Deane Barker's Reviews > The Craft of Intelligence: America's Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World

The Craft of Intelligence by Allen W. Dulles
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review

liked it

This book was probably great back in 1965 or so when it was written, but it's dated, 50 years later. There are several sections on the actual practice of intelligence, which may or may not less relevant today. Additionally, the communications revolution of the last 25 years has no-doubt changed a lot.

Several sections are interesting --

* A chapter details lots of mistakes that compromised operations, from unexpected construction which covered up a dead drop, to undercover operatives who were hit and killed by cars completely by accident, which ended up compromising operations.
* Another chapter discusses the rising tide of Communism, which is interesting coming from Allen Dulles, who is the prototypical Cold Warrior. Dulles had no way of knowing what would happen 25 years after he wrote the book, but it's interesting to hear his perspective on the greatest threat to American during the height of the Cold War.
* In another chapter, Dulles rails against leaks and the public disclosure of information. Apparently the enemy simply examined open congressional hearings on the defense budget, and monitored our professional and technical publications. All of this was a gold mine of intelligence.

The book was...okay. Dulles was a legend, and it was a decent primer on how intelligence works, but through the filter of a half-century, I'm not sure I learned much beyond the points I mentioned above.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Craft of Intelligence.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

September 18, 2014 – Started Reading
September 18, 2014 – Shelved
September 28, 2014 – Finished Reading

No comments have been added yet.