Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from... and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more

Vous voulez voir cette page en français ? Cliquez ici.

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Amazon Prime Free Trial required. Sign up when you check out. Learn More
More Buying Choices
Have one to sell? Sell yours here
Start reading Spycraft on your Kindle in under a minute.

Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here, or download a FREE Kindle Reading App.

Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA's Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda [Paperback]

H. Keith Melton , Henry Robert Schlesinger , George J. Tenet , Robert Wallace

List Price: CDN$ 21.00
Price: CDN$ 15.16 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details
You Save: CDN$ 5.84 (28%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.ca. Gift-wrap available.
Want it delivered Tuesday, April 22? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition --  
Hardcover --  
Paperback CDN $15.16  
MP3 CD, Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged CDN $24.56  

Book Description

May 27 2009
Who's spying on you? And how are they doing it?

Spycraft offers an unprecedented look at the CIA's most secretive operations and the devices that made them possible.  

Written by the former director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service, Robert Wallace (a real-life Q, straight out of the James Bond films), and internationally renowned intelligence historian H. Keith Melton, Spycraft reveals how the CIA carries out its life-and-death missions against a backdrop of geopolitical tensions - including the Cold War, the Cuben Missile Crisis, and the War on Terror. 

More relevant than ever - given the news about Edward Snowden and the NSA, concerns about privacy rights, organizations like Julian Assange's WikiLeaks, and popular entertainment like The Americans and Homeland - Spycraft is an important and revealing primer on the fundamentals of high-tech espionage.  


Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

Product Details

Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Today's CIA is regularly criticized for emphasizing technology at the expense of human intelligence. In this history of the agency's Office of Technical Services, Wallace, its former head, and academic specialist Melton (Ultimate Spy) refute the charge with exciting content and slam-bang style. The book's chief value is its perspective on the synergy of technology and tradecraft. From WWII through the Cold War and up to the present, the authors say, technical equipment—for clandestine audio surveillance, for example—has been an essential element of agent operations. In the post–Cold War information society, technology plays an even more significant role in fighting terrorism. Agents remain important, along with their traditional skills. Increasingly, however, they support clandestine technical operations, especially infiltrating and compromising computer networks. The authors persuasively argue that employing and defending against sophisticated digital technology is the primary challenge facing U.S. intelligence in the 21st century. Their position invites challenge, but it cannot be dismissed. 32 pages of photos, over 100 b&w illus. throughout. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.


"Reveals more concrete information about CIA tradecraft than any book."
-The Washington Times

"This is a story I thought could never be told."
-James M. Olson, former chief of CIA counterintelligence

"The first comprehensive look at the technical achievements of American espionage from the 1940s to the present."

Inside This Book (Learn More)
Browse and search another edition of this book.
First Sentence
On a quiet autumn evening in 1942, as World War II raged across Europe and Asia, two men sat in one of Washington's most stately homes discussing a type of warfare very different from that of high-altitude bombers and infantry assaults. Read the first page
Browse Sample Pages
Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
Search inside this book:

