Friday, January 18, 2013
The Master of Disguise by Antonio Mendez
Book: The Master of Disguise
Author: Antonio Mendez
Recommended To: Spies, People who wear disguises. CIA agents.
Jon got The Master of Disguise for Christmas from my lovely Aunt (shout-OUT!) and I read it first because my Kindle was charging and I needed something lighter than a hardcover to read. It took me an unusually long time to read this book because I was on trial last week and work has been generally insane.
This is the "tell-all" story of Antonio Mendez and his career in the Graphics department of the CIA. Essentially this means that he forges passports, visa stamps, and creates documentation for other agents. He's not a Jack Bauer gun-carrying type, but he still plays a hugely important role in agent safety.
Even if he's not the "action" type of agent, the book is filled with very interesting anecdotes in how Mendez canvassed airport security and customs techniques, went on missions where paperwork needed to be finished very quickly and without flaws, and even created elaborate disguises for the agents.
I liked this book. It was interesting even though some of the devices used are still classified and cannot be released. It was somewhat frustrating to read about the disguise techniques without any real description, but I supposed even now we can't let Russia win.
I definitely recommend this book to anyone who is looking for a quick non-fiction read. I thought it was worth the two weeks it took me to finish it.