"An incisive and important account by an authentic intelligence professional about the evolution of intelligence and covert action in a changing world. Shackley’s descriptions are riveting, and as far back as 1992, he called for a director of national intelligence and fingered terrorism as a priority problem. Every aspiring intelligence officer and anyone interested in the realities of intelligence should read this book."
"A must read for espionage and intelligence buffs and one that the uninitiated will appreciate as well. For example, Shackley offers a dispassionate but gripping insider's account of CIA activities leading up to the delivery of the Soviet missiles to Cuba, the CIA’s confirmation of their presence, and the Kennedy-Khrushchev agreement that ended the crisis. It’s an account that once again brings home just how close the episode came to converting the Cold War into a hot one, with its potentially apocalyptic consequences."
"Provides details important to understanding many Cold War crises, and peels back the cloak-and-dagger CIA image to reveal that collecting and analyzing intelligence is a tough intellectual task not for the faint of heart or mind. It also clearly demonstrates the critical need for human intelligence collection and its ability, if properly analyzed, to provide advance warning to policymakers to prevent surprises. Following the surprise of 9/11, policymakers and citizens could learn much about the value of human intelligence collection and about the responsibilities of a Cold War spy by reading this senior spymaster’s revealing memoirs."
"Offers considerable miitary detail from the proverbial horse's mouth."
"Lively and informative . . . It is also a good story of how an operative actually works in the field."
"A good read that deserves four cloaks and as many daggers."
"Extremely valuable--a firsthand accont by someone in operations at a critical juncture, with lessons for all."