The Great Game: The Myths and Reality of Espionage


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Hitz was born in Washington, D.

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The Great Game: The Myth and Reality of Espionage — Central Intelligence Agency

He entered the Central Intelligence Agency as an operations officer in , and Aldrich Ames was in his training class. After he served at the Departments of State, Defense, and Energy, leading to a second stint with the CIA from to as legislative counsel to the director of Central Intelligence and deputy chief of operations for Europe. In , Hitz was appointed the first stautory inspector general of the CIA by President Bush and served in this post until May , when he retired to begin a teaching career at the Woodrow Wilson School of Princeton University.

From the Trade Paperback edition. Hitz was born in Washington, D. He entered the Central Intelligence Agency as an operations officer in , where Aldrich Ames was in his training class. After he served… More about Frederick P.

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A hit for the avid spy-fiction reader. He has genuine insight into the inner workings of intelligence bureaucracy.

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By weaving together reality and image, the author provides insights into espionage unlikely to be obtained elsewhere. A perfect companion for fans of John le Carr?. It worked in fiction; it never worked, not once, in any significant way, in actual spying. Gates and case officer Dwight Clarridge. Rather than recruitments, there were walk-ins by Soviets; a spy or potential spy literally walked in to an embassy and offered his services.


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Changing sides comes from diverse motivations. Some Soviet walk-ins disliked the repression of the Soviet state. Frequently spies have resentment towards their own bureaucracies and failures to rise in them.

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Sometimes people are tricked into spying. Even the James Bond novels describe a specific sort of "honey pot" entrapment, whereby the sexual liaison would be filmed and the victim forced to spy if he wanted to avoid exposure. The Soviets could apparently insist to attractive female workers that their bodies belonged to the state and had duties as lures, not the sort of order that western countries could make to their female employees. It is interesting that honey pots did not work in the opposite direction for another reason.

Entrapped westerners would fret about exposure, but when such entrapment was tried on Soviets, they " There have been, for example, extraordinary advances in miniaturization of microphones and transmitters, but a cat equipped with a microphone makes too many sounds of its own; thus the "Acoustic Kitty" of the Technical Support Division "died a deserved death as technically infeasible.

The Great Game: The Myth and Reality of Espionage

The end of the Cold War and the effect of terrorism have potential for bringing back the hero spy. Perhaps we have hero spies now and Hitz simply is not able to sing their praises because they are still spying. His book is good at giving details of such things as the treasons of Aldrich Ames and Robert Hanssen, and also the contributions of Soviet double agents to the information Kennedy needed to decide on the Cuban blockade. It is in giving these inside stories that Hitz succeeds in conveying his thesis: I enjoyed this book, though it has several frustrations.


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  4. It is a relatively small book, and a relatively quick read. Overall, the text is very approachable and the subject matter broad but not deep. Each chapter is for a particular aspect of spying such as: Each chapter is presented in an artificially independent manner; rarely does one chapter refer back to a reference in another chapter. I suppose this can help keep things straight, but it makes it more difficult to create a continuous thread of understanding through the whole book.

    Throughout the book, Hitz compares his experiences rarely explicitely said or rarely a specific incident cited to about 10 fictional accounts and about 5 true-life books previously written. There are many extended quotes followed by a short interpertation by Hitz. Most of the book focuses on what the author deems an accurate versus inaccurate portrayal. If you are not familiar with most of the sources he uses then you may have a difficult time keeping keeping the references straight throughout the book as I did.

    I had a difficult time deciding whether to give three or four stars.


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