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Updated with New Information and Additional Patches
 
They’re on the shoulders of all military personnel: patches showing what a soldier’s unit does. But what if that’s top secret?
 
“A glimpse of [the Pentagon’s] dark world through a revealing lens—patches—the kind worn on military uniforms. . . The book offers not only clues into the nature of the secret programs, but also a glimpse of zealous male bonding among the presumed elite of the military-industrial complex. The patches often feel like fraternity pranks gone ballistic.”
—William Broad, The New York Times
 
I COULD TELL YOU. . . is a bestselling collection of more than seventy military patches representing secret government projects. Here author/photographer/investigator Trevor Paglen explores classified weapons projects and intelligence operations by scrutinizing their own imagery and jargon, disclosing new facts about important military units, which are here known by peculiar names (“Goat Suckers,” “Grim Reapers,” “Tastes Like Chicken”) and illustrated with occult symbols and ridiculous cartoons. The precisely photographed patches—worn by military personnel working on classified missions, such as those at the legendary Area 51—reveal much about a strange and eerie world about which little was previously known.
 
“A fresh approach to secret government.”
—Steven Aftergood, The Federation of American Scientists
 
“An impressive collection.”
—Justin Rood, ABC News
 
“A fascinating set of shoulder patches.”
—Stephen Colbert, The Colbert Report
 
“I was fascinated... [Paglen] has assembled about 40 colorful patch insignia from secret, military ‘black’ programs that are hardly ever discussed in public. He has plenty of regalia from the real denizens of Area 51.”
—Alex Beam, The Boston Globe
Published: Random House Publishing Group on
ISBN: 9781935554783
List price: $9.99
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The book summary listed does not describe this book. It is some publisher's hype, but not accurate. What this book does contain is a smattering of about 40 black world (or not) patches. The projects were not code named "None of your F-ing Business" as the synopsis states...those were just unofficial mottoes on some of the patches. The author admits this is a very haphazard sampling of some patches, heavy on Area 51 projects. Not comprehensive. Not a historical record. Not even necessarily accurate. But a fun glimpse, nonetheless. I can't help but think the guy hired to write the synopsis hated either the subject matter or the author...or both. If you are interested in militaria, this may interest you. Do not expect to be educated or informed, simply entertained.more
This is a very short book containing photographs of patches from secret projects and attempts to correlate the patch to particular secret projects. Obviously, there is not a lot to go on here besides conjecture. It's still a very interesting book worth a look.more
ICTYBTYWHTBDYM is nearly shorter than its title. A collection of Air Force patches as "seen" by the author near Area 51. Paglen details some of the symbolism and meaning behind the myriad of patches that--somewhat inexplicably--are worn by individuals working for black ops projects. A nice little insight into an otherwise obscured sub-culture.more
Absolutely fascinating look at the secret world of patches in the military. Paglen did an amazing amount of investigation and work to uncover these patches, and, more importantly, the world they represent. This book -- with its title on the cover on a real patch -- is fascinating even if you don't care at all about patches, the military, secret operations...more
A look at the uniform patches used by various secret projects of the (mainly) U.S. Airforce.Quick read. But absolutely unique information and a patch-focused presenation. A nice little book for military buffs.more
Read all 5 reviews

Reviews

The book summary listed does not describe this book. It is some publisher's hype, but not accurate. What this book does contain is a smattering of about 40 black world (or not) patches. The projects were not code named "None of your F-ing Business" as the synopsis states...those were just unofficial mottoes on some of the patches. The author admits this is a very haphazard sampling of some patches, heavy on Area 51 projects. Not comprehensive. Not a historical record. Not even necessarily accurate. But a fun glimpse, nonetheless. I can't help but think the guy hired to write the synopsis hated either the subject matter or the author...or both. If you are interested in militaria, this may interest you. Do not expect to be educated or informed, simply entertained.more
This is a very short book containing photographs of patches from secret projects and attempts to correlate the patch to particular secret projects. Obviously, there is not a lot to go on here besides conjecture. It's still a very interesting book worth a look.more
ICTYBTYWHTBDYM is nearly shorter than its title. A collection of Air Force patches as "seen" by the author near Area 51. Paglen details some of the symbolism and meaning behind the myriad of patches that--somewhat inexplicably--are worn by individuals working for black ops projects. A nice little insight into an otherwise obscured sub-culture.more
Absolutely fascinating look at the secret world of patches in the military. Paglen did an amazing amount of investigation and work to uncover these patches, and, more importantly, the world they represent. This book -- with its title on the cover on a real patch -- is fascinating even if you don't care at all about patches, the military, secret operations...more
A look at the uniform patches used by various secret projects of the (mainly) U.S. Airforce.Quick read. But absolutely unique information and a patch-focused presenation. A nice little book for military buffs.more
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