotes a large amount of time to subjects like Iran-Contra, Aldrich Ames, the contrasting styles of Casey and Webster, and the basic structure of the CIA. The reader will get a good feel for the CIA's culture, as well as a more realistic (that is, less fictionalized and romantic) view of what the CIA does and how it operates.

Quibbles:
The narrator is, frankly, not very dynamic. Kessler also repeats some details relentlessly; the controversy over the sale of CIA-themed coffee cups and the re-defection of Vitaly Yurchenko are two particularly annoying examples. The combination of a dull, lifeless narration with frequent repetition of details occasionally makes the book a bit boring. Nevertheless, if you are interested in the CIA's history up to about 1994 this is a must-have book.
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- Gregory R. Martin

Good But Not Thrilling

This audiobook features good information on the history, organization and politics of the CIA. However, it would have been more interesting if the author had written more about covert activities.
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- Joe Pawlowski

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-07-2000
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.