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Summary and book reviews of Spooked by Adam Penenberg

Spooked

Espionage in Corporate America

by Adam Penenberg, Marc Barry

Spooked
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  • First Published:
    Dec 2000, 288 pages
    Paperback:
    Dec 2001, 208 pages

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Book Summary

A page-burning account of intrigue and espionage in the offices and boardrooms of today's corporations.

Imagine your main business competitor building a world-class, satellite-equipped "war room" to secretly scope out and monitor your progress developing international ventures. Incredible? Imagine your classified product prototype mysteriously landing on the market under a brand name belonging to your archrival. Astounding? This isn't the story line from the latest John le Carré novel; this is modern-day corporate America--and it's full of secret agents and operatives, stealing and selling your intellectual property for profit.

Peopled by riveting characters displaced from now defunct post-Cold War agencies, Spooked exposes a fascinating tapestry of real-life corporate spying occurring within publicly traded companies such as Dow Chemical, Avery Dennison, 3M, Sony, Motorola, and dozens of others. Adam Penenberg, top investigative journalist for Forbes, and Marc Barry, founder of a Manhattan-based corporate-intelligence agency, uncover and describe in thrilling detail some of the greatest corporate-espionage capers of all time. A brilliant exposé, Spooked unravels the truth and hypocrisy behind the multi-billion-dollar corporate-intelligence industry.

Author's Note

I first met Marc Barry, my co-author and founder of the New York-based consulting firm C3I Analytics, while I was researching a story on corporate espionage for the Forbes magazine web site. At the time I was pounding out a feature and two sidebars a week, and my usual routine was to spend four days on research and one day drafting stories.

Unfortunately that didn't leave much leeway for dead ends. Which is where I found myself when I called Marc.

I had spent the previous three days interviewing a shady character located on the West Coast, and I was having trouble confirming certain facts. The source, a detective, claimed he had used a nifty piece of technology on a caper, which he had secreted away under a photocopier. Three weeks later, dressed as a repairman, he bluffed his way on to the premises again and was able to collect a cache of valuable photocopies from his client's business rival. But no matter how far and wide I searched, I could not find anyone ...

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Publisher's Weekly

Paranoia levels will shoot through the ceiling among those who read this riveting report on the growing number of companies that spy on their competition in the U.S.

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