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Gideon's Spies: The Inside Story of Israel's Legendary Secret Service

Gideon's Spies: The Inside Story of Israel's Legendary Secret Service [Kindle Edition]

Gordon Thomas
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

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Product Description


‘Thomas handles highly dramatic material with clarity and impact.’ – The Washington Post

Product Description

Created in 1951 to ensure an embattled Israel’s future, the Mossad has been responsible for the most audacious and thrilling feats of espionage, counterterrorism and assassination ever ventured. Gideon’s Spies has been created from closed-door interviews with Mossad agents, informants and spymasters, and drawing from classified documents and top-secret sources, revealing previously untold truths about the Israeli intelligence agency. Bang-up-to-date, this new paperback edition of this best-selling book includes startling new information on subjects ranging from Weapons of Mass Destruction, international terrorism, North Korea’s bird-flu war games and ‘ethnic bombs’. The riveting text is supported by glossaries, appendices and shows a Mossad as it has historically been: brilliant, ruthless, flawed but ultimately fascinating.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1218 KB
  • Print Length: 724 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1907532234
  • Publisher: Aurum Press (25 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00CMR1M4W
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #16,257 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mossad: fact and fantasy 11 Mar 2013
The press reviews cited for this book are uniformly positive and I found that the first 450 or so pages were an easy read. At times I did wonder if I had missed something- for example the opening story about Princess Diana seemed to have nothing much to do with Mossad at all, and on other occasions the author laboured the story with description and history to the point where he left the story in mid-air, unresolved. With any book of this kind it would be difficult to tell what is truly true and what has been planted by disaffected parties or is pure fiction. There is no supporting documentation although the author frequently tries to remedy this by citing anonymous personal source in a personal communication - this becomes tedious and contributes little to the credibility. The book is actually 670 pages long, the last 220 pages appearing to be an addendum to an earlier addition. This sections reads as a cut and paste job on a home computer that went straight to press, and was so appallingly written that in the end I followed it for unintended comedy rather than for any serious interest, belief or confidence in its contents. However it was interesting that to read that the new director of Mossad had stood on a canteen desk and asked the agents to eat the brains of their Arab enemies on 11 Sep 2001, a few hours BEFORE the 911 attacks, and a full year before he was appointed to the directorate (Chapter 22). Allegedly he pulled exactly the same stunt as soon as he was appointed to the position, a year later (Chapter 18, p362). Elsewhere the PROMIS software from the 1970s amazes- not only can it decipher any stream of data but it will also guide missiles to the Iranian nuclear facilities. Princess Diana's menstrual cycle also makes a late appearance in the concluding chapters, still without any revealed connection to Mossad.

In summary, an uneven and over-long book that could have been improved greatly if it had been proof read.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Factual errors 14 Jun 2013
By ajkrom
Format:Kindle Edition
A good read, but full of slightly irritating factual errors, like consistently getting the names wrong of intelligence organisations (Rigul Hegdi), or technical details.
Just makes you wonder how well researched the rest of the book is
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3.0 out of 5 stars A long, ambitious Work. 10 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is quite a good book, but it is flawed in that it is too long, discursive and repetitive. It gives an interesting picture of the Mossad, but often strays off topic. Apart from Israeli and Arab leaders, the cast includes George W Bush, Tony Blair, Vladimir Putin, Robert Maxwell, Condoleezza Rice and many others. Even Jeffrey Archer gets a mention. There's plenty of conspiracy theory and various incidents are looked into in great detail: Lillehammer, Entebbe, the death of Princess Diana (twice), the attempted assassination of John Paul II, the Gulf Wars, the capture of Saddam Hussein, 9/11, the London tube bombings and the Bali bomb, for example. In many of these, Mossad was just a bit player. The book was written before the assassination of Osama bin Laden, but in time for the author to refer to the "monumental mistake(s)" of Bush and Blair.

