Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIAS Spytechs, from Communism to Al-Qaeda - Robert Wallace & H. Keith Melton

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Most spy stories star a James Bond-like figure, but the tales of espionage in Spycraft feature behind-the-scenes technologists more akin to Q, Bond's gadget guru. The authors describe how CIA scientists and engineers developed technologies that have shaped U.S. intelligence since the late 1950s. Drawing from interviews with spies and gadget engineers, the story moves from the early Cold War spy technology to the antiterrorism efforts and cyberspies of the 21st century. Along the way, the authors describe spectacular ideas that never got off the ground, such as collapsible rubber airplanes that could lift a man out of a jungle and depilatory cigars to rid Fidel Castro of his macho beard. Spycraft is truly a must-read for anyone interested in espionage. Now a mini-series on Netflix!