Concept

The Puzzle Palace

Summary
The Puzzle Palace is a book written by James Bamford and published in 1982. It is the first major, popular work devoted entirely to the history and workings of the National Security Agency (NSA), a United States intelligence organization. The title refers to a nickname for the NSA, which is headquartered in Fort Meade, Maryland. In addition to describing the role of the NSA and explaining how it was organized, the book exposed details of a massive eavesdropping operation called Operation Shamrock. According to security expert Bruce Schneier, the book was popular within the NSA itself, as "the agency's secrecy prevents its employees from knowing much about their own history". Research and publication The NSA describes Bamford's research process in a partially declassified history of postwar American cryptography. The history begins by describing how Bamford approached Houghton-Mifflin with a proposal to write a book on the NSA. The publisher accepted and paid Bamford a $7,5
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