• Surprise, Kill, Vanish

  • The Secret History of CIA Paramilitary Armies, Operators, and Assassins
  • Written by: Annie Jacobsen
  • Narrated by: Annie Jacobsen
  • Length: 19 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release date: 2019-05-14
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Hachette Audio
  • 5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)

Price: CDN$ 38.59

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Publisher's Summary

Surprise...your target. Kill...your enemy. Vanish...without a trace.

From Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen, the untold story of the CIA's secret paramilitary units.

When diplomacy fails and war is unwise, the president calls on the CIA's Special Activities Division, a highly classified branch of the CIA and the most effective black-operations force in the world. Originally known as the president's guerrilla warfare corps, SAD conducts risky and ruthless operations that have evolved over time to defend America from its enemies. Almost every American president since World War II has asked the CIA to conduct sabotage, subversion, and yes, assassination. 

With unprecedented access to 42 men and women who proudly and secretly worked on CIA covert operations from the dawn of the Cold War to the present day, along with declassified documents and deep historical research, Pulitzer Prize finalist Annie Jacobsen unveils - like never before - a complex world of individuals working in treacherous environments populated with killers, connivers, and saboteurs. Despite Hollywood notions of off-book operations and external secret hires, covert action is actually one piece in a colossal foreign policy machine.

Written with the pacing of a thriller, Surprise, Kill, Vanish brings to vivid life the sheer pandemonium and chaos, as well as the unforgettable human will to survive and the intellectual challenge of not giving up hope that define paramilitary and intelligence work. Jacobsen's exclusive interviews - with members of the CIA's Senior Intelligence Service (equivalent to the Pentagon's generals), its counterterrorism chiefs, targeting officers, and Special Activities Division's Ground Branch operators who conduct today's close-quarters killing operations around the world - reveal, for the first time, the enormity of this shocking, controversial, and morally complex terrain. Is the CIA's paramilitary army America's weaponized strength or a liability to its principled standing in the world?     

Every operation reported in this audiobook, however unsettling, is legal.  

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Annie Jacobsen (P)2019 Hachette Audio

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent book.

Intriging from start to finish. I've never read a book that has peaked my interest as much as this one has.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Paul L
  • 2019-05-18

Historical Account

A good historical recap of covert operations from WWII to current. I wish more info was provided regarding current operations.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-20

Great Book !!!

One Criticism....Surprise Kill Vanish. ... Audible Version, Chapter 1, 2 min 15 sec into chapter 1.... I think there is an error. You say that Pearl Harbor Attacks America, I did not want to post this publicly. I have all your books and gave them all a 5 star rating. Great Author !!!! Hopefully Hachette Audio will fix this.
Thank You
Bob Cahill

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2019-05-23

Excellent book

If you enjoy the history of clandestine operations you will enjoy this book. I can’t recommend this enough.

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  • charles
  • 2019-05-17

fabulous

I'm a huge fan of all of Anne's books can't wait for the next one thank you so much

1 of 2 people found this review helpful