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Fair Game: How a Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed by Her Own Government Mass Market Paperback – October 26, 2010

3.2 out of 5 stars 28 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Among the risks faced by men and women who volunteer to serve in our intelligence services are those which derive from American politics. This story shows us how strong the desire to serve can be and how treacherous the risks are in the minefields of Washington. Valerie Wilson volunteered at the height of the cold war. She expected to be betrayed by our enemies, not us." -- Bob Kerrey, Former U.S. Senator and Vice Chairman, Senate Select Committee on Intelligence

"Plame spent a courageous and honorable career on the front lines of terrorism only to come home and meet the ultimate betrayal, her own country -- unethical politicians and unscrupulous journalists. Plame's story is a modern odyssey, a cautionary tale that should make Americans think twice before sacrificing their patriots." -- Lobert Baer, Former CIA Case Officer and the author of See No Evil and Sleeping With The Devil

"Plame had a front-row seat on both the politicization of pre-war intelligence and White House efforts to stem post-invasion criticism....[She] can be viewed as a canary in the proverbial coal mine, and her book reads like a grim testament to the noxious atmosphere of our current politics." -- The Boston Globe

"Fair Game -- which takes its title from Karl Rove's phrase about the legitimacy of blowing Ms. Wilson's professional camouflage -- describes how intense stress wrought havoc on the Wilsons' marriage, not to mention Ms. Wilson's state of mind....[And] she powerfully evokes the disbelief, fury and uncharacteristic terror that came with being outed. " -- The New York Times

"...Plame's own account of her life reveals her as a patriotic true believer in the CIA and its mission. " -- Los Angeles Times

About the Author

Valerie Plame Wilson, the former CIA covert operations officer, was born on Elmendorf Air Force base in Anchorage, Alaska in 1963. She holds a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and master's degrees from the London School of Economics and Political Science and the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. Her career in the CIA included extensive work in counterproliferation operations, working to ensure that enemies of the United States could not threaten America with weapons of mass destruction. She and her husband, Ambassador Joe Wilson, are the parents of seven-year-old twins. Ms. Wilson and her family live in New Mexico.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star; Reprint edition (October 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1451624042
  • ISBN-13: 978-1451624045
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.3 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,269,778 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Afia TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Aside from all the politics, this was a compelling story simply to find out how she got into the CIA, got trained and how the rules work for such an employer. I spent enough time around people in this business to think I knew something, but there's no substitute for a long narrative that explores such a career. Also, it's interesting to read about a very good-looking female agent.

There are some excellent books by former CIA agents and appointed personnel. A very long book that I'd recommend is the biographical one by George Tenet: At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. Tenet explains the politics associated with intelligence from the highest levels. He shows how intelligence is shaped by politics in the real world, not the other way around as in textbooks.

I highly recommend all of Robert Baer's books, especially: See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism. Baer shows how the real agents operate far from home and with high professionalism and sacrifice that you can't find at headquarters (to be honest, not critical).

The most entertaining CIA biography in my opinion is that of Antonio Mendez: The Master of Disguise: My Secret Life in the CIA. Mendez was a tradecraft guru.

Fortunately, there are a lot of good books available to understand how intelligence agencies operate and in particular to know the kind of sacrifices made by the agents and operatives.
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IT IS UNFORTUNATE THAT ALL THE PEOPLE INVOLVED IN DESTROYING THIS WOMANS CIA CAREER WERE NOT BROUGHT TO JUSTICE, BUT THEN WE ALL KNOW THERE IS 2 KINDS OF JUSTICE IN THIS COUNTRY: JUSTICE FOR THE POWERFUL AND THEN ALL THE REST OF US. THIS COULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED WITH OUT THE KNOWLEDGE AND PERMISSION OF ALL THE TOP PEOPLE IN W'S ADMINISTRATION. THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A 5 STAR REVEIW EXCEPT FOR THE DIFFICULTY IN READING THE CIA REDACTED PORTIONS OF THE BOOK AND THEN READING THE REPORTERS FILL IN THAT WAS PUBLIC KNOWLEDGE IN THE BACK OF THE BOOK AT THE SAME TIME. JUST MORE PROOF OF HOW FAR THE REPUBLICAN ADMINISTRATION WOULD GO TO KEEP THE TRUTH FROM THE CITIZENS OF THIS COUNTRY.
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This book actually started out pretty good. It would have been 100% better if the "feds" hadn't censored it. Some of the chapters had the majority of the pages blanked out. However, it did give an insight into the world of working for the CIA, FBI, etc. If I had known that many of the pages were blanked out, I would have passed on buying the book.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book was destined to be second-rate. In part because of a rouge presidential administration and a patsy agency publishing department that lacked the courage to stand up to it, but also, frankly, because of the author/publisher's laziness.

The redactions are exhaustive and distracting--even to a reader of many CIA books. Although I appreciate the Afterword by Laura Rozen, I think her piece should have been in the form of footnotes, rather than a separate part, so the reader had a readily available picture of events. Moreover, a non-fiction book without an index is inexcusable in my opinion. Last, although I greatly sympathize, the chapter on postpartum depression was way too exhaustive. If I wanted a book about postpartum depression, I would have bought one.

Although this book left too many question unanswered (especially regarding the trial of Libby), I am very glad Mrs. Plame wrote it and I am likewise glad I read it. This is a compelling story about treason (yes, I wrote it) in the White House. Bush, Cheney, and Libby should feel ashamed by their blind cruelty and abuse of power that threatened not only Mrs. Plame's security, but our national security as well. This was an impeachable and removable offense. It's a shame that did not happen. At least a movie was made to embarrass these officials. Moreover, I imagine God's judgment will be more just.
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Although this book is basically a rehash of the known criminal acts committed by high level slime balls of our government. It does furnish an insider victim's take on the petty revenge acts that were committed by a not to bright president and his close advisors. Acts which bordered on endangering the security of our country, not to mention the covert agent, her family, and a large number of her associates. A good read that sometimes is a little dry.
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There was so much of blacked out information, it made it difficult to connect the dots !!! I actually enjoyed more of the personal relationship information regarding family and friends, than I did all the technical data that could be printed !
I'm happy she had her day in court and applaud her patriotic service to our country ! It certainly does make one think about the trust we put in our "politicians", since they are only human as well, and subject to immoral, questionable judgments, and play the blame game so often !!
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I picked this book up at a thrift store, so it is not an amazon verified purchased book.

This book had to be approved by the CIA before it was published to make sure Valerie wasn't writing about top secret information, I guess. Because there are portions of sentences, whole paragraphs and even whole pages that are blacked out, it makes the beginning of the book (the first 150 pages) seem disjointed.

To me the book was more about Valerie Plame Wilson telling her side of the story that we heard about in the news. I hope she felt better after getting if off her chest and onto paper.

It's an interesting look into what goes on in the world of politics (from what you could see - that wasn't blacked out).
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