- Hardcover: 352 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan; First UK Edition First Impression edition (12 Mar. 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0333753550
- ISBN-13: 978-0333753552
- Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.4 x 23.4 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 759,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad Hardcover – 12 Mar 1999
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Praise for "Gideon's Spies""One of the few books that have captured the true nature of the Israeli government and the...Israeli power elite."--Ari Ben-Menashe, former intelligence adviser to Yitzhak Shamir "A fascinating look at a spy organization that has remained off limits to most journalists. The incredible episodes Thomas writes about seem like they belong in fiction, and yet this is a first-rate nonfiction account."--"GQ" "Thomas handles highly dramatic material with clarity and impact."--"The Washington Post Book World" "An anecdote-rich series of tales about the extraordinary derring-do of Israel's vaunted elite foreign intelligence service."--"Kirkus Reviews" "Tells it like it was--and like it is."--Meir Amit, former Director General of Mossad --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With exclusive access, Gordon Thomas gives a revealing and controversial insight into the highly secretive Israeli Secret Service. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
1. p. 155 - "in January 1976, when Christian leaders invited the Syrian army... against the pro-Iranian Hezbollah". Hezbollah did not exist in 1976! Iran was still under the rule of the Shah!
2. p. 207 - mentions a ship called "Sol Phayne". The ship's name was Solferine - that can't be too difficult to find out...
3. p. 208 - talks about PROMIS, the software that allegedly "could track a terrorist's every step" - oh please, if that were possible there wouldn't be any terrorism. The PROMIS story has been around for ages and is an urban myth. Do powerful organizations like the CIA and Mossad really need a piece of software written in the 1970s?
4. p. 321 - "seven Scuds hit Tel-Aviv and Haifa, destroying 1537 buildings". Really? Those must have been really big Scuds. What nonsense.
5. The author insists on calling all Mossad operatives "Katsas", when in fact this term is used only for case officers, the people who recruit and run agents.
If the author can't get simple facts right, why should anyone believe other things he writes, which are harder to substantiate?
In short, a mediocre piece of fiction.
There's no doubt that Gordon Thomas has met (and perhaps been rather too impressed by) some of the major players involved. That alone makes me sceptical about how truthful his book is. If Mossad is as awesomely powerful and accurate as he seems to think they are, surely they would never let a book like this get into print.
The evidence for the prosecution largely resides in Thomas' relentlessly gee-whiz, ain't-it-cool style. He seems to be endlessly impressed by Mossad's brilliance, and can't even recognise a blatantly bungled operation as such even when it's totally obvious, as in the idiotic attempt to assassinate Khalid Meshal in 1997. Even this fiasco can partly be blamed on the stupidity and impatience of then-Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu, but Thomas is so seduced by the myth of Israeli purity of arms and infinite competence that he can't even see blatant incompetence when it's staring him in the face.
Elsewhere, Thomas makes many simple errors. It should be obvious by now that I am no fan of the Mossad, but even so I think it's only fair to be honest about their achievements. Contrary to what Thomas says on p.80, Mahmoud Hamshari did not have his head 'blown off' by a bomb planted in his telephone; he was severely and, as it turned out, fatally wounded. Likewise, Pope John Paul I's name was not 'Albino Luciano' (Pope Lucky, anyone?) but Albino Luciani. Gerald Bull's design for a supergun was not '.45 calibre', which would have been a very narrow gun indeed, but called the GC-45 - and it was 155mm in calibre.Read more ›
To be fair it is an interesting read if you can deal with the long diversions during each section to cover some broadly connected points. However the factual errors which I can spot with my limited knowledge make me wonder how much of the rest is trustworthy. To name a few: radio aerials made out of coils of fibre optic cable, Craig Murphy as the UK ambassador to Uzbekistan and Gerald Bull developing a .45 calibre howitzer. As a former programmer the section on the PROMIS computer system with a dial-out backdoor sounds like pure fantasy and certainly contains garbled terms.
A good light read that possibly contains some truth but errors and deliberate misinformation from the sources makes it hard to judge. A useful source of things to look into elsewhere.
The content is engaging from the first paragraph until the last. If you have any interest in Mossad in particular, or international espionage in general, then don't hesitate to but this book. You'll be glad that you did.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Good Read if you like titles like this, then you would enjoy the readPublished on 22 Oct. 2014 by C. Okeke
This is a very biased account of Mossad. I initially thought that this was going to be an academic account but sadly this was far from it. Read morePublished on 1 Oct. 2012 by Prof.Del
Peeping into the machinations of a secret entity is always facinating. Here is an author who has interviewed them all, names them and declares their deeds. Read morePublished on 26 Oct. 2011 by Reuben Gerling
Book arrived in time no problems in that department, but as I went on into the book spelling mistakes are apparent. Read morePublished on 25 July 2011 by Neil
Whilst a well researched book I do honstly believe that it has been embellished from start to finish in parts. Read morePublished on 27 Jun. 2011 by P. Waller
I was absolutely fascinated by this book. It's easy to read (even though it is quite long) and at the same time written on a high level that is understandable for people who are... Read morePublished on 11 May 2011 by LondonGirl