Recommended for those looking for entry level insight into the business of intelligence. Crumpton is a much better writer than most but there is not much new here for those who have read the expanding list of post-9/11 intelligence biographies. That doesn’t mean that this book isn’t essential reading however. Notable new content would have to be details on the CIA’s turn to Predators in Afghanistan and discussion about the National Resources Division. Another bonus, Crumpton recounts a lot of informative and highly entertaining post-9/11 discussions with Cofer Black.

Regular readers on intelligence matters know that multiple texts are usually required to illuminate a subject but Crumpton succeeds in his goal of making an arcane topic accessible to a broad audience. And although he may only briefly touch on many of them he does manage to lay out the ethical, technical, political, and legal challenges surrounding the topic. If you are new to the subject you couldn’t find a much better place to start reading.

The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA’s Clandestine Service The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIAs Clandestine Service is available on

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