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Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government Paperback – Bargain Price, June 10, 2008

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (June 10, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416537627
  • ASIN: B002NPCVK2
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 8.3 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (164 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,212,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

On July 6, 2003, four months after the United States invaded Iraq, former ambassador Joseph Wilson's now historic op-ed, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," appeared in The New York Times. A week later, conservative pundit Robert Novak revealed in his newspaper column that Ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a CIA operative. The public disclosure of that secret information spurred a federal investigation and led to the trial and conviction of Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, and the Wilsons' civil suit against top officials of the Bush administration. Much has been written about the "Valerie Plame" story, but Valerie herself has been silent, until now. Some of what has been reported about her has been frighteningly accurate, serving as a pungent reminder to the Wilsons that their lives are no longer private. And some has been completely false--distorted characterizations of Valerie and her husband and their shared integrity.

Valerie Wilson retired from the CIA in January 2006, and now, not only as a citizen but as a wife and mother, the daughter of an Air Force colonel, and the sister of a U.S. marine, she sets the record straight, providing an extraordinary account of her training and experiences, and answers many questions that have been asked about her covert status, her responsibilities, and her life. As readers will see, the CIA still deems much of the detail of Valerie's story to be classified. As a service to readers, an afterword by national security reporter Laura Rozen provides a context for Valerie's own story.

Fair Game is the historic and unvarnished account of the personal and international consequences of speaking truth to power.

Read the First Chapter from Fair Game

Joining the CIA
Our group of five--three men and two women--trekked through an empty tract of wooded land and swamp, known in CIA terms as the "Farm." It was 4 a.m. and we had been on the move all night. Having practiced escape and evasion from an ostensible hostile force--our instructors--we were close to meeting up with our other classmates. Together we would attack the enemy, then board a helicopter to safety. This exercise, called the final assault, was the climax of our paramilitary training. Each of us carried eighty-pound backpacks, filled with essential survival gear: tents, freeze-dried food, tablets to purify drinking water, and 5.56 mm ammunition for our M-16s. The late fall weather was bitter, and slimy water sloshed in our combat boots. A blister on my heel radiated little jabs of stinging pain. My friend Pete, a former Army officer, usually ready with a wisecrack and a smirk, hadn't spoken in hours, while John, our resident beer guzzler, carried not only his backpack but at least fifty extra pounds of body weight. His round face was covered with mud and sweat.

Read the Publisher's Note and First Chapter from Fair Game

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The government redacted much of the significant information in the first section of Wilson's memoir, which concerns her career in the CIA. In print, a black bar omitted the words and passages; on audio, a tone does the deleting. Once the novelty of the beeps wears off, the incompleteness of Wilson's narrative, at first tantalizing, becomes frustrating. The constant interruptions make it difficult for a listener to assemble a coherent story. Once Wilson's identity is leaked by White House insiders, the memoir's redactions cease for the most part. Unfortunately, her distress over the attempted destruction of her and her husband's professional reputations is considerably less riveting than her spy career. Whiles neither a prose stylist or an actress, Wilson reads clearly, with immediacy and sincerity and a note of barely suppressed anger. Laura Rozen's afterword (occupying the last two CDs) fills in the gaps removed by the CIA. It's intriguing and considerably more polished. The two narratives create an interesting, if not entirely satisfying, account of a disturbing contemporary scandal.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

It's a good book, and one American's should read.
Sweet D
While this helped to make a point, it rendered the actual text almost unreadable.
Paul Dirks
This was a great read and well written and also very informative.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 39 people found the following review helpful By EddieLove on October 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
While the book certainly makes the case that Plame was a covert operative who was wronged by the administration, I think what makes it most interesting can be appreciated by anyone outside of their political leanings. We get a candid portrait of what it's like in the center of one of these media storms and Plame offers up plenty of detail on the toll this affair took on herself and her marriage. People should be outraged.