Customer Reviews

There are no customer reviews yet on Amazon.ca
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.5 out of 5 stars  83 reviews
64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is a unique book and a great read. June 4 2008
By Avid Reader - Published on Amazon.com
I have been reading books about spies and espionage for over 40 years and this book is one of the best I have ever read. It is a great combination of true spy stories and never before told descriptions of some of the special technology used by spies. Reading this book is like having a peek into the laboratory of the real Q from the James Bond movies. The book was written by an author who obviously knows this business like few others. It will be enjoyed by those who like a good spy story as well as those who have a professional interest in espionage and in technology. A must read for anyone who wants to know how the spies really do their work.
39 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE REAL WORLD OF COLD WAR SPIES' GADGETS June 6 2008
By Paul Gelman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
One of the most important periods of modern history was that of the Cold War, between 1945-1991.This war was unconventional,and it was maily hidden from the public on both sides of the conflict.The main action took place in the field of intelligence.The main players in this war of mirrors-the Great Game of the 20th century-were spies.
I have maintained for a long time that it was the secret services of the East and the West that were responsible for preventing a Third World War.Paradoxically, this was achieved by this hidden war which was played in the misty dead drop sites of Berlin, Vienna, Moscow ,Washington,London and other less famous espionage sites. These were the heydays of hundreds of thousands of spooks-some more famous than the others.Most of them- especially the professional ones- have used a variety of means in order to accomplish their assignments successfully.
In a very interesting and detailed book- perhaps the best there is today on this fascinating subject-the two authors elaborate on the many gadgets the CIA has developed and employed in this battle of wits.There was a special department within the CIA which was responsible for this.What was considered to dwell only in the imagination of authors and scriptwriters was for real.The mentors of the CIA(and its predecessor -the OSS) were their British cousins who have taught their colleagues some useful lessons in the field of espionage.The CIA have surpassed their masters creating for many decades a miscellany of low-and especially high-tech astounding ,innovative technologies.Among them there were cameras, microphones,concealment devices, physical and psychological diguises,ivory letter-opening devices,combustible notebooks, special dead drop rocks,microdot viewers,audio transmitters and bugs.Even animals,such as:bats, cats and rats were employed in this world of clandestine operations.We get a detailed story about the modus operandi of two of the most famous spies who worked for the West:Oleg Penkovsky and his "worthy succsessor" Adolf Tolkachev.Both of them saved the US Intelligence and taxpayer billions of dollars.
The books has two main sections.The first one is about the spytechs and the second is about the fundamentals of the spycraft.
My main reservation about this book is about its editing which was done -somehow- perfunctorily.However,you will enjoy every page of this reliable, impeccably -searched, readable, fascinating and revealing book.The real bonus is an array of never-before-seen photos and diagrams and the authors' message is conveyed clearly:without this kind of James-Bond's-Q-masterminded technology, the West would have lost the Cold War.
The other thing is this:in our Digital Age everything becomes obsolete in a very short time, thus ,those engaged in this trade should never stop racking their brains in order to create novel devices to be used against the adversary.
This book is a must-read for pros and buffs of espionage and Cold War history.
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book yet on this topic June 4 2008
By Pete M. - Published on Amazon.com
Often, books on this type of topic are either really dry reading, or they are so novel-like that you wonder how much of it is "made up". Spycraft strikes a nice balance between interesting facts and history and good stories. The authors (Mr. Wallace and Mr. Melton) are certainly among the most qualified people around to discuss TSD/OTS history, so there are no worries about authenticity of the material.
I can highly recommend this book. I have 3 copies, so that I can give a couple as gifts this summer.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sometimes riveting, sometimes bone dry Sept. 25 2008
By Jan in NC - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I skimread this book, I admit it. Sections were so dry, I just couldn't deal with it. I needed a good mix of the technical and the real-world.

It broke my heart that so much time and effort was needed to get to a place where our Soviet informants could share info, only to be ruined by Hanssen.

Meantime, I roared at the stories of the agents desperately experimenting with inflatable sex-toy women as possible "doubles" for car passengers who had bailed from a car moments before.... and the stories of what was involved in trying to buy bulk numbers of inflatable person-shaped anythings for experimentation as body doubles. THAT tickled me enormously. The ultimate details of why this double was needed, the misery of what the real human would be doing in the meantime, grim grim stuff. James Bond movies have done us all a big disservice. The real spy world is anything but glamorous stuff.

I am in awe of those who stuck it out to get a few seconds of eavesdropped conversation, a page of forbidden blueprints.

Oh, and, yeah, I will no longer be impressed by people who think it's clever and antidisestablishment to sneak over and hang out in Cuba as tourists, having read the detail of the Cuba prison system. Horrific stuff.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Trie Life Accounts of Gadgets & Spies June 15 2008
By Stazkirovka - Published on Amazon.com
A superbly written and exquisitely detailed book, rich in texture illuminating a fascinating recounting of the myriad of ways in which technology has aided case officers to accomplish what practitioners term "impersonal communications" exchanges with their agents (spies.) The multi-hued stories unveiled in this book pull back the curtain to illustrate amazingly creative ways in which gadgetry, both seemingly mundane as well as state of the art operational technology have facilitated the clandestine passage of secrets from spy to case handler.

The authors are among the foremost experts in the field of technology supported tradecraft and thus provide a long overdue "insider's knowledge" optic to seldom witnessed actions playing out behind the scenes in some of the most critically important spy cases since the start of the Cold War. The stories which recount the technical support given to CIA penetrations of the Soviet government and intelligence services like Aldof Tolkachev (alias "TRIGON") and Dimitry Polyakov (alias "Top Hat") are terrific additions to open source literature. In addition, this remarkable book has exceptional photographs of the actual gadgetry used in spy operations and comes with a very useful glossary for those who may not be familiar with espionage lexicon

Highly recommended addition for the bookshelf of any serious minded student of espionage history. "Spycraft" is simply the best book which covers technology support to the art of espionage. A genuine page turner.

Look for similar items by category