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Spying in America: Espionage from the…
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Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the…

by Michael J. Sulick

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As usual, I received this book as part of a GoodReads drawing and despite that kind and generous consideration my opinions are candidly stated below.

The primary danger for any work on history is that the author will provide information with such force and determination that the result is as dry as a mouth full of crackers. Sulick's treatment of the history of espionage against the United States does not so suffer. His presentation of the topic is pleasingly broad, covering the long history of the country, but still provides enough specific detail about particular cases to inform and entertain.

The book is divided into five roughly chronological parts covering the Revolutionary War, Civil War, 1914-1945, 1930s and 1940s, and lastly the Russian spies around the development of the Atomic Bomb. While obviously there is some odd overlap the arrangement does make sense as later sections deal with specific programs within the government while overlapping in time frame with others.

Each part begins with an overview of espionage in the subject area or period in history and later sections within each part give specifics on individual spies. So a reader wishing for more of a brief reading could peruse the more global sections and skip those that relate to individual players for a briefer read. These are, at times, a bit redundant and of marginal usefulness.

In summary, the author does a wonderful job of taking a potentially dry topic and making hold the reader's attention. One is introduced to a few specific personages of spy fame but also given a sound overall understanding of why espionage works so well in America and entertaining insight on how the bumbling spies of yesteryear screw up and endanger themselves and their counterparts. A wonderful introduction to the real world of international espionage. ( )
1 vote slavenrm | Apr 19, 2013 |
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Presents a history of espionage cases in the United States, detailing the lives and motivations of the spies, how they gained access to the information, and the damage inflicted on national security.

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Georgetown University Press

2 editions of this book were published by Georgetown University Press.

Editions: 1589019261, 158901927X

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