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Publisher's Summary

Secret instructions written in invisible ink
Covert communications slipped inside dead rats
Subminiature cameras hidden in ballpoint pens
If these sound like the stuff of science fiction or imaginary tools of James Bond's gadget-master Q's trade, think again. They are real-life devices created by the CIA's Office of Technical Service. Now, in the first book ever written about this ultrasecretive department, the former director of OTS teams up with an internationally renowned intelligence historian to give listeners an unprecedented look at the devices and operations deemed "inappropriate for public disclosure" by the CIA just two years ago.
Spycraft tells amazing life-and-death stories about this little-known group, much of it never before revealed. Against the backdrop of some of America's most critical periods in recent history - including the cold war, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the war on terror - the authors show the real technical and human story of how the CIA carries out its missions.
©2008 Robert Wallace, H. Keith Melton, and Henry R. Schlesinger (P)2008 Tantor
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Critic Reviews

"Forget James Bond's famous 'Q' and Hollywood, this is the most remarkable and revealing book ever published about the history and technology of spying." (Peter Earnest, executive director, International Spy Museum)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Richard on 07-29-08

Unique, informative history of the CIA

This is truly a unique book -- a long, unique book. However, potential readers (listeners) should not be intimidated by its sheer length. To the contrary, its varied themes, part CSI, part spy stories, part behind-the-scenes history, make it an interesting and entertaining collection.

At first glance, it may appear that this book was written just for those who enjoy reading spy novels and Popular Mechanics, or Popular Electronics. The technical details are adequate to tell the amazing story of the CIA's engineers and technicians, but they may not satisfy dedicated technophiles. This is not a "how-to" book. After all, there are security concerns about releasing the material in this book, and the authors obviously want to tell the story of these resourceful, creative CIA officers to as wide an audience as possible. By avoiding excessive technical minutiae, they were successful in keeping the book informative, yet readable.

With all of the post 9-11 CIA memoirs and histories that have been released in the past several years, it is difficult to decide what to read about this organization that plays such an important role in our nation's defense and security. However, this book, due to its unique technical insider perspective, stands out from these others as a "must read" for anyone who seeks to have an understanding and appreciation of the CIA's past, and more importantly, its future.

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38 of 39 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By B. Elliott on 08-24-08


Spycraft, an important work that must be listen to/read and understood, especially in light of cooling relations with the Russians(once again). Anyone who has lived through the cold war will remember the tensions of the 'doomsday' clock and how it colored our world. As I remembered living through those times I felt there was an under current beyond our perception, struggling for domiance. This book details the struggle and fills in all the things you thought must have been happening.

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12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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