I was trawling my local library catalogue before the Christmas holidays, looking for books to reserve. Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA jumped out at me purely because it’s so Other to me. I would never make it as an undercover agent. I tweet far too much.
Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA
by Amaryllis Fox
Mostly this book felt like absorbing to me. I know nothing about the CIA and what it is like to be an undercover agent. I sponged it all up.
It is safe to assume that as much as Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA details, there are larger quantities left unsaid. Which is reasonable and to be expected when reading a book about classified operations. The unexpected insights in this book also came from what the CIA thinks of your relationships and how they have way too much say in the persona lives of agents! I get it, security and what not… but yeah. Not something for me.
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The only real problem I had with the book is that the “negotiations” with terrorists and like people seemed to be “Pretty please don’t nuke the US. We can have bombs but you can’t.” Which a) seems like really lame negotiation and b) is pretty inequitable. Again, I’m sure (I hope?) there is a LOT more to it and it just can’t be written for obvious classified reasons.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be in the CIA and want a first hand account, pick up this book.