I have always been fascinated by the appearances of spies on the screen. Be it Jason Bourne or James Bond or even Ethan Hunt, I always wanted to know more about these guys and become like them – just impressed with their suit-boot appearance, girls around them and the glamour attached to their personalities, heroics that they pull off on the screen and so on… was I all but deluded? Was I being misled just to sell the movies to me? Perhaps yes and perhaps no. However, the publication of this title, I-Spy: A Peep into the World of Spies by Amit Bagaria, has made me think with a different perspective.
Spies on the screen and spies in real life are two entirely different persons. Amit Bagaria writers that spies don’t try to look beyond the natural periphery but they rather look to mix with the population so that they can gather as much intelligence as possible. Their job is to work behind the desk rather than working on the roads all the time and achieving heroics on the train roof and planes.
I-Spy by Amit Bagaria is a book that ranks the top intelligence agencies in the world from number 1 to number 20 and also, in brief, discusses other major agencies in the world who could not make it to his top 20 list. It was surprising to see MI6 at the top, even above CIA. And equally surprising to see RAW at number 9, even below ISI. So, the metrics of ranking and the methods used by the author should be scrutinised by the readers themselves before accepting the list on its face value.
The details about various intelligence agencies are amazing. The author has explained why he believes the respective agency should be ranked above others and below others very effectively with data, facts and analysis. However, how did he access some of the secret information about certain black operations and insidious ones is a myth and he did not disclose much about the sources either. There were many things about the ISI, RAW and CIA and all other agencies that I did not know. This book has certainly added to my knowledge about these agencies. And these are the qualities that have inspired the leading Indian Book review websites to rank this book respectively.
Moreover, the introductory chapters (two of them) are very useful for the readers who want to know about the basics of spy’s life and his or her jobs. The book also offers a kind of handbook, in the introductory chapters, that tells the readers about the basics of an intelligence job – shortcuts, lexicon, abbreviations, codes and so on…
In short, I-Spy: A Peep into the World of Spies by Amit Bagaria is a book that interested readers will like a lot. It has the narrative to keep them busy and engaged and also absorbed in the content. You can know more about the book and get the links to buy it from Amazon here: