Short Course is a cloak-and-dagger memoir from a pseudonymous author, a self-styied CIA big. The first part tackles the theory of secret operations, the second the real-life practice; both are intended as necessary introductions to modern day Mata Harlism, and as such are enlightening, eventful, even entertaining. Yet both parts, at times, read like a cryptic catechism, White Paper double talk or Spy- upmanship. Slippery indeed, one feels, is that shadow world. Anyway, the lessons demonstrate the secret agent's kinship to both the artist and the criminal; at wartime the operations are at peacetime , the agent operates outside, his case officer inside; the out agent is the mobile man, the sleeper agent is the one who waits for a certain eventuality, and the cold war's political agent does everything from ""spontaneous demonstrations"" to guerilla whooping-up. There are also some entre-nous revelations re the Cuban and affairs, plus a ""case history"" covering the author's underground work in the Sovietized Hungary of and maze of trap and counter-trap, black marketsering, Bela imprisonment. President Tildy's subjugation, show trials, forced confessions. AVO files and flights to-the-West- in short, a stranger-than-Hitchcock spectacular.