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Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities

3.54  ·  Rating details ·  159 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden exposes how academia has become the center of foreign and domestic espionage--and why that is troubling news for our nation's security.

Grounded in extensive research and reporting, Spy Schools reveals how academia has emerged as a frontline in the global spy game. In a knowledge-based economy, universities are repositories of
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published October 10th 2017 by Henry Holt and Co.
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3.54  · 
Rating details
 ·  159 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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☘Misericordia☘ ~ The Serendipity Aegis ~  ⚡ϟ⚡ϟ⚡⛈ ✺❂❤❣
Cherry-picking, or what? Some people approaching some other people about stuff. Really, campuses are not the only place to do that, one would think. Also, Confusius Universities are for Chinese studies, which is the main point. Had those people been approaching people in toilets, would one be hard-pressed to close public restrooms? DNF.
The openness of American colleges and universities for thought and research is seen by academics as the keystone to higher education. However Daniel Golden writes in Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities this is seen as opportunities to recruit agents and cultivate operatives as well steal technological innovations both by our own intelligence agencies and those across the globe.

Golden divided his book into foreign and domestic intelligen
Mar 28, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was a little bit interesting but mostly boring, which was kind of a surprise, being about Spies and all. Half the time I thought this might be government funded propaganda. The book has such an attitude of "Oh you silly, naive little Americans, you have no idea how much danger you are in and how important your government is."

Interesting things I learned:

-American universities don't teach their science and engineering students about their intellectual property rights. The students have
Sep 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. American Universities are known for their open, collaborative projects and for their special interest in attracting international students.  As well as increasing the Universities international prestige, apparently this also leaves them vulnerable to spying.  This is not something that I ever considered but it does make perfect sense.  Golden explores several cases where international students and faculty have been spies for either the United States or their home country, including Ru ...more
محمد علی شفیعی
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
An impressive book about US universities and its relation with CIA and FBI. Besides it contains good info about how the foreign intelligence services use US universities.
Based on some real cases, it describes how intelligence sevices from different countries are somehow using academic atmosphere in favor of their own countries.
As an Iranian, one of the impressive parts of the book was places which was describing the case of two Iranian scientists whom were killed by Israel intelligence service,
Jul 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Took me forever to read this book but once I actually got time to spend and really sit down and absorb this book I thoroughly enjoyed it. Well researched and filled with cool real life stories and significant background this book plays like both a warning and almost a fictional story. At first it’s hard to believe that spying occurs at universities but the further you go into this book the more it makes sense. Good, well written and thought out, this book is worth the read.
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Interesting and concerning. A very detailed book full of data.
Gordon Paisley
Daniel Golden’s book, Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities promised fascinating and deep insight into how American colleges and universities are infested with intelligence agents—from both inside and outside the US government. While Golden’s other nonfiction in the realm of academia may be notable, this book did not live up to its promise. He implies that there is a pervasive effort across the scope of American colleges and universities, ...more
Zohar -
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities by Daniel Golden is a non-fiction book which reveals how academia has become the front-line for spy games among nations. Mr. Golden is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist.

I am a sucker for good espionage books, ever since I could read I always enjoyed the game of shadows countries play, maybe because I lack the nerves of steel required to participate. When I saw Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Fore
Adam Bricker
Aug 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
I guess I am naive in my view of politics, but I thought spies went away with the Cold War. Not that much thought has gone to it, but I thought most governmental interaction and progress came from people sitting around a long table or negotiating peace after an "incident." This book has definitely opened my eyes. Not only do spies and human assets used for intelligence gathering still exist, they are being recruited, groomed or even installed as undergraduates, graduate students and even profess ...more
Sep 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book review contains "spoilers" via summarizing....

What is at stake when foreign and domestic intelligence services converge on academia? Daniel Golden puts a looking glass view down the rabbit hole to uncover the resurgence of the United States Intelligence activities at American universities. What research, information and/or contacts can be obtained at American universities?

