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****Excellent ***Good **Fair *Poor : AUDIOCASSETTES

January 12, 1988|CHARLES CHAMPLIN

"Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA 1981-1987" by Robert Woodward. Introduction read by Woodward. Text read by John Hockenberry. Simon & Schuster. (Abridged, two cassettes.) Released almost simultaneously with Woodward's controversial book, the audiocassette reveals a smart, significant trend to make a book's ads, reviews and notoriety do double duty--and to keep the ancillary revenues in-house. The 180-minute reading delivers only a fraction of Woodward's nearly 500-page report, and the condensation (by Barbara Fineman) focuses on Woodward's series of interviews with the late CIA Director William Casey, who was conceivably as indiscreetly candid as he sounds. In this brief form--as at full length--it is a depressing story of foreign policy conducted as a sequence of dirty tricks. ***

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