United States


Davies, Philip H.J. Intelligence and Government in Britain and the United States: A Comparative Perspective. 2 vols. Santa Barbara, CA: Praeger, 2012.

Volume 1: Evolution of the U.S. Intelligence Community.

Volume 2: Evolution of the U.K. Intelligence Community.

For Peake, Studies 56.4 (Dec. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.3 (Winter-Spring 2013), the manner in which the author formulates the questions underlying his comparative study "risks a predetermined outcome as the result of confirmation bias." The reviewer also believes that certain judgments raise doubts as to "whether Davies fully understands the US system." Nevertheless, "these volumes will serve as a challenging basis for discussion."

Gregg, Donald P. Pot Shards: Fragments of a Life Lived in CIA, the White House, and the Two Koreas. Washington, DC: New Academia Publishing, 2014.

Nathan, FA 94.3 (May-Jun. 2015), finds that the author "recounts his experiences with insight and humor." However, "Gregg offers few details of his work for the CIA, drawing more from his NSC and ambassadorial postings."

Jervis, Robert. Why Intelligence Fails: Lessons from the Iranian Revolution and the Iraq War. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2010.

For Hutchinson, IJI&C 23.4 (Winter 2010-2011), this is "one of the more profound, interesting, and insightful analyses of the intersection of policy and intelligence in several decades." The author "clearly does not believe that fixing the intelligence organization chart will solve the problems of the past or future."

Froscher, Studies 54.3 (Sep. 2010), comments that, while the author's study of the CIA's failure to anticipate the Shah's ouster was written in 1979, "its insights remain fresh and relevant." His study of Iraq "is less comprehensive..., but he finds the basic mechanisms of failure to be similar." This work "is essential reading that gets beyond the conventional wisdom about intelligence failure and provides nuanced insight into what Jervis describes as the 'insoluable dilemmas of intelligence and policymaking.'"

Johnson, Loch K., ed. Intelligence: Critical Concepts in Military, Strategic, and Security Studies. 4 vols. New York: Routledge, 2011.

Volume 1: The Collection and Analysis of National Security Intelligence

Volume 2: Covert Action: The Aggressive Arm of National Security Intelligence

Volume 3: Counterintelligence: Shield for National Security Intelligence

Volume 4: Holding National Security Intelligence Accountable

Peake, Studies 55.3 (2011), notes that the "76 articles and extracts" that comprise these volumes "have all appeared elsewhere.... The $1,272 price for this collection is steep, but its value is in the convenient access it provides to the literature."

Johnson, Loch K., ed. The Oxford Handbook of National Security Intelligence. New York & London: Oxford University Press, 2010.

Clark comment: This collected work of 928 pages sports a $150.00 pricetag; the Fall 2010 catalog shows a reduced price of $120.00. The Fall 2012 catalog lists a paperback version at a reduced price of $44.00.

Peake, Studies 54.3 (Sep. 2010) and Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010), notes that this work contains "56 mostly original articles," the authors of which "are a mix of academics and professionals ... from seven countries." The articles "cover most elements of the profession. Only the technical aspects are omitted.... This is a very valuable reference work, at least for the present." Schecter, I&NS 27.4 (Aug. 2012), calls this "an impressive, skillfully organized and, for the most part. well-written and readable collection of essays."

Lowenthal, Mark M. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy. Washington, DC: CQ, 2000. 2d ed., 2003. 3d ed., 2006. 4th ed., 2008. 5th ed., 2011.

Clark comment (on 1st ed.): The author's latest textbook on intelligence is excellent. His earlier text -- U.S. Intelligence: Evolution and Anatomy, 2d ed. (Westport, CT: Praeger, 1992) -- was an extremely useful (though increasingly dated) overview of the U.S. intelligence community. I have used the latter as a supplementary text in a broad national security course for undergraduates. Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy goes much further than a mere updating; it is a fuller, more comprehensive presentation, and is more directed toward supporting a full-blown course on intelligence.

Macartney, AFIO WIN 46-99 (18 Nov. 1999), believes this book "will undoubtedly be the textbook of choice in many college classes.... It is a primer on intelligence, especially strong in its discussions of analysis, the role of the policy consumer, oversight and the post-Cold War intelligence agenda." To Loeb, Washington Post Online, 3 Apr. 2000, the author "wastes no space in the book preaching about either the ills or the virtues of U.S. intelligence. He frames the right issues, and he asks the right questions. And he is able to bring both an insider's insight and an anecdotal flair to bear throughout the text."

McIntosh, Choice, Sep. 2000, notes that the work "summarizes the problems of collection, analysis, counterintelligence, and action from the point of view of a self-aware insider." This "excellent brief introduction to the role of secrecy and national intelligence in the American foreign policy process ... [provides] a solid, informative, and useful text for undergraduates and beginning graduate students."

For Hulnick, IJI&C 14.1, Intelligence: From Secrets to Policy "is nicely geared for teaching," but "is not the kind of stand-alone text that could be used in the classroom by itself." While "no other work on intelligence is so authoritative" in the areas of "the role of policymakers in intelligence and on the role of oversight," Lowenthal's chapters on collection and counterintelligence fall short of being sufficient by themselves for most academics. Nevertheless, the work "goes a long way toward achieving" the goal of "educat[ing] the public about how secrets become part of the United States foreign policy process."

