Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Spy Schools

Spy Schools

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

Daniel Golden

Henry Holt and Co.

READ AN EXCERPT →

BUY THE BOOK

e-Book

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

Grounded in extensive research and reporting, Spy Schools reveals how academia has emerged as a frontline in the global spy game. In a knowledge-based economy, universities are repositories of valuable information and research, where brilliant minds of all nationalities mingle freely with few questions asked. Intelligence agencies have always recruited bright undergraduates, but now, in an era when espionage increasingly requires specialized scientific or technological expertise, they’re wooing higher-level academics—not just as analysts, but also for clandestine operations.

Golden uncovers unbelievable 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. He shows how relentlessly and ruthlessly this practice has permeated our culture, not just inside the US, but internationally as well. Golden, acclaimed author of The Price of Admission, blows the lid off this secret culture of espionage and its consequences at home and abroad.

EXCERPT

1

CLOAK OF INVISIBILITY


Brandishing a light saber, and sporting a dark cloak and hood that concealed his eyes but not his grin, Jedi Master Obi-Wan Kenobi pranced about the stage of Window of the World Caesar’s Palace in...

Reviews

Praise for Spy Schools

"Whether you are a teacher, student or parent, Daniel Golden’s closely researched account of the assault on our academic freedoms by home-grown intelligence services is timely and shocking."—John le Carré

“Golden …turns his considerable fact-finding skills to an eye-opening chronicle of how higher education has evolved into a key source for obtaining military and technological intelligence. A provocative look at the transformation of academia to a broad chessboard of international espionage." —Kirkus Reviews

“This forensic analysis of espionage in academia offers a chilling, highly readable insight into the unscrupulous exploitation by ruthless intelligence agencies operating across the globe.”Nigel West, intelligence historian and author of Spycraft Secrets

“Comprehensive…Golden’s book doesn’t just shed light on previously untold stories. It also highlights the existential questions facing higher education, not only when dealing with infiltration from foreign governments, but also those brought on by cozy relationships between the U.S. intelligence and academe.” —Inside Higher Ed


“Daniel Golden brings his razor-sharp Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative skills to this woefully under-reported, yet critically-important aspect of intelligence. He takes us inside a program held over from the Cold War, where the stakes are high, but the costs to our civil liberties are higher.”—John Kiriakou, author of "The Reluctant Spy: My Secret Life in the CIA's War on Terror"

"Spy Schools could not be more relevant. This is a book of both wisdom and caution and should be widely read and discussed in and outside the walls of academe...Even better than The Price of Admission."—E. Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University

Spy Schools is an explosive and deeply disturbing look at the dirty laundry under American universities’ academic gowns. Dan Golden is a gifted researcher and an elegant writer whose exposé of campus espionage should raise alarms from the ivory tower to Capitol Hill.” Mitchell Zuckoff, New York Times bestselling author of 13 Hours and Lost in Shangri-La

“Daniel Golden's Spy Schools sheds a much needed light on one of the great under-reported occurrences in today's spy wars: how U.S. academic institutions serve as a target for foreign countries obtaining critical technologies while U.S. intelligence agencies, principally the FBI, use those same institutions as a base for intelligence and counterintelligence activities.” —I.C. Smith, former FBI Special Agent in Charge and author of Inside: A Top G Man Exposes Spies, Lies and Bureaucratic Bungling Inside the FBI

Praise for The Price of Admission:

“A delicious account of gross inequities in high places. . . . [Golden] is the Ida Tarbell of college admissions. . . . A fire-breathing, righteous attack on the culture of super-privilege.”
–Michael Wolff, New York Times Book Review

“Deserves to become a classic. . . . Why do Mr. Golden's findings matter so much? The most important reason is that America is witnessing a potentially explosive combination of trends. Social inequality is rising at a time when the escalators of social mobility are slowing.”
The Economist

“I didn’t want to believe that rich families and celebrities buy places for their children in America’s best colleges. But Daniel Golden’s evidence is overwhelming. This book should be read by everyone who cares about preserving higher education as a route for developing talent, not rewarding privilege.”
-Diane Ravitch, research professor of education, New York University, and author of Left Back

About the author

Daniel Golden

Daniel Golden won a Pulitzer for his Wall Street Journal series on admissions preferences at elite colleges, which became the basis for his bestselling book, The Price of Admission. His exposé of Countrywide’s special loans to lawmakers during the subprime mortgage crisis resulted in Senate ethics hearings at which his story was read in its entirety into the Congressional record. In 2011, he was named a finalist for the Pulitzer in Public Service for his Bloomberg News series about for-profit colleges exploiting veterans and low-income students, collapsing the multi-billion-dollar industry.

Daniel Golden

Scott Bronstein

Daniel Golden