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Spy Capitalism | Yale University Press

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Sort order. Dec 31, Tech Historian rated it it was amazing.

CIA: 50 Years of Spying

A valuable contribution. Spy Capitalism is a valuable contribution for those of us who follow the history of technology and the development of overhead photo reconnaissance, as well as to the history of the Corona project.

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Until now, the cameras on Corona were described as designed by Itek, with no details about the company or its relationship to the CIA. This book fleshes out that company's very colorful history and its relationship with the intelligence community. While the book fills an importa A valuable contribution.

While the book fills an important gap in history, it does read at times like a Harvard Business School case study. The author sketches an intriguing outline of Richard Leghorn the founder of Itek, but never quite makes the leap to nailing his personality or his weaknesses - that of a visionary entrepreneur in a venture backed startup who was a terrible operating executive - other than just describing them in a narrative.

Given 40 years of entrepreneurial hindsight, setting Richard Leghorn in the context of other entrepreneurs and their failure modes would have been helpful. Minor quibbles aside, all in all, a very worthwhile book for those interested in an important part of overhead photo reconnaissance history. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. About Jonathan E. Jonathan E. Books by Jonathan E.

To find the answer, Jonathan Lewis takes us inside the executive suite at Itek Corporation during the Cold War years from to Itek was manufacturing the world's most sophisticated satellite reconnaissance cameras, and the information these cameras provided about Soviet missiles and military activity was critical to US security. So was Itek. This work examines in detail the challenges Itek faced not only as a contractor for the most important national security programme of the time - the CIA's Project CORONA spy satellite - but also as a start-up company competing with established industrial giants.


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  • In telling the story of Itek Corporation, Lewis seeks to fill important gaps in the history of American intelligence, business history and management studies. In addition, he addresses a variety of themes such as the compatibility of secrecy and capitalism, the struggle between profits and patriotism, and the workings of power and connections in America.