The Puzzle Palace

By James Bamford,

Book cover of The Puzzle Palace: A Report On NSA, America's Most Secret Agency

Book description

In this remarkable tour de force of investigative reporting, James Bamford exposes the inner workings of America's largest, most secretive, and arguably most intrusive intelligence agency. The NSA has long eluded public scrutiny, but The Puzzle Palace penetrates its vast network of power and unmasks the people who control it,…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Puzzle Palace as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

In fairness, I could not read this 600-page-plus intelligence agency classic in one day. But I sure tried.

This book is a blockbuster, pulling back the curtain on the super-secretive National Security Agency, NSA, in a way no one has before or since. I remember the sensation this book made when it came out, and have had the honor of getting to know Jim Bamford a bit over the years.

Truth kicks fiction’s ass, and the truth about the National Security Agency’s technological and espionage capabilities is more terrifying—or, depending on one’s perspective, cool—than any spy novel. Regardless of your perspective, it is astonishing. As a journalist, this book taught me to be daring, as Bamford is. As a novelist, it taught me the secret to writing about classified cutting-edge spy tech: you pretend you are writing sci-fi and imagine the technological possibilities a quarter of a century from now: you will not be far off from what the NSA has today.

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