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The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World's Most Notorious Terrorists Hardcover – February 25, 2020

4.5 out of 5 stars 645 ratings

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  • The Unexpected Spy: From the CIA to the FBI, My Secret Life Taking Down Some of the World's Most Notorious Terrorists
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Absorbing, if often frustrating, given the macho, male-dominant culture prevalent within the Bureau. Readers of memoirs, current events and U.S. history are all sure to enjoy The Unexpected Spy." ―Shelf Awareness

"Walder has been able to accomplish more than most people do in a lifetime... [A] tale of a woman whose mission was to help make America great." ―USC Annenberg Media

"Lively" ―American Jewish World

"[Walder] is really not what you would expect... Incredible book." ―Heather McDonald, Juicy Scoop

"This book is a nice reminder that far beneath today’s news headlines, there is a quiet cadre of ethical, hard-working and dedicated patriots working to keep us safe." ―Lee Woodruff

"What a romp... it won me over hard." ―Julie Mason, The Press Pool

"Walder's candid story will connect with readers curious about counterterrorism work and seeking an inspirational account of a woman seeking to change the balance of power in not only a male-dominated field but the world." ―Library Journal

"A well-written, engaging memoir, a serious and candid inside view of two enigmatic and significant institutions from a woman's perspective.'" ―Booklist

"Tracy Walder's The Unexpected Spy is an engaging and thoughtful story of service that will inspire generations of young women to come. Tracy's story is particularly moving because it provides a candid but often untold account of the challenges of serving one's nation amid tumultuous times. As a woman in national security, Tracy offers a glimpse into the rewards and risks of actualizing a dream in a male-dominated space." ―Lauren Bean Buitta, Founder, Girl Security

"Walder brings a you-are-there intimacy to her accounts. Often, the youngest person in the room and one of few females... [She] was certainly there when history was made." ―Kirkus Reviews

"Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed Tracy Walder's unique perspective; it will be inspiring to so many, especially young women with an interest in national security. I couldn't help but compare it to some of my own experiences in the CIA, particularly her exhaustion working counterterrorism, her sense of betrayal in war time, and her feelings of responsibility after a large-scale attack. I admire Walder's ability to channel those challenges into a positive force. A force for change." ―Sarah M. Carlson, Former CIA officer and author of In The Dark Of War

"The Unexpected Spy will get wide attention, and deserves it. It will give readers a different, more vivid, and more human idea of the actual work of spying, counter-intelligence, and dealing with terrorism. It will be especially important to young women who are considering this kind of career." ―James Fallows at The Atlantic, author of Blind Into Baghdad

"Tracy Walder has a unique combination of immense courage along with compassion and humanity... This book will be an inspiration to anyone who picks it up." ―Ellen Pompeo, actress, director, producer

"A compelling and well-written memoir that takes the reader on a journey from the CIA's 'Farm' and its 'black sites' to the FBI's training academy" ―Peter Bergen, author of Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for bin Laden from 9/11 to Abbottabad

"Tracy Walder is an exceptionally gifted individual." ―The Jeruselum Post

"Riveting..." ―Hearst Connecticut Media Group

"[Walder's] extraordinary commitment and expertise helped shatter the CIA’s glass ceiling." ―Fox News



Named one of the 10 Books Celebrities Love by E! News.

About the Author

Tracy Walder is a former Staff Operations Officer (SOO) at the CIA's Counterterrorism Center and a Special Agent at the FBI's Los Angeles Field Office specializing in Chinese counterintelligence operations. She now teaches global terrorism at the all-girls Ursuline Academy in Dallas and is an adjunct professor of Domestic Terrorism and Criminal Justice at Texas Christian University in Ft. Worth. She is on the Board of Directors for Girl Security, a non profit, non partisan group that brings national security curriculum to girls in high school throughout the US.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ St. Martin's Press (February 25, 2020)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 272 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1250230985
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1250230980
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 12.4 ounces
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 5.67 x 0.92 x 8.59 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.5 out of 5 stars 645 ratings

Customer reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5
645 global ratings
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Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on July 2, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 25, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on April 18, 2020
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Reviewed in the United States on March 18, 2020
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Top reviews from other countries

Lori
1.0 out of 5 stars The title is better than the book
Reviewed in Canada on December 7, 2020
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Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars What a good read
Reviewed in Australia on November 5, 2020
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Priya Vinu
5.0 out of 5 stars From Sorority to CIA
Reviewed in India on February 25, 2020