Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World - PDF - PDF by ProQuest


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the Voice of America over missions,                 Michigan State University professor
“firewalls,” journalism norms, and                  Kristie Macrakis provides an interest-
organizational independence.                        ing, if somewhat disjointed, look into
Yet the book has limitations. He prob-              one part of the former East German
lematically conflates the generic and               Ministry for State Security, the depart-
constituent elements of public diplo-               ment commonly known as the “Stasi.”
macy––listening, advocacy, cultural di-             In its time, the Stasi was one of the
plomacy, exchange diplomacy, and                    most effective intelligence and security
international broadcasting––in the                  organizations on the planet. The book
book’s framework of underlying                      under review provides a look into a key
themes. He gives (as he recognizes) dis-            aspect of Stasi operations. Its author,
proportionate attention to Washington,              Kristie Macrakis, has written several
USIA’s directors, and broadcast media.              books on modern Germany and con-
                                                    veys a deep understanding of German
The author ends with a brief look at les-
                                                    thought and attitudes, but her lack of
sons for the future, such as the need to
                                                    knowledge on intelligence matters un-
include public diplomacy in foreign-
                                                    fortunately limits her understanding of
policy planning and for the United
                                                    her chosen topic. However, the profes-
States to listen as well as speak. These
                                                    sional who is willing to dig past the
are valuable insights. But new forces are
                                                    discrepancies will find value.
shaping twenty-first-century diplo-
macy. Networks challenge hierarchies.               The book is divided into two parts,
Attention––not information––is the                  “High-Tech” and “Spy-Tech.” The lat-
scarce resource. Globalism, nonstate ac-            ter section focuses on “spy technology”
tors, a mix of secular and religious “big           and will fascinate the dilettante and in-
ideas,” digital technologies, and new               form the professional. It is in this sec-
media are transforming the old order.               tion that Macrakis appears more
Cull is sensitive to these forces and to            comfortable and writes with grea
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