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Tiger Trap: America's Secret Spy War with China
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Tiger Trap: America's Secret Spy War with China

3.39 of 5 stars 3.39  ·  rating details  ·  193 ratings  ·  23 reviews
For decades, while America obsessed over Soviet spies, China quietly penetrated the highest levels of government. Now, for the first time, based on numerous interviews with key insiders at the FBI and CIA as well as with Chinese agents and people close to them, David Wise tells the full story of China’s many victories and defeats in its American spy wars.Two key cases inte ...more
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published June 14th 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (first published January 1st 2011)
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Patrick Lee
Very good insight into the mentality of espionage during the Cold War. While the game of espionage is perhaps best represented in the American mindset as US vs USSR, this book takes a look at the other major world power, China. While American and Russian spies focused exclusively on turning people with cash or some other enticement, China prefers to use loyalty to the country in recruiting agents. The book takes on one specific case of espionage and shows how effective the idea is. Another form ...more
I really can't place my finger on why I didn't finish this book. The subject matter was very interesting, but I think the story line jumped around a bit too much and the author tried too hard to make it into a thriller, and it fell flat.
The story telling itself was not impressive (2-star, maybe). But the subject was interesting (for me).

There were some stuff that wasn't what I thought before I read this book. Like, I always thought that counter-intelligence agents were supposed to be the best agents a country had. They weren't. Spionage was a very serious crime. Didn't seem to be.

The way the FBI handled spionage case in this story made me understand why failure reports in my company were just heaps of rubbish.

I don't think th
I’m not a student of Chinese-US relations. I’d have to launch into fact-checking and further reading to make a halfway decent analysis of the veracity of Wise’s information. Since I’ve got a gargantuan reading list to conquer for school, such an investigation isn’t forthcoming. It is probable that, in time, I will learn more of this topic serendipitously. For now, blissful in my ignorance, I’m delighted to say that this book turned out to be what I’d hoped: A FUN SUMMER READ.

Written for a mains
Michael Griswold
David Wise has written a very readable account that claims to be a history of Chinese espionage within the borders of the United States. More than history of Chinese actions however, its' also a history lined with leaks both known and unknown within the various intelligence organizations within the United States. Wise begins by detailing the conventional Cold War nature of the espionage community as being focused on the Russia/Soviet Union threat, while China has perhaps eclipsed the Russian thr ...more
The best thing about this book is that it reads like a spy thriller. The prose is easy to understand (even when discussing technical specifications of nuclear secrets) and at less than 250 pages, it reads very quickly. The characters in the book are well fleshed out, with enough background given that you actually care about what's happening with/to/around them.

The issue I had with this book was the organization. The prologue starts by bringing up the two most important (?) cases of Chinese espio
I have a hankering for a good spy thriller, and have been looking for the new wave of China-oriented fiction to come and replace the old Russian-oriented stuff of the Cold War era. I was also interested in the news reports surrounding the (alleged) hacking by Chinese agents of various governments around the world. When I found Tiger Trap, I was really hoping for some sort of insight into this world.

What I got out of Tiger Trap was an extremely dry retelling, and retelling, and re-re-telling of f
Maybe it shouldn't have come as a surprise, but the American three letter agencies are asleep at the wheel again. While keeping themselves busy with fighting "the red menace", the real red menace quietly crept upon us. The bureaus did not seem to have even comprehended the Chinese military and industrial espionage tactics, which in addition to "traditional" information buying and blackmail, also included gathering small bits of seemingly unimportant information from exchange students to the USA ...more
A fascinating and thrilling read, recounting major events of the last 30 years concerning Chinese espionage within the U.S. Wise delivers an adrenaline filled narrative of U.S. counterintelligence maneuvering in step with Chinese spy networks, uncovering a vipers nest of PRC-sponsored agents with access to the U.S.'s most prized military secrets and government officials.
Donald P Brown
Interesting and Revealing of Ongoing China Espionage

David brings together accounts of various China intelligence collection efforts, recounting the roles of a number of US and China players -- as well as US counterintelligence efforts. It is worth reading and pondering.
Martin Grayson
Interesting look at the failure of the U.S. "counter intelligence" apparatus as as a result of competition and jealousy among agencies (CIA-FBI-DOA, etc.), immature, gun culture, insecure, "macho," (and, thus, easily seduced "intelligence" agents), in the context of a slow but steady coordinated espionage effort by the PRC (not to mention Taiwan and others.) How an FBI agent ends up sleeping with an "asset" he is assigned to "control," at the same time she is sleeping with a CIA agent, etc. etc. ...more
Will Saunders
Excellent Book!! The author, David Wise, gave a presentation at my place of employment and talked about his methodology and data collection processes that informed his writing. It was just as fascinating as I envisioned it would be. This book is very enlightining and focuses on the counterintelligence efforts the United States has toward China. The title is sort of a play on words, in that it (1) bears the name of a code name of a closed counterintelligence Chinese case; and (2) reflects the rep ...more
Many books have been written on the Soviet Union and Russia spying on the United States but I have not come across many that are focused on China and their quest to spy on the US. There have been names and stories that have popped up in the main stream over the past few years, Wen Ho Lee, Google hacks and the like, but those stories don't go into the depth that you find in this book. While the chapter on cyber espionage was fairly light, which was a bit of a disappointment, the level of depth ar ...more
Not the most engaging writer, but an interesting introduction to the topic. The real villains don't seem to be the Chinese, but rather the FBI and the Department of Justice. Ego, hubris, and a penchant for extramarital affairs are excellent facilitators for espionage.

I also found the whole topic of "graymail" fascinating. Prosecuting unregistered agents of foreign powers remains difficult because of the calculated threat by defense attorneys to make sure that top secret materials get entered int
Very well written in the first few chapters. Sense of intrigue and unbelief created. However on some chapters like the one on the Trident II Missile, the reader is left wondering after all the leads results in dead ends. Interesting look at the world of counterintelligence. Makes my head spin just thinking about it. Kudos to the fact that this is one of the first modern books exploring this angle.
Explores the spy game between China and the US. Argues that China, not Russia, may be are most dangerous foe. Filled with intrigue and sex scandals (including President Nixon's tryst with a young Chinese woman who may have been a Chinese spy) it is the sort of stuff that John le Carre himself couldn't make up.
Nick Black
Sep 20, 2011 Nick Black marked it as to-read
Recommended to Nick by: richard bejlicth
Shelves: to-acquire
Those of you who haven't read it might be interested in this Vanity Fair article (in which I am quoted off the record!).
A Cheylene
Just finished reading this book and enjoying... I am a big fan of LeCarre spy novels and modern day Chinese history. I was interested to see how the story turns out. [spoiler warning...] I am a little discouraged by the lack of justice for those who betray our nation...
Amar Pai
nothing revelatory. same old stories of honeypots and banal corporate espionage. written like a time magazine article
Steven Farmer
The mark of a good book is how fast you can read it. I devoured that thing like it was a snack cake.
Well written and documented. Downright frightening!
Informative but uninspired.
Loc Nguyen
Loc Nguyen marked it as to-read
Jul 12, 2015
Janice marked it as to-read
Jul 03, 2015
JanieY marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Sam marked it as to-read
Jun 30, 2015
Mike Osborn
Mike Osborn marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2015
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