Association of Former Intelligence Officers

SPY BOOK: THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF ESPIONAGE, by Norman Polmar & Thomas B Allen, Random House, 1997, revised paperback edition, 1998. This new "encyclopedia" is a 644 page alphabetical listing of intelligence terms, names and acronyms. At $18 ($14.40 from "") it's a bargain that contains page after page of interesting and useful material. It is especially strong on names (Mati Hari, Penkovsky, Aldrich Ames, etc) as well as espionage tales from World War II and the Cold War. It is, unfortunately, rather sparse on Techint terminology and lacking in modern terms and acronyms that are in routine use by intelligence officers and those who follow intelligence matters today. Among the missing acronyms: AFIO, C3I, CMS, DARO, HPSCI, InteLink, KAL 007, MASINT, MID, NFIP, NIC, NIMA, NMIC/NMJIC, PDB, PNG, SSCI, SMO; and missing terms: "actionable intelligence," "airbreather," "Chief of Station," "collateral," "finding," "gyosynchronous," "green door," "grey information," "Hughes-Ryan Amendment," "information warfare/dominance," "mirror imaging," "multispectral," "opportunity analysis," "production," "push/pull," "signature" and "spectroradiometric." Although there are 100's of names of obscure espionage agents, the intelligence officers who made their mark on the analytical side are conspicuoulsy absent -- among the missing, for example, are: Harold Ford, William Friedman, Sherman Kent, Russell Jack Smith, and Vernon Walters. Nevertheless, this book is a bargain and very useful. I recommend it.

Reviewed in AFIO Weekly Intelligence Notes #32-98, 24 August 1998

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