In This Review

A World of Secrets: The Uses and Limits of Intelligence
A World of Secrets: The Uses and Limits of Intelligence
By Walter Laqueur
Basic Books, 1985, 416 pp
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This calm, careful and informed book stands in refreshing contrast to much of the polemic, even hysteria, on the subject. The text and footnotes demonstrate how much information about the history, process and problems of intelligence gathering and evaluation is available to those who know where to look. Mr. Laqueur's central, well-documented conclusion is that "the function of intelligence is more modest than is generally believed. It is a prerequisite for an effective policy or strategy, but it can never be a substitute. . . . It has no access to revealed truths: the days of 'Magic' are over in more sense than one."