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Surprise, Kill, Vanish

The Definitive History of Secret CIA Assassins, Armies and Operators
Narrated by: Annie Jacobsen
Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (115 ratings)

Non-member price: $30.38

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Publisher's Summary

The definitive, character-driven history of CIA covert operations and US government-sponsored assassinations, from the author of the Pulitzer Prize finalist The Pentagon's Brain.  

Since 1947, domestic and foreign assassinations have been executed under the CIA-led covert action operations team. Before that time, responsibility for taking out America's enemies abroad was even more shrouded in mystery. Despite Hollywood notions of last-minute rogue operations and external secret hires, covert action is actually a cog in a colossal foreign policy machine, moving through, among others, the Bureau of Intelligence and Research, the House and Senate Select Committees. At the end of the day, it is the President, not the CIA, who is singularly in charge.  

When diplomacy fails and overt military action is not feasible, the President often calls on the Special Activities Division, the most secretive and lowest profile branch of the CIA. It is this paramilitary team that undertakes dramatic and little-known assignments: hostage rescues, sabotage and, of course, assassinations.   

For the first time, Pulitzer Prize finalist and New York Times best-selling author Annie Jacobsen takes us deep inside this top-secret history. With unparalleled access to former operatives, ambassadors and even past directors of the Secret Service and CIA operations, Jacobsen reveals the inner workings of these teams and just how far a US President may go, covertly but lawfully, to pursue the nation's interests.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our Desktop Site.

©2019 Anne M. Jacobsen (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Limited

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A huge eye opener

The series of stories are amazing and you get to learn about everyday people doing amazing (or terrible) things. It confirms alot of assumptions and rumours. Well worth it!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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amazing

great book! really well read and researched.
unbiased account of the history of the CIA

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Great read

I have listen to all her books and I find it fantastic that she takes the time out of her busy life. Makes it feel a very personalised listening. Thank you so much you have not listen to any of the other books I would highly recommend all of them

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  • joe
  • 07-06-2019

Very insightful and a real eye opener.

Really enjoyed this book. really opens your eyes on the true reach and capabilities of the CIA and it's associated entities. no wonder they're
budget is in the trillions.

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Enlightening, Awesome, Unreal !

I listened in 3 long sessions straight and then kicked off all over again as soon as the book finished.
Most recommended and worth the listen to get a better look behind the scenes of the covert action world and past the media sensationalism associated with sociocentric understandings of why they do what they do to the real reasons the "Hidden Hand" needs to be used.
Annie Jacobsen WELL DONE !

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  • John A. Cote MSSI
  • 01-08-2019

Soldiers in the shadows

Annie Jacobsen has pulled the curtain open into the deniable world of the Assassin. You meet some of the characters who make up this elite community. You learn the history of this seldom heard from seldom recognized group of individuals who actually make a huge impact on the United States foreign policy. The Third Hand. The Presidents third option. Enjoy one Hell of a listen!!!!!!

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  • dante larsson
  • 25-05-2019

Best book

Really gets into the hidden hand the Cia has everywhere in the world. So great!

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  • Anonymous User
  • 25-08-2019

good book...lots of info..

Interesting listen...feels a little bit listy and some points and info feel surplus to story. Annie Jacobsen's voice is like chocolate 😊

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  • daniel j griffiths
  • 11-08-2019

Eye Opening

long but a great listen, an excellent account of CIA history and its brave operators

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  • Bryan Chapman
  • 20-06-2019

Eye opening and really interesting

Really informative and easy to listen to. This author really knows her stuff. It amazing how many near misses there have been over the years which are never told to the media.
If you're into CIA and spy type stuff, this book is for you.

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  • M J WILKES
  • 31-05-2019

A blooming good book that's narrated very well.

Amazing insight into the creation, operations and Modus operandi of the CIA. Truly fascinating. I practically listened to it all in one sitting.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • mark
  • 08-07-2019

Fascinating stories, but terrible narration.

Sadly the terrible narrator lets this book down. Amazing research into the stories, let down by terrible mispronunciation. I literally cringed at them. Arisaig for example, pronounced in the book as airsage.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful