Spies, Wiretaps, and Secret Operations

An Encyclopedia of American Espionage

by Glenn P. Hastedt, Editor


From the Revolutionary War to the War on Terror, spies and spying have been a central component of the nation's efforts to confront its enemies and protect its citizens. Recent controversies, from revelations of rogue agents in the 1990s to incomplete pre- and post-9/11 intelligence, only emphasize how important it is to understand the role of espionage in our national defense.

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Cover image for Spies, Wiretaps, and Secret Operations

December 2010


Pages 900
Volumes 2
Size 7x10
Topics American History/Conflict

A comprehensive two-volume overview and analysis of all facets of espionage in the American historical experience, focusing on key individuals and technologies.

In two volumes, Spies, Wiretaps, and Secret Operation: An Encyclopedia of American Espionage ranges across history to provide a comprehensive, thoroughly up-to-date introduction to spying in the United States—why it is done, who does it (both for and against the United States), how it is done, and what its ultimate impact has been.

The encyclopedia includes hundreds of entries in chronologically organized sections that cover espionage by and within the United States from colonial times to the 21st century. Entries cover key individuals, technologies, and events in the history of American espionage. Volume two offers overviews of important agencies in the American intelligence community and intelligence organizations in other nations (both allies and adversaries), plus details of spy trade techniques, and a concluding section on the portrayal of espionage in literature and film. The result is a cornerstone resource that moves beyond the Cold War-centric focus of other works on the subject to offer an authoritative contemporary look at American espionage efforts past and present.


  • Includes over 750 entries in chronologically organized sections, covering important spies, spying technologies, and events
  • Written by an expert team of contributing scholars from a variety of fields within history and political science
  • Provides a chronology of key events related to the use of espionage by the United States or by enemies within our borders
  • A glossary of key espionage terms
  • An extensive bibliography of print and electronic resources for further reading
  • Photos of key individuals plus maps of geographical locations and military engagements where espionage played an important role


  • Offers the latest information on the history of American spying as well as an authoritative look at its current state
  • Covers nontraditional topics such as the international spy museum, espionage-themed fiction and films, and women spies
  • Discusses controversial topics such as double agents and wiretapping of U.S. citizens
  • Includes entries on non-U.S. intelligence agencies to help readers contrast U.S. espionage to allied and competing intelligence organizations
Author Info

Glenn P. Hastedt, PhD, is professor and chair of the Justice Studies Department at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA, specializing in American foreign policy.



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