Select Page

Constructing CassandraThis is the last “Good Read” of 2013, maybe a book you will want to put on your list to Santa. And I’m going to be bluntly honest with you: I haven’t read the book… yet.

Why am I talking about a book I haven’t even read, will you ask (and you would be right to)… Because I have had the opportunity to work with one of his author, Philippe Silberzahn, and I have faith that content will be up to my expectations. Actually, I’m planning to bring it with me on my Christmas vacation (along with the 40 + copies I need to grade for January 6), and to dig into it, by the chimney, with a hot cup of tea.

Constructing Cassandra is subtitled “Reframing intelligence failure at the CIA, 1947-2001″… right there and then, you’re hooked. The book conducts an inquiry into the intelligence failures at the CIA that resulted in four key strategic surprises experienced by the U.S.: the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, the Iranian revolution of 1978, the collapse of the USSR in 1991, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Better than anything Hollywood can come up with, I’m already on the edge of my seat.

And if more convincing is needed, the customer reviews on Amazon are raving:

“It’s hard to overstate how useful this book is in explaining why the enormous resources the United States has put into intelligence gathering and analysis have so often yielded so little…”

“Milo Jones and Philippe Silberzahn have taken a much broader analysis to the known failures. They have uncovered important lessons not only worthwhile for the intelligence community but for anyone working or running larger organizations.”

Shall I say more? Maybe I will, after I read the book. Or even better, how about we organize a digital book club and you tell me what you think of the it?

Constructing Cassandra: Reframing Intelligence Failure at the CIA, 1947-2001 –  Milo Jones, Philippe Silberzahn – Stanford Security Studies (August 21, 2013)