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Gr. 7-10. This slim volume's short chapters cover the history of espionage from its beginnings until the present day. Owen emphasises events of the last century, giving more attention to the technological side of spying than to the gritty details of fieldwork. He also covers notorious cases and the most well-known pieces of equipment, such as the Ultra machines of World War II and the spy planes of the cold war era. The book suffers from jumbled organisation, and readers may quibble with a few historical points, such as the assertion that the Reagan era arms buildup directly led to the fall of the Soviet Union. In addition, some of the accounts of famous events are so succinct that more background will be needed to understand the events. However, fans of the subject may enjoy browsing the brief accounts, which are peppered with a mix of colour and black-and-white photographs. A short glossary concludes. Todd Morning
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