Audiobook Review: Dark Territory the Secret History of Cyber War

Dark Territory





Book Blurb

As cyber attacks dominate front-page news, as hackers join the list of global threats, and as top generals warn of a coming cyber war, few books are more timely and enlightening than Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War by Slate columnist and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Fred Kaplan.

Kaplan probes the inner corridors of the National Security Agency, the beyond-top-secret cyber units in the Pentagon, the “information warfare” squads of the military services, and the national security debates in the White House to tell this never-before-told story of the officers, policymakers, scientists, and spies who devised this new form of warfare and who have been planning – and, more often than people know, fighting – these wars for decades.

From the 1991 Gulf War to conflicts in Haiti, Serbia, Syria, the former Soviet republics, Iraq, and Iran, where cyber warfare played a significant role, Dark Territory chronicles, in fascinating detail, an unknown past that shines an unsettling light on our future.

©2016 Fred Kaplan (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.



Book Review

This was quite an interesting book. The Secret history of cyber war, behind the scenes with the NSA, military officials, and government bigwigs said a lot. The overall undertone I picked up from the author was that the government officials took somewhat of a passive role responding to the vulnerabilities of critical infrastructure and realizing the threat of cyber warfare. Then again we did launch the first digital weapon against the Iranians with their nuclear devices. But that’s still different than protecting our countries computer networks, whether military or private sector, and still has proven to be a slippery topic.

They also talked about the difficulties measuring what would be an appropriate response to a cyber attack. Policies that would gauge what constitutes an act of war? Very challenging. Even coming to the new realization of a “cyber war” versus the traditional boots-on-the-ground war, has been slow. Not to mention detecting, tracking, pursuing a new type of enemy who’s​ virtually invisible and impossible to find. 

Fascinating topic and a great book. Hats off to Fred Kaplan.




microphone narrator







 Malcolm Hillgartner


  • Narrator-Story Connection: 10/10

Hillgartner does an excellent job taking the reins in this one. It’s not easy narrating nonfiction, or making it interesting in a way that doesn’t lose listeners. Hillgartner is a win in this category. 

  • Voice Switch Over: NA. There’s no purpose for voice switching in nonfiction. 


  • Pacing 8/10

The pace was even, steady throughout the book, but a tad fast for my taste. The subject matter had a lot do with this. It’s packed with information about the history of Cyber operations, government response, and military jargon. I also forgot you can change the pace digitally through the audible app.

  • Emphasis 10/10

Considering the subject matter, Hillgartner is spot on for emphasis. This was a big reason I enjoyed the audiobook. For me to spend 9 hours listening to dense nonfiction there better be a good reason for it. Hillgartner, here, again fits the bill. Heck, he even makes it seem easy!


  • Reader-Story Connection 10/10

This is where I connect to the story, or in this case, subject matter, through the narrator. Hillgartner absolutely knocks this one out of the ballpark. I probably like the book even more because of him. 

Sound Quality: 10/10

Publisher Blackstone Audio, Inc. They’re one of my favorite publishers on the planet because they produce quality work. Sound quality was premium. 

Overall Performance: 10/10

The entire production deserves a 10 from me. I’m even considering relistening to the whole thing again. 




Malcolm Hillgartner also narrates Dunkirk


Dunkirk Audible



See you soon!!

Benjamin Thomas


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