THIS IS NOT A NOVEL! After reading the book and all the reviews, I think the most important thing that any potential reader needs to know is that this is not, and was obviously not intended to compete with spy novels. I say this because several of the negative reviews that I have read complain about the book being boring and having no intrigue or drama. If you are looking for a story that is full of suspense, this is not a book that you will enjoy. If, on the other hand, you are interested in how our nation collects information and influences events in other countries, this is an excellent choice. I think you will find this an easy read. The coauthor, Vernon Loeb, is a professional writer and the book is well written and polished. While some discussions of this book may make it sound dry, I did not find the first part of this book that way. The second part of the book, covering his time in private business after he left the CIA, might be more appropriate in a separate...
I strongly recommend this book! I happily disclose that I received the book from the publisher at my request and that I have worked for Jack directly. I have also reviewed hundreds of books on Intelligence. This is easily the most insightful and sophisticated look at the important covert action aspect of the intelligence business. This critical tool of statecraft was established in the charter that created the CIA during the Truman administration. It gave CIA the mandate to carry out "special activities as directed by the President." Over his 32-year career, Jack was uniquely involved in a wide range of these covert activities, including the ousting of Allende in Chile, the Iran Contra affair, the successful defeat of the Russians in Afghanistan, the hunt for drug Kingpin Pablo Escobar and the reinstatement of Aristide in Haiti.
He also weaves in his direct experiences with Rick Ames, the Soviet mole inside CIA as well as the hunt for Robert Hanssen, the mole inside the...
After spending thirty plus years of my life in the US intelligence arena, I rarely read a "spy" book any more. I find most are badly written by amateurs or "wanna be's" or are so full of gross errors as to be laughable. Jack Devine's book is head and shoulders above any spy book I have read for years.
Jack had a fascinating career. He has written not only about his work, but the times, people and places surrounding his efforts. You can "feel the room" when you read it.
I am often asked by young people who I would recommend reading to understand clandestine work in CIA. This is the definitive book for his generation of case officers.
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