The principal author was for 11 years, covering the 1970s, the head of the French intelligence system. He tells his many cloak and dagger stories with verve and color, describing numerous meetings with American counterparts, not all of whom he admired. Certainly he cared more for one of these, William Casey (with whom he could exchange swashbuckling stories), than for the agency Casey led. Indeed the CIA is depicted as a massive intelligence sieve. Marenches goes off track, however, when he looks to the future. He sees the opening skirmishes of a new world war-between South and North-the new enemies being terrorists, drug dealers and dictators. "Mutual Assured Destruction" must now be replaced by a doctrine of "Certain Destruction" of terrorist groups; a "Decent People's Club" of nations that believe in individual liberty must be created. These extreme views inadvertently cast some doubt on his judgment while running French intelligence.