Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI, and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America's Universities

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Henry Holt and Company, Oct 10, 2017 - Education - 322 pages

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Daniel Golden exposes how academia has become a major target of foreign and domestic espionage—and why that is troubling news for our nation's security and democratic values.

Grounded in extensive research and reporting, Spy Schools reveals that globalization—the influx of foreign students and professors and the outflow of Americans for study, teaching, and conferences abroad—has transformed U.S. higher education into a front line for international spying. In labs, classrooms, and auditoriums, intelligence services from countries like China, Russia, and Cuba seek insights into U.S. policy, recruits for clandestine operations, and access to sensitive military and civilian research. The FBI and CIA reciprocate, tapping international students and faculty as informants. Universities ignore or even condone this interference, despite the tension between their professed global values and the nationalistic culture of espionage.

Taking advantage of patriotic fervor and fear in the wake of 9/11, the CIA and other security agencies have infiltrated almost every aspect of academic culture and enlist professors, graduate students, and even undergraduates to moonlight as spies. Golden uncovers shocking campus activity—from the CIA placing agents undercover in Harvard Kennedy School classes and staging academic conferences to persuade Iranian nuclear scientists to defect, to a Chinese graduate student at Duke University stealing research for an invisibility cloak, and a tiny liberal arts college in Marietta, Ohio, exchanging faculty with China’s most notorious spy school—to show how relentlessly and ruthlessly both U.S. and foreign intelligence services are penetrating the ivory tower.

Golden, the acclaimed author of The Price of Admission, unmasks this secret culture of espionage and its consequences at home and abroad.


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User Review  - lpg3d - LibraryThing

This is a very interesting book covering both foreign countries stealing intellectual property and recruiting spies from schools, and US agencies also looking to recruit students and professors. At ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amloeb - LibraryThing

I applaud the author of this book for the painstaking amounts of research that went into it. It was very interesting to read about the various attempts of countries and spy agencies to use our ... Read full review


Cloak of Invisibility
The Chinese Are Coming
Spy Without a Country
Foreign Exchange
An Imperfect Spy
The CIAs Favorite University President
Bumps and Cutouts
Hidden in the Ivy
NoSpy Zone
Selected Bibliography

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About the author (2017)

Daniel Golden won a Pulitzer Prize in 2004 for his Wall Street Journal series on admissions preferences at elite colleges, which became the basis for his bestselling book, The Price of Admission. He edited a series about how U.S. companies dodge taxes by moving their headquarters overseas, which won Bloomberg News's first and only Pulitzer Prize in 2015. In 2011, he was named a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service for his Bloomberg News series about for-profit colleges exploiting veterans, low-income students, and the homeless. He is currently a senior editor at ProPublica.

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