Bibliographic Details

The encyclopedia of American intelligence and espionage : from the Revolutionary War to the present / G.J.A. O'Toole.

Author / Creator O'Toole, G. J. A. (George J. A.), 1936-
Imprint New York, N.Y. : Facts on File, c1988.
Description xiii, 539 p. : ill. ; 29 cm.
Language English
Subject Espionage, American -- History -- Dictionaries.
Espionage -- United States -- History -- Dictionaries.
Espionage, American.
United States.
Format Print, Book
URL for this record
ISBN 0816010110 : $39.95
Notes Includes index.
Bibliography: p. 512-521.
Review by Choice Review

O'Toole, a former chief of the CIA's Problem Analysis Branch, here provides almost 700 alphabetically arranged and cross-referenced items on US intelligence and espionage. The work is built around several broad categories: biography, intelligence organizations, major events, techniques and devices, and the role of strategic/tactical intelligence and espionage in both war and peace. In addition to an extensive subject index, the work includes a ten-page, double-column bibliography of books and articles and a three-page guide to abbreviations employed. Although the work's copyright date is 1988, coverage essentially ends before a number of the important spy scandals/intelligence gambits (the Walkers, Yurchenko, Nicaragua, Iran-Contra) of the mid-to-late '80s. Where O'Toole overlaps the worldwide coverage of Vincent and Nan Buranelli's Spy/Counterspy: An Encyclopedia of Espionage (CH, Mar '83), O'Toole is the more comprehensive (e.g., the Buranellis offer 2 1/2 pages on the Pearl Harbor attack and 1 1/2 on Benedict Arnold while O'Toole follows the event with 6 1/2 and the man with 2 1/2). The Buranellis omit much with strictly US emphasis, which is picked up by O'Toole, but he covers none of those espionage/intelligence events and personalities (e.g., Double-Cross System or Frederick the Great) that do/did not impact on America. In short, reference collections wanting comprehensiveness should have both Buranelli and O'Toole; those wanting American emphasis only and not possessing Buranelli should opt for O'Toole's work, which is recommended to both public and academic libraries, high school and above. -M. J. Smith, Jr., Salem College (WV)

Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.
Review by Choice Review