Gladwell on Espionage


I guess Malcolm Gladwell has become uncool and the trendy thing these days, especially among journalists, is to hate on his work. For my money, though, he’s got by the highest batting average in the long-format genre by a considerable margin.

Take his latest piece, which manages to start with a interesting-sounding book about a specific incident in World War II and spin it into a meditation on the imponderable nature of clandestine intelligence work. It’s hardly the last word on the relevant policy issues, but it’s a great way to wake oneself up from dogmatic slumbers on the subject. On top of that, the writing is really good. I’ll stop ass-kissing now, but read the piece.