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

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

by Allen Dulles


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If the experts could point to any single book as a starting point for understanding the subject of intelligence from the late twentieth century to today, that single book would be Allen W. Dulles's The Craft of Intelligence. This classic of spycraft is based on Allen Dulles's incomparable experience as a diplomat, international lawyer, and America's premier intelligence officer. Dulles was a high-ranking officer of the CIA's predecessor—the Office of Strategic Services—and was present at the inception of the CIA, where he served eight of his ten years there as director. Here he sums up what he learned about intelligence from nearly a half-century of experience in foreign affairs.

In World War II his OSS agents penetrated the German Foreign Office, worked with the anti-Nazi underground resistance, and established contacts that brought about the Nazi military surrender in North Italy. Under his direction the CIA developed both a dedicated corps of specialists and a whole range of new intelligence devices, from the U-2 high-altitude photographic plane to minute electronic listening and transmitting equipment.

Dulles reveals much about how intelligence is collected and processed, and how the resulting estimates contribute to the formation of national policy. He discusses methods of surveillance, and the usefulness of defectors from hostile nations. His knowledge of Soviet espionage techniques is unrivaled, and he explains how the Soviet State Security Service recruited operatives and planted "illegals" in foreign countries. He spells out not only the techniques of modern espionage but also the philosophy and role of intelligence in a free society threatened by global conspiracies.

Dulles also addresses the Bay of Pigs incident, denying that the 1961 invasion was based on a CIA estimate that a popular Cuban uprising would ensue. This account is enlivened with a wealth of personal anecdotes. It is a book for readers who seek wider understanding of the contribution of intelligence to our national security.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493018796
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 05/01/2016
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 370,225
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Allen W. Dulles, one of the most important figures in the history of American intelligence, served under eight U.S. presidents, from Woodrow Wilson to John F. Kennedy. He served presidents Eisenhower and Kennedy as director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 1953 to 1961. When he died in 1969, President Nixon remarked, " . . . in the nature of his task, his achievements were known to only a few."

Table of Contents


1 A Personal Note 1
2 The Historical Setting 9
3 The Evolution of American Intelligence 29
4 The Intelligence Requirements of a Free Society 48
5 The Task of Collection 55
6 Collection-When the Machine Takes Over 65
7 Planning and Guidance 80
8 The Main Opponent-Communist Intelligence Services 85
9 Counterintelligence 121
10 Volunteers 134
11 Confusing the Adversary 145
12 How Intelligence is Put to Use 154
13 The Man on the Job 171
14 Myths, Mishaps, and Mischief-Makers 188
15 The Role of Intelligence in the Cold War 220
16 Security in a Free Society 237
17 The Intelligence Service and Our Freedoms 256
Bibliography 265
Index 269

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

"Dulles writes well and fascinatingly on the history of espionage and intelligence from Sir Francis Walsingham to Wild Bill Donovan and John McCone . . . The Craft of Intelligence is one of the most fascinating books of our time."--Washington Post

"Brilliantly selective candor. There is material enough here on breathlessly high-level sleuthing to keep Helen MacInnes and Ian Fleming busy writing all kinds of thrillers."--New York Times

"Well organized, informative . . . When he talks about the CIA, its Russian counterparts, and specific examples of fiascoes and coups, the reader will certainly snap to attention."--The New Yorker

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The Craft of Intelligence: America's Legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
PopsDG More than 1 year ago
Outstanding back ground into the beginning of the CIA