Dalton, NWCR, Autumn 2002, says that this work "is much more than an introductory textbook; it is a trove of valuable information and insights ranging from the basic concepts and definitions of intelligence to a thorough examination of the intelligence process. Thus not only is this an excellent textbook on the basics of intelligence and ideal for a course in Intelligence 101, but it is also an interesting and informative examination of intelligence and national security disciplines.... In sum, Lowenthal has written an outstanding primer on intelligence, the intelligence process, and the intelligence community."

Peake, Studies 50.4 (2006) and Intelligencer 15.2 (Fall-Winter 2006-2007), comments that the 3d edition of this work constitutes a "major revision," with more material and two new chapters.... As an introductory text, this book gives the reader an understandable functional view of the national Intelligence Community." Commenting on the 4th edition, Peake, Studies 54.1 (Mar. 2010) and Intelligencer 17.2 (Winter-Spring 2010), notes the inclusion of 30 pages to cover such topics as reform, ethics, and transnational issues. This work "is now firmly established as the basic introductory text on the intelligence profession." It is "[w]ell written and well documented." Peake, Studies 56.2 (Jun. 2012) and Intelligencer 19.2 (Summer-Fall 2012), says that, with 51 new pages, the 5th edition remains "both a valuable introductory text and a source of information on contemporary issues facing the IC. Only source notes could improve its quality."

Richelson, Jeffrey T. The U.S. Intelligence Community. Cambridge, MA: Ballinger, 1985. [pb] 2d ed. New York: HarperCollins, 1989. 3d ed. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1995. 4th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview, 1999. 5th rev. ed. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2007. 6th ed. Boulder, CO: Westview, 2011.

Clark Comment: This work is used in several intelligence or intelligence-related courses at U.S. colleges and universities. (See Fontaine, Teaching Intelligence in the 1990s.) It will serve well as a "nuts-and-bolts," organization-oriented text for an intelligence course. Now in its 6th edition, this work deserves the judgment that it "is the best single book on the subject," offered by Peake, Studies 57.2 (Jun. 2013).

With regard to the third edition, Proceedings 121.10 (Oct. 1995), suggests that this book "might be considered an order of battle of the U.S. intelligence community, in which the missions and organizational structures of its various components are described. Included are the more familiar organizations ... as well as the lesser-known components." Friedman, Parameters, Summer 1997, notes that Richelson's work is "worth having as a reference even though some of the information" is out of date. Less satisfied is Lowenthal, who comments that the author "is a dogged but somewhat indiscriminate researcher, when greater selectivity of sources might be useful."

Peake, Studies 51.4 (2007), finds that the fifth edition of The US Intelligence Community is well organized and written to make a complex topic understandable. It is a valuable reference work." For David, Cryptologia 33.1 (Jan. 2009), the fifth edition, "just like its predecessors,... proves to be a very valuable reference work for researchers, journalists, teachers, and others." Aftergood, Secrecy News, 13 Aug. 2007, says that when looking for terms, acronyms, or references to obscure offices, "Richelson's book more often than not -- more often than Google -- provides the explanation and the needed background, typically with a footnote to an official source."

For the sixth edition, Aftergood, Secrecy News, 8 Aug. 2011, notes that this work "benefits from Richelson's meticulous research, his dispassionate presentation, and his robust sourcing, all of which make it an invaluable reference." Peake, Studies 57.2 (Jun. 2013), and Intelligencer 20.1 (Spring/Summer 2013), says "for anyone wishing to get a sound overall grasp of the Intelligence Community today, this is by far the best place to start. It is thoroughly documented, well written, and generally comprehensive."

Schoenfeld, Gabriel. Necessary Secrets: National Security, the Media, and the Rule of Law. New York: Norton, 2010.

Peake, Studies 54.3 (Sep. 2010), comments that this book "is accurately titled, well documented, and persuasive." For Goulden, Intelligencer 18.1 (Fall-Winter 2010) [originally published in Washington Lawyer, Sep. 2010], the author's "sprightly narrative" is, for the most part, "carefully objective and dispassionate." However, he does argue that "the modern press has a dangerously inflated concept of its role in a democratic society."

Sulick, Michael J.

Laurie, Studies 57.4 (Dec. 2013), says "these two volumes provide a wonderful survey of the history of spying as practiced by the United States, penned by an engaging author who knows of what he writes." They "are very readable books that are highly recommended for every intelligence officer and student of intelligence studies."

1. Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2012.

2. American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present. Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press, 2013.

Brooks, Proceedings 140.4 (Apr. 2014): "In addition to being an interesting, well-researched, and well-written book, American Spies is a thought-provoking -- and, in places, rather disturbing -- analysis of the security and counterintelligence problems the United States faces today and in the future" For Goulden, Washington Times, 26 Nov. 2013, and Intelligencer 20.2 (Fall-Winter 2013), although it is "scholarly," this book "brims with details of spying that make for enjoyable reading."

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