Spymasters have long sought special technology to enhance security of agents risking their lives to steal and communicate secrets. Application of advanced U.S. technology to espionage focused by America's entrance into the "spy game" during World War II, transformed intelligence operations forever. Unfettered by clandestine tradition, the boundless wartime ingenuity of American engineers and scientists launched a technological revolution in espionage.
For the first time, a former head of the CIA's Office of Technical Service (OTS) and an internationally acclaimed espionage historian join forces to tell the story of the covert devices critical to America's intelligence operations for more than half a century. SPYCRAFT recounts never before revealed details of the early false starts and frustrations OTS overcame to achieve eventual technological breakthroughs and operational successes unequaled in the shadowy world of espionage. SPYCRAFT traces the development and deployment of spy gear from secret writing and bugging devices to subminiature cameras and covert internet communications. Often incorporating technology that would not appear in consumer goods for two or more decades later, the remarkable devices of OTS were instrumental in winning the Cold War and fighting terrorism from South America to Moscow and in the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan.
Based on the first-hand experiences of case officers, engineers, scientists and field technicians, SPYCRAFT merges personal recollections with science and research to tell the story of how succeeding generations of CIA officers rose to the challenge in fighting America's global intelligence wars. SPYCRAFT begins with legendary OSS General Wild Bill Donovan's recruitment of a "sauce-pan chemist" to create an organization that for the next half century would produce spy gear many believed existed only in movies and novels. A dramatic collection of more than one hundred photographs and drawings provides an unprecedented visual dimension to a non-fiction espionage thriller.