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As in his previous books, artist and geographer Paglen (Torture Taxi: On the Trail of the CIA's Rendition Flights) explores the clandestine activities of the U.S. military and the CIA, giving readers a thorough and provocative tour of places that officially do not exist. Paglen has a brisk reporting style and is an engaging storyteller. His journey into what he calls the "black world" of classified locations-from research facilities to secret prisons-this time takes him across the country and around the world. The classified region he describes is shockingly vast, well funded, and not accountable for its activities. At times, Paglen has a subtle touch, allowing the facts he describes gradually to convince the reader of how essentially undemocratic all this secrecy is. Unfortunately, his approach at other times seems unnecessarily theatrical. For example, his description of camping out in a hotel room in Las Vegas to watch planes come and go comes off as a bit gimmicky. Such narrative is likely meant to make the book more readable, but the story Paglen is telling is gripping enough without any stunts. Highly recommended.