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Spies in History & Literature ~
The David S. Black Lectures

Introduction by Wesley Britton


On November 10 and 17, 2008, Dr. David S. Black delivered two lectures in the “Honors” series at Harrisburg Area Community College in Harrisburg, PA.

Dr. Black then graciously edited these talks into two essays, which are presented here for the first time for the general public.

From 1979 to 2008, David Black was an Operations Officer in the National Clandestine Service of the CIA, formerly the Directorate of Operations, and worked in Eastern and Western Europe for over twenty years. He holds a doctorate from Princeton University and has taught graduate and undergraduate courses about the history of intelligence and espionage during an assignment as CIA Officer-in-Residence in the History Department of Ohio University (2006-2008).

The essays presented here are essentially Parts 1 and 2 of Black’s thoughts on Cold War history and then our concerns with contemporary terrorism.

“The Winding, Bumpy Road” is Black’s overview of intelligence history since World War II, demonstrating the distinctions between the “Global” agencies of the U.S., U.S.S.R., and the U.K. juxtaposed against agencies of other countries with more regional concerns he describes as “Continental.” He concludes his analysis by assessing the successes and failures of Cold War espionage.

In his second essay, “Terrorism as an Intelligence Problem,” Black explores the tactical and technical aspects of counter-terrorism throughout recent history including the political and legal issues involved. He then analyzes what our responses should be to modern Jihadists, including his belief we should support immigrant populations and avoid demonizing adversaries.

Dr. Black’s essays are presented here as PDF files ~

The Winding, Bumpy Road from Espionage to Intelligence

Terrorism as an Intelligence Problem

PDF files require the Acrobat Reader program, which is available for free on-line. To download the Acrobat Reader, click here.