Reading List - 2021

The Company: A Novel of the CIA by Robert Littell

From the 1950s to the collapse of the Soviet Union, Littell's narrative of a CIA mole and Russia's attempts to destabilize the U.S. economy was prescient. Complete with appearances by a paranoid Chief of Counterintelligence, a President whose mind is faltering and a cast of "ordinary" Machivellian men, The Company grants the reader a fictional historical context for his justifiable criticisms.

1983: Reagan, Andropov, and a World on the Brink by Taylor Downing

Hey kids! Remember that time a couple of old, senile white men... one of whom was on his deathbed... let their paranoia get the best of them and came damn close to incinerating everyone in a nuclear holocaust?

You don't?

If you believe ignorance is bliss, don't read this book. But if you want to learn the dangers of speculation based on faulty intelligence, then this is well worth your time. For decades, no one truly understood how close we came to the end of the world. If this doesn't make you rethink nuclear proliferation, then you're beyond help.

An Ordinary Spy by Joseph Weisberg

A former case officer's novel about two embattled spies who go to extraordinary lengths to keep their informants out of harm's way.

Weisberg reveals details about the bureaucracy and what life is really like for a case officer. This was recommended by Alma Katsu, author of Red Widow (which is also on my reading list for this year.) This novel demonstrates the the necessity of HUMINT (human intelligence) and the effects on those serving our nation in intelligence-gathering roles.