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Download The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Shadow Factory: The Ultra-Secret NSA from 9/11 to the Eavesdropping on America Audiobook, by James Bamford Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (454 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: James Bamford Narrator: Robertson Dean Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9781415957769
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Today’s National Security Agency is the largest, most costly, and most technologically advanced spy organization the world has ever known. It is also the most intrusive, secretly filtering millions of phone calls and e-mails an hour in the United States and around the world. Half a million people live on its watch list, and the number grows by the thousands every month. Has America become a surveillance state?

In The Shadow Factory, James Bamford, the foremost expert on the National Security Agency, charts its transformation since 9/11, as the legendary code breakers turned their ears away from outside enemies, such as the Soviet Union, and inward to enemies whose communications increasingly crisscross America. Fast-paced and riveting, The Shadow Factory is about a world unseen by Americans without the highest security clearances. But it is a world in which even their most intimate whispers may no longer be private.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The bad news in Bamford’s fascinating new study of the NSA is that Big Brother really is watching. The worse news . . . is that Big Brother often listens in on the wrong people and sometimes fails to recognize critical information. . . . Bamford convincingly argues that the agency . . . broke the law and spied on Americans and nearly got away with it. The Baltimore Sun
  • Engaging. . . . Chilling. . . . Bamford is able to link disparate facts and paint a picture of utter, compounded failure—failure to find the NSA’s terrorist targets and failure to protect American citizens’ communications from becoming tangled in a dragnet. The San Francisco Chronicle
  • At its core and at its best, Bamford’s book is a schematic diagram tracing the obsessions and excesses of the Bush administration after 9/11. . . . There have been glimpses inside the NSA before, but until now no one has published a comprehensive and detailed report on the agency. . . . Bamford has emerged with everything except the combination to the director’s safe. The New York Times Book Review
  • Fascinating. . . . Bamford has distilled a troubling chapter in American history. Bloomberg News
  • Important and disturbing. . . . This revealing and provocative book is necessary reading . . . Bamford goes where the 9/11 Commission did not fully go. Senator Bob Kerrey, The Washington Post Book World
  • A Washington Post Notable Book

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Charles | 2/10/2014

    " Another great book by Bamford. I read Puzzle Palace when I was in college and his subsequent books have been just as informative. For someone who's technically an "outsider" his access and knowledge of the intelligence subject is outstanding. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anthony Papillion | 2/9/2014

    " While I'm still reading this book, it's a chilling account of what can go wrong when an agency with unchecked power is given everything it wants in the name of national security. It's a terrifying expose of the dangers that our very intelligence community presents to our civil liberties. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Bakken | 2/6/2014

    " For those who acquainted with recent headlines about the NSA, this book is mostly review. But it's worth reading nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Natalieb | 2/4/2014

    " I would have given it a 5, but about half way through I lost interest to more catching novels I was reading and didn't finish. What I did read was very intriguing. If you've ever been interested in what goes on behind the scenes of the intelligence community, or even more about the lead up of 9/11, read the first 100 pages or so of this book. Keep in mind when this book was written "eavesdropping on America" was illegal, but the program they're using has now been okayed through the courts (since our new president got into office) so it's a bit outdated. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 2/4/2014

    " The death of the 4th. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jon | 1/27/2014

    " Interesting till halfway through. The author gets too technical and loses the reader's attention. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mark | 1/20/2014

    " Paints bleak picture of Bush era NSA sucking up tons of data and skirting the 4th amendment while trying to catch terrorists. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rick | 1/3/2014

    " I really wish I could but no comment! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tyler | 1/3/2014

    " Quite an eye-opener of the power of government "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 12/20/2013

    " A fascinating disection of how and why the dots didn't get connected before 9/11. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrei | 11/30/2013

    " Excellent book, and it worth to read not only for the Americans: some NSA's things described by the author are in use in other countries. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake | 5/16/2013

    " A well done, chilling expose of the NSA, post 9/11. Bamford never veers into partisan politics and keeps his opinions to a bare minimum. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 10/22/2012

    " Ai, yi, yi. Must read about US Intelligence both foreign and domestic; the NSA; the telecoms; the foreign hardware/software companies involved. Whew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barrett Brown | 4/2/2012

    " I don't know where to begin. This will be far too technichal and drab for most people, but Bramford's style has certainly gotten more friendly since Puzzle Palace. I'm now a little scared. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nicole | 11/5/2011

    " this book is also too old for me. and it became sort of boring in the middle, so i didn't finish it the first time i read it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sherry | 6/30/2011

    " a must read to understand the "security" apparatus pre and post 9-11. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mike | 1/23/2011

    " Save yourself the hassle of reading this book by watching PBS Frontline episode with the same name. The book started out good and then wandered all over creation losing any hint of cohesiveness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 10/4/2010

    " Ai, yi, yi. Must read about US Intelligence both foreign and domestic; the NSA; the telecoms; the foreign hardware/software companies involved. Whew. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jeni | 6/14/2010

    " It's actually firghtening. Worth the read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ella | 2/23/2010

    " Really dense to read, but a terrifying look inside the illegal mess going on inside the US. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 11/13/2009

    " Scary! Big brother is watching! "

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About the Author
JAMES BAMFORD, the author of the bestsellers Body of Secrets and The Puzzle Palace, has written extensively on national security issues, including investigative cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine. Formerly the Washington investigative producer for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, and a distinguished visiting professor at the University of California, Berkeley, he lives in Washington, D.C.
About the Narrator

Robertson Dean has played leading roles on and off Broadway and at dozens of regional theaters throughout the country. He has a BA from Tufts University and an MFA from Yale. His audiobook narration has garnered numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards. He now lives in Los Angeles, where he works in film and television in addition to narrating.