Drawing on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with intelligence officials, Hoover Institution fellow Zegart provides a history of U.S. espionage, from George Washington's Revolutionary War spies to today's spy satellites. She also examines how fictional spies are influencing real officials, gives an overview of life inside America's intelligence agencies, explains the deadly cognitive biases that can mislead analysts and explores the vexed issues of traitors, covert action and congressional oversight.
Amy B. Zegart provides not just a sweeping history of the U.S. intelligence community but also nuggets that help place events in a new context ... Spies, Lies, and Algorithms is a perfect primer for anyone trying to understand how the intelligence community is meeting the challenges of the digital age ... revealing what the community knows may be as important as what it doesn’t know.
... a lucid and sobering account ... The U.S. intelligence community, outlined concisely by Ms. Zegart, is composed of 18 separate organizations ... Ms. Zegart catalogs the difficulties of coordinating these disparate organizations, each with its own culture and skill set and priorities ... Ms. Zegart is at her best when describing cyber threats ... Ms. Zegart offers no easy solutions but warns that the world of cyberwarfare requires both a 'paradigm shift' and 'mobilization in milliseconds.'
Books on American intelligence rarely bring cheerful news. This expert account is no exception, but it’s particularly astute ... The author recounts triumphs and debacles but mostly delivers a splendid education in psychology and political science as she explains the role, operation, and limitations of intelligence. Intelligence organizations provide information, never policy, which is politicians’ responsibility, and bad things happen when they forget this ... Disturbing but superbly insightful.