Opening with the spotlight on one downtrodden professor at a Florida university to shed light on the issue at hand
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book brings the proposition forward that clandestine activities in universities is drastically different than most would expect. The story begins with a look at foreign students who have been sent to spy in US universities. This is lucrative due to the Department of Defence, among others, investing in top secret research at universities. Once a student can get involved with the right professor the doors are fully opened to their potential research theft. THe author claims part of the issue ...more
Dec 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Spy Schools, as the title implies, is an expose on the increasingly close relationship between intelligence agencies and academe, which, Golden argues, are inherently incompatible: higher education's ideals of openness and transparency clash with the nationalism and secrecy of espionage. The relationship, which began in the earliest days of formal U.S. intelligence with close ties between the O.S.S. and the Ivy League, was deeply injured during the Church Committee/Vietnam War era, but 9/11 and ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Daniel Golden is also the author of PRICE OF ADMISSION, based on his Pulitzer prize-winning series of articles on admissions preferences at elite colleges. He also wrote about for-profit colleges and U.S. tax-dodging companies moving overseas.
Mr. Golden is an excellent investigative journalist. His books and articles take your brea
A very enjoyable read about the ways in which American universities are used by both domestic and foreign intelligence services. Universities are not painted as naive victims, but rather savvy, and fiercely independent institutions. Contemporary universities are portrayed as having emerged from knee-jerk aversions to intelligence agencies that started in during the 1960s. Now administrators (mostly) hear out individual cases for programs, curriculum, and students. They don't immediately cave to ...more
Nov 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book kinda blew my mind- probably due to either my blissful naivety towards the trickery dealt by intelligence organizations, or perhaps my young age (having not lived in a non-9/11 world within memory). Regardless, it's a very interesting look at what might be going on behind-the-scenes of some of my professors' lives as they putter around campus- I especially thought of a professor I had for a course on Islamic Civilization, whose offhand comment about the Saudis wanting something every t ...more
Jan 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was an intriguing book about the ways in which the United States and her enemies have attempted to gather intelligence from one another by infiltrating universities or recruiting individuals within the educational systems.

I found myself most interested in the first part of the book, which details how the Russian, Chinese, and Cuban governments have attempted to gather intelligence from American universities. The content about how the schools were infiltrated was most interesting to me, but
An eye-opening look at international espionage in higher education. Even after 13 years of working in higher ed, including almost 10 years working exclusively with international students, I have to admit I didn't know the half of what Golden reports in this book. Not even close.

I do have some minor quibbles with the book's structure--I wish the sections on Peng would have been grouped together rather than spread throughout the book--and I think there was definitely room for more attention to be
Apr 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Urgent and informative work for everyone -- students, staff, faculty -- involved with life on college or university campuses and their loved ones.
The book is in 2 parts, examining foreign and American espionage on campus. Golden writes that two general trends contribute to the surge in academic spying. The first is "growing intimacy between U.S. intelligence and academia, driven partly by patriotic fervor and terrorism fears in the wake of the September 11, 2001, attacks. Deterred by student pr
Mar 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
A very detailed book on the subject of foreign and domestic intelligence agencies utilizing American academia to spy, recruit and obtain intellectual property and research data.

The research Daniel Golden amassed for this book spans over a decade. At times the book jumps frequently between different decades using snippets of comments made by interviewed subjects to reflect what Golden is trying to get across. I found this occasionally hard to follow and confusing as you try to disect the comment
Les Gehman
Oct 28, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a very interesting book covering both foreign countries stealing intellectual property and recruiting spies from schools, and US agencies also looking to recruit students and professors. At times the book was a bit hard to follow as it seemed to jump from thread to thread without any warning. Also, for a book this size with such an impressive list of references, I expected more evidence of wrongdoing. The book really only covers a few cases (sometimes in too much unnecessary depth), and ...more
James Carter
Apr 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Spy Schools is an interesting book that opens up the world of spies but this time through universities. I didn't know all of this, but it makes sense. The book reads a lot like an anthology which can be good or bad for some readers. I don't like how author jumped around too much in regards to Peng's case. The story all told in one narrative would have been sufficient. All in all, Spy Schools is quite an eye-opener.
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
Fascinating accounts of spying by the CIA and the FBI on college campuses both in the US and out. This book covered the methods for recruitment by the CIA as well as how foreign countries recruit in the US.
It gave histories of situations with China, Cuba, Russia and Iran and told of many of the people who spied for the US.
Sara Miller
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
I heard a fascinating podcast interview with this author several months ago while he was promoting the book. I should have been content with that. This book was boring and I felt like it could have been so much more. Maybe I’m just a fan of fiction spy thrillers.
Budd Margolis
Feb 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
Informative & important to understand especially if working abroad. Many issues about academic integrity but also espionage as it is today which includes corporate as well as military methods & vulnerabilities.
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Fearmongering at its finest.
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nothing you don’t already know. Best not waste your time with this too much. Had high potential, but failed to deliver. Was looking forward to it ... time to move on.
Sep 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I got loads of great information and plot ideas for a writing project of mine from reading this book. I
May 26, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting topic but it could have been better structured.
Tim Gillen
While I found the topic of interest, the book did dry up for a spell about mid-way through.
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