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Inside the CIA: Revisedealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency
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Inside the CIA: Revisedealing the Secrets of the World's Most Powerful Spy Agency

4.1 17
by Ronald Kessler

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kessler ( Escape from the CIA ), who is the first journalist to be accorded the full cooperation of the CIA, here reveals more about the agency's structure, policies and key personnel than any previous writer has. He defines the missions of the agency's five components--the director and the directorates of operations, science and technology, intelligence, and administration. Kessler explores such diverse subjects as the agency's employment policies (the CIA, he maintains, prefers aggressive, manipulative recruits willing to lie and to break the laws of foreign countries), the director's daily presidential briefing, the CIA's counter-narcotics efforts, the physical plant itself (``The CIA compound is indeed a spooky place'') and the agency's struggle to create a viable public-relations policy. As to the agency's mandate, given the diminution of the Soviet threat, Kessler reports that the CIA is intensifying its effort to track nuclear proliferation, international drug trafficking and terrorism. A largely objective, evenhanded, highly informative survey. (Nov.)
Library Journal
Kessler ( Escape from the CIA , LJ 5/15/91) returns to ``the Company'' to relate how it has evolved since the mid-1970s. Here, he describes the organizational structure of the CIA, along with the responsibilities and day-to-day routines of the different directorates. Some of the details, such as those regarding the location and operation of the CIA complex in Virginia, are very interesting. Kessler makes the point that intelligence agencies are vital in today's dangerous world and that the CIA is a big bureaucracy full of ordinary people trying to do a good job at a difficult and complex task. While it reveals no startling ``secrets,'' Kessler's book is a good source of background information. Suitable for all intelligence collections. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/92.-- Daniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
Roland Green
This could be called most indispensable book of the year for the aspiring technothriller writer. It is definitely one of the most important books on the U.S. intelligence community in some years. Writing with the cooperation of active and retired personnel, Kessler offers a working portrait of the contemporary CIA. His background in journalistic study of intelligence, augmented by an unusual array of other resources, enables him to provide an account unique for balance, perspective, clarity of writing, and the large amount of factual material. One may quarrel with that amount, and one may quarrel with Kessler's emphasis upon William Webster, William Casey's successor. Otherwise, it is difficult to question Kessler's choice of material or deny the book a place in any current-affairs collection.

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Pocket Books
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4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.90(d)

Meet the Author

RONALD KESSLER is the New York Times bestselling author of The Terrorist Watch, The Bureau, Inside the White House, and The CIA at War. A former reporter for the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, he has won sixteen journalism awards. Kessler lives in Potomac, Maryland, with his wife, Pamela.

From the Hardcover edition.

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Inside the CIA 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a must read for anyone who is interested in the intelligence community or CIA. It gives an in-depth look into the working of the CIA. This was the first book that the agency was involved with, as it agreed to allow the author unprecidented access to the grounds of CIA & any employees that were willing to be interviewed. As a CIA gunky myself, I must say this is a great book and definitely worth the read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be very informative on the daily functions and purpose of the CIA. Also, the importance of the CIA to the security of our nation. I found it reassuring to know what is going on in a daily basis that the general public isn't aware of.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a really solid beginner's book. It reads like a textbook-very factual and dry. It gives a very basic understanding of the CIA and what they do and don't do and then utilizes examples(some of which are not great). Given that the book was written with the CIA's blessing-we can figure the info here is based on actual experience and not someone's guess. He also cites alot of different sources so there's consistency with the information. Two things to keep in mind; this is not written as a story line nor does it offer much analysis; the other thing is this is not an all encompassing book-it covers much more of the structure of the agency and the role of each. The folks who posted negative reviews are off base. This is a good solid introductory read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This place sucks nobody is on.
ryeLee More than 1 year ago
Although somewhat interesting, not a must read for me. Don't know, but it seemed to me, there should have been.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Talk about anything. ~~~C.I.A.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was more of a self agrandizement and self back slapping than an actual solid look at the CIA. I would not recommend this to anyone with a sincere desire to understand what the CIA has meant to the USA. Much of the information had been in the newspapers. In my opinion there were no secrets. And the "inside" information had more to do with the Directors than operations. Each chapter seems to have been written in a different room, then all brought together for a book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JRBACH More than 1 year ago
Reveals the good and the bad very authoritatively. Explains how bureaucratic infrastructure can override objectives at all levels. Shows the duplication of agencies within this vital part of our government.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
VERY poorly written. He uses lots of examples but does not explain how/why they are significant. He is just very intent on showing how many interviews he conducted. It reads like a high school freshman's research paper. I was very disappointed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book gives a very good detailed look at what the CIA does and what it is about. It is recommended for those who are in the Intelligence Community
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Okay. Thabk you.*looks at him like he should know what ti do next.*