• Spies, Lies, and Algorithms

  • The History and Future of American Intelligence
  • By: Amy B. Zegart
  • Narrated by: Amy B. Zegart
  • Length: 11 hrs and 54 mins
  • 4.3 out of 5 stars (176 ratings)

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Spies, Lies, and Algorithms  By  cover art

Spies, Lies, and Algorithms

By: Amy B. Zegart
Narrated by: Amy B. Zegart
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Publisher's Summary

Spying has never been more ubiquitous - or less understood. The world is drowning in spy movies, TV shows, and novels, but universities offer more courses on rock and roll than on the CIA, and there are more congressional experts on powdered milk than espionage. This crisis in intelligence education is distorting public opinion, fueling conspiracy theories, and hurting intelligence policy. In Spies, Lies, and Algorithms, Amy Zegart separates fact from fiction as she offers an engaging and enlightening account of the past, present, and future of American espionage as it faces a revolution driven by digital technology.

Drawing on decades of research and hundreds of interviews with intelligence officials, Zegart provides a history of US espionage, from George Washington's Revolutionary War spies to today's spy satellites; examines how fictional spies are influencing real officials; gives an overview of intelligence basics and 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. Most of all, Zegart describes how technology is empowering new enemies and opportunities, and creating powerful new players, such as private citizens who are successfully tracking nuclear threats using little more than Google Earth.

©2022 Amy B. Zegart (P)2022 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

What listeners say about Spies, Lies, and Algorithms

Average Customer Ratings
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    1 out of 5 stars
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Too political

I was expecting a fair and unbiased analysis of the intelligence community. But the author wastes too much time attacking Trump. Wish the author just stuck to the subject matter.

9 people found this helpful

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Superb and insightful!

Intelligence expert Amy Zegart crisply lays out the history of the U.S. intelligence system, while at the same time looks forward at how organizations like the CIA need to adapt to new technologies like AI or risk falling behind. This is a must read/listen to for anyone interested in public affairs and the implications of technology and how we can prevent conflict.

7 people found this helpful

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Future Shock on Steroids

Not a moment to kick back and doze off during this trip around, in, through and then to the future of espionage. I know that’s a broad term. Just listen to this superb narration of a complex reality and how technology, AI is the new ARMS RACE. Fascinating.

2 people found this helpful

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Bad

Thought it would be much better. I also thought it wasn’t very current and as a past government engineer it was not a particularly good evaluation. I didn’t listen to it all. I just got tired of it.

1 person found this helpful

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Not what I was hoping for

I had heard an interview with the author and the book sounded like it would delve into the history of spying and show what it really involved, as opposed to what we generally see on TV and in the movies.
The book does that to some degree, but it's very biased for what should be a scholarly work.

1 person found this helpful

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Informative and Entertaining

This is decades of experience and research, combined with a firm knowledge of current events. A must-read for anyone interested in how technology is changing our world

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Dissonant - 2.5 Stars Overall

Stephen Paz

There were certainly moments when the author slightly parted the curtains to glimpse the inner workings of the IC (including a couple newer stories I’d not heard), but then, in what is reminiscent of Stalinesque censor-required talking points, would undermine her own credibility with “Russian Interference”, “Election Denial”, and January 6th Insurrection”, as though there is only one absolutely and undeniably correct side to those events. I’ll take the interesting insight the author shared with a grain of salt (thus the 2.5 stars). But I’m dismayed a professor of her calibre, but clear bias, has the ear of both students and policy makers. If I were asked to guess whether she’s read Richards J. Heuer, Jr., Morgan D. Jones, or Diane Halpern (among other critical thinkers) I’d have to say no.

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okay book for the uninitiated

not much new in this beyond a couple of nuggets. mostly a 10,000 ft view of the situation

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Good book, don't listen to political reviews.

This is an excellent book that covers the history of American intelligence and the current and future issues of cyberspace. The Wires of War was a little more in depth on the technology side, but this book is excellent at adding more perspective to the technology challenges. Don't listen to the other reviews talking about political bias. They clearly didn't get through the whole book or are just bots themselves.

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Political biased

Struggled to finish this one, way to much political bias. Not to mention inaccurate hearsay throughout

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  • Luis1989
  • 09-08-22

Nothing new

A rehash of old stories and old arguments, Nothing really new or particularly insightful to highlight.

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  • zainab
  • 09-01-22

Surprisingly lacking in any real substance

Given the author's background, was expecting much more substance and facts. Instead what I found was fluff and was compelled to fast forward!

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  • Moneenroe
  • 05-30-22

Tremendously Informative.

Brilliant research. Amy's narration is easy to listen to and holds your attention. Congratulations on a great piece of work.

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  • Gareth
  • 04-29-22

Good book

It’s a good listen, but there is a lot of repetitive narrative and use of same examples throughout the book. Unfortunately that had me just wanting to get it over with by the last handful of chapters.

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  • Curtis Houghton
  • 03-24-22

Well worth the listen

Great overview of how intelligence works and everything fits together in the modern world. Well worth listening to!