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
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
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
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
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