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"The Hidden Hand: A Brief History of the CIA" is a good short history of the CIA. It describes how the agency was created in the years after World War II and its subsequent evolution, including the decisions that led to it having a paramilitary wing. The book seems honest in describing what the CIA had done both good and bad. The author has suggestions to make for reform, such as the idea that the CIA should focus more on intelligence and dump its paramilitary activities, but these don't distract him from describing what the CIA has done and why.