Inevitably there are flaws. We are told that David Kimche left Oxford University with a Social Science degree in 1968, but not only would he have been thirty or more probably forty at the time, but also Oxford did not have such a degree then. In addition, we are told that he then joined Mossad, but a few pages later that turns out to have been "in the early sixties". Also, the attempted assassination of John Paul II is given a date of May 1981, but a few pages later there is a reference to "only three months before, in February 1983". And he gets the date of the collapse of the Berlin Wall wrong too (a year early).

This is a pity, because the author appears to have done a great amount of detailed research in order to produce a long, interesting and worthy volume. But he is prone to name dropping, and there even seems to be a tendency to self indulgence.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Mossad are very famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) in the dark arts of intelligence and espionage. Like much of the Israeli State apparatus, they are also very action-oriented. This book provides us with intriguing glimpses into a broad range of case studies involving the fingerprints of Mossad. How much of this is fact and how much is supposition is probably up for debate, but regardless, it's clear that Mossad is very much punching above its weight in terms of global influence.

This is a big book (almost 700 pages), but it's well dissected into digestible chapters and sub-sections. A myriad of incidents are discussed here mainly from the 1980's onward, including the death of Princess Diana, Robert Maxwell, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, 7/7, the Intifadas, the Iraqi supergun, biological weapons, the development of Israeli's nuclear weapons at Dimona, Mordechai Vanunu, Gerald Bull, links with the Vatican, Dr. David Kelly, Yasser Arafat, the Lockerbie bombing, Saddam Hussein and a host of others.

The internal workings of Mossad are also discussed, particularly the personalities of their Heads (Director Generals) and their fluctuating relations with other security services such as MI6 and the CIA. Botched operations are also discussed.

A Glossary of Terms is included, e.g. 'Katsa', 'Kidon' and 'Yahalomin'; as are a brief Arabic glossary and an outline of other international intelligence services.

On the downside, it does seem to go off at tangents at times within chapters e.g. a section on Hamas's election chances in Gaza in 2006 suddenly becomes a section on the Munich Massacre of 1972. This gives the book the feel of being more of a collection of writings that have been assembled, rather than a more structured thematic work.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 9 days ago by molly
5.0 out of 5 stars Great stories!
I am going to give this book 5 stars; whether it deserves it is another story. How can you write a book about the secret services? The clue is in the word secret! Read more
Published 14 days ago by SideBurn
5.0 out of 5 stars Secret Service
Easily the best and most informative secret service book I have ever read. I* will read other books by Gordon Thomas.
Jim Nichol
Published 2 months ago by Mr. James M. Nichol
4.0 out of 5 stars They're not infallible...
Just because they are famed for their vengeance over the killing of the Israeli Olympic athletes, and the brilliant success of the raid on Entebbe, we tend to think of the Mossad... Read more
Published 2 months ago by M. S. George
4.0 out of 5 stars Well worth a read
Fascinating run through of the spy business. Some very interesting historical facts I was not aware of. Well worth a read.
Published 2 months ago by J V Miller
5.0 out of 5 stars gives you great insight behind many historical events
very interesting with lots of good information, gives you the insight behind many historical events, well worth a read, top marks
Published 2 months ago by gary lewis
1.0 out of 5 stars Gordon thomas should Take up window cleaning
This is a book which promises much but delivers nothing. It really does not merit a review. Writing it was a waste of time, Publishing it was a further waste of time and reading it... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mr Edward Laurenns
5.0 out of 5 stars fascinating read
An excellent book, very compelling reading, almost frightening when you think what is going on in this world well worth time reading.
Published 2 months ago by Byron Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Mossad revealed
Better than James Bond and its for real,please read this and be amazed.Its almost too much to be true but somehow believable, you will not be able to put it down. Read more
Published 2 months ago by robin123
5.0 out of 5 stars Just had to read this updated version
Original book is phenomenal in its revelations and this update excels too.

Original signed book is a highly prized possession .
Published 5 months ago by mike@mofp
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