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Publisher's Summary

A blistering critique of the forces threatening the American intelligence community, beginning with the president of the United States himself, in a time when that community's work has never been harder or more important
In the face of a president who lobs accusations without facts, evidence, or logic, truth tellers are under attack. Meanwhile, the world order is teetering on the brink. North Korea is on the verge of having a nuclear weapon that could reach all of the United States, Russians have mastered a new form of information warfare that undercuts democracy, and the role of China in the global community remains unclear. There will always be value to experience and expertise, devotion to facts, humility in the face of complexity, and a respect for ideas, but in this moment they seem more important, and more endangered, than they've ever been. American intelligence - the ultimate truth teller - has a responsibility in a post-truth world beyond merely warning of external dangers, and in The Assault on Intelligence, General Michael Hayden takes up that urgent work with profound passion, insight, and authority.
It is a sobering vision. The American intelligence community is more at risk than is commonly understood, for every good reason. Civil war or societal collapse is not necessarily imminent or inevitable, but our democracy's core structures, processes, and attitudes are under great stress. Many of the premises on which we have based our understanding of governance are now challenged, eroded, or simply gone. And we have a president in office who responds to overwhelming evidence from the intelligence community that the Russians are, by all acceptable standards of cyber conflict, in a state of outright war against us, not by leading a strong response, but by shooting the messenger.
There are fundamental changes afoot in the world and in this country. The Assault on Intelligence shows us what they are, reveals how crippled we've become in our capacity to address them, and points toward a series of effective responses. Because when we lose our intelligence, literally and figuratively, democracy dies.
©2018 Michael V. Hayden (P)2018 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By RB on 05-05-18

An essential read.

If you are interested in increasing your understanding of the history and context surrounding some of our time's most important issues, this is one of the essential reads, and time well-spent.

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9 of 9 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Jean on 07-13-18


I found this book most interesting and scary. I chose to read this particular book on the subject of intelligence problems in this country because it was written by General Michael V. Hayden. Hayden was the highest-ranking intelligence officer in the military. Like General Colin Powell, General Hayden went to college on the ROTC program. He got his degree in history and went into the Air Force. Hayden was the first commander of the Air Force Cyberwarfare Command. He has also been Deputy Director of the National Intelligence and Director of the National Security Agency as well as Director of the CIA. He is a visiting professor at George Mason University. He has served under four presidents and lists his political affiliation as Independent, but I feel he trends toward the conservative. I recently read James Comey’s book “A Higher Loyalty” and noted that Comey said he had high regards for Hayden.

Hayden’s book is an analysis from his professional perspective of what Trump and Trumpism means for the intelligence community. I don’t believe it covers new material, but I found the big picture he paints of our world most scary. Hayden did provide pros and cons of George W. Bush, Obama and Trump’s actions. He states that Trump does not trust or feel a need for the intelligence community. Hayden says the intelligence community has a big problem of speaking the truth to a power that does not want to listen. I found the section about how Russia decided to use information as a method of warfare extremely interesting. Hayden explains how they first used it on their own people and then the world. The author explains how Russia and other enemies take advantage of the social and cultural divide between the average American. Hayden demonstrates how they use social media and plant stories that are lies and repeat them until people believe them in spite of knowing they are lies. After reading this book I decided I needed to know more about informational warfare and the intelligence service. I will look for more books on the topic.

The book is eight and a half hours. General Hayden does an excellent job narrating his own book.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By ethan duff on 05-22-18

Great book, so-so audiobook

Since reading Jim Comey's 'A Higher Loyalty', Haydens book is something of a colder, more clinical, and more objectively reasoned book. It requires your attention, not least of all due to Hayden's performance - someone who I feel is far better 'off script'. Otherwise, this is a strong critique of the Trump Administration and the lack of understanding and respect for the intelligence insitutions it relies on to keep Americans safe. A good book, worth the read, but perhaps not the listen.

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