The large section of redacted passages are tough to get around -- I wish the material included at the end could have been inserted as footnotes throughout so the reader doesn't have to jump back and forth.
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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Sweet D on September 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
This isn't a spy-intrigue-action book, so please don't expect it to be. It's Valerie Plame Wilson's story about ow she happened to become a CIA agent, what it took to reach the levels in the institution that she did. How the scandal started who was and wasn't involved. She explains how the government managed to touch every part of her being to her personal life, social life, professional life, motherhood, finances, you name it. It's a good book, and one American's should read. Especially approaching this 2008 election.
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159 of 188 people found the following review helpful By J. A Magill VINE VOICE on October 30, 2007
Format: Hardcover
As is ever the case with books on controversial topics, particular those political, reviews of Mrs. Plame Wilson's book has attracted countless reviews, often from those who one must suspect have not read the book. Indeed, time and again one sees reviews which make assertions patently false such as that Mrs. Wilson was not undercover (the Judge in the Libby case, Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald, and CIA Director General Hayden have all made plain that she was), or that her husband Joseph Wilson was not an ambassador (again, he was, to Gabon). Yet such attempts by individuals to create their own facts has little bearing on what Mrs. Wilson's book offers.

There is little new here in terms of the facts of the case of Robert Novak's "outing" of Mrs. Wilson which could not be found in the court record or a simple Lexus search. This perhaps more than anything makes the frequent redactions (demanded by the CIA and published in the volume as black lines) so patently absurd; time and again matters clearly part of the public record are removed, a penchant for privacy that should give every American citizen pause. That said, Mrs. Wilson writes with gusto and given her silence up until now, one must acknowledge a certain satisfaction in seeing her get her piece.

More than anything this is a highly person memoir, recounting - to the degree the CIA's over busy redactors allowed - her years of service as well as the trauma she and her husband Ambassador Joseph Wilson were forced to endure. While this book offers little new for the record of events, it does give a window into the damage done by those at the eye of the storm. I can only scratch my head in wonder at how many people have continued to sharpen their long knives after Mrs. Wilson's savage treatment.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Will S. on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a really fascinating look at how politics became a battlefront in the war on intelligence. Wilson's role in assisting the CIA becomes a firestorm with repercussions that surround the globe. This is an amazing look at what the toll of speaking up took, and should be a call for all Americans, of all political leanings, to stop, look past party loyalties, and question everything, even it it comes from your own candidate. I found the additional section at the end very helpful for filling in those blank pages. For anyone who is questioning this story you need to ask yourself, what were they going to gain by making this stuff up? Thank you Valerie for speaking up. You've made many Americans more determined to be forthright and honest.
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262 of 338 people found the following review helpful By Elliven on October 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I'd avidly followed Valerie Plame's nightmare, so I knew a lot about the story and the various players involved. But it was so interesting to be able to peek behind the scenes and see what it was like for Valerie personally: As a mother of young children, as a woman, as a professional who put her life on the line for her country. A fascinating read.

Now that's my opinion, of course, and you're free to disagree. But if you're going to bash this book in a review, please make sure you actually READ it first. It is obvious that some of the reviewers here have not done so. The purpose of the review section is to give potential buyers an idea of the book being sold, not to advance one's political views.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By H. F. Miglino on February 12, 2010
Format: Paperback
I give the book 4 stars and Valerie's story 5 stars. I know there are two sides to each story but I do not think Valerie or Joe had any idea what was going to happen after Joe came back from his Africa trip or Valerie maybe should have told Joe it is not a good idea to go on this trip. Who really knows what goes on in ones mind. Anyway the book is a very quick read. I followed this story in the papers and on TV but did not get the nuts and bolts from TV or the newspapers or did not know that much about Valeroe's life or family. Valerie did lead a great life and really did nothing wrong. Bottom line is Scooter Libby went to jail, or was supposed to but got pardoned (was probably a fall guy). If Joe Wilson would have submitted a report against the current leadership in some sort of third world dictatorship type of country for both he and Valerie the least of their problems would have their jobs or the government. Valerie lead a terrific life and I admire her, I really do.
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