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John Sipher

Recommended Books

Former CIA Clandestine Service
38 books on the list
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First Casualty book cover
First Casualty
The Untold Story of the CIA Mission to Avenge 9/11
Toby Harnden - Sep 07, 2021
Goodreads Rating
This dramatic true story reveals the secret mission of the eight members of the CIA’s Team Alpha, the first Americans to be dropped behind enemy lines in Afghanistan after 9/11.America is reeling; Al-Qaeda has struck and thousands are dead. The country scrambles to respond, but the Pentagon has no plan for Afghanistan—where Osama bin Laden mastermi...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
I read all Michael Dobbs' books but "One Minute to Midnight" is chilling, as is Lawrence Wright's "Thirteen Days in September." Catherine Belton's excellent "Putin's People" is a must to understand Putin. Also, Toby Harnden's recent "First Casualty" is good on early Afghan. 5/      source
Also recommended by
Maggie Haberman
The Quiet Americans book cover
The Quiet Americans
Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War
Scott Anderson - May 24, 2021 (first published in 2020)
Goodreads Rating
From the bestselling author of Lawrence in Arabia comes a gripping history of the early years of the Cold War when the CIA's covert battles against communism undermined the moral standing of the United States on the international stage.A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF 2020In the aftermath of WWII, the mandate of the newly formed CIA was to protect ...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
Among the best histories of Russian espionage is Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev's "The Haunted Wood". Christopher Andrew's classic "The Sword and the Shield" is a history of the KGB. Scott Anderson's recent "The Quiet Americans" is good on early CIA. 4/      source
Putin's People book cover
Putin's People
How the KGB Took Back Russia and Then Took On the West
Catherine Belton - Jun 23, 2020 (first published in 2015)
Goodreads Rating
Interference in American elections. The sponsorship of extremist politics in Europe. War in Ukraine. In recent years, Vladimir Putin’s Russia has waged a concerted campaign to expand its influence and undermine Western institutions. But how and why did all this come about, and who has orchestrated it?In Putin’s People, the investigative journalist ...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
I read all Michael Dobbs' books but "One Minute to Midnight" is chilling, as is Lawrence Wright's "Thirteen Days in September." Catherine Belton's excellent "Putin's People" is a must to understand Putin. Also, Toby Harnden's recent "First Casualty" is good on early Afghan. 5/      source
Also recommended by
Carl Bildt
Mitrokhin Archive book cover
Mitrokhin Archive
Jun 28, 2018 (first published in 1985)
Goodreads Rating
'One of the biggest intelligence coups in recent years' The TimesFor years KGB operative Vasili Mitrokhin risked his life hiding top-secret material from Russian secret service archives beneath his family dacha. When he was exfiltrated to the West he took with him what the FBI called 'the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from ...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
Among the best histories of Russian espionage is Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev's "The Haunted Wood". Christopher Andrew's classic "The Sword and the Shield" is a history of the KGB. Scott Anderson's recent "The Quiet Americans" is good on early CIA. 4/      source
Thirteen Days in September book cover
Thirteen Days in September
The Dramatic Story of the Struggle for Peace
Lawrence Wright - Apr 28, 2015
Goodreads Rating
ONE OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW’ S 10 BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A gripping day-by-day account of the 1978 Camp David conference, when President Jimmy Carter persuaded Israeli prime minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian president Anwar Sadat to sign the first peace treaty in the modern Middle East, one which endures to this day. With his hallmark ...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
I read all Michael Dobbs' books but "One Minute to Midnight" is chilling, as is Lawrence Wright's "Thirteen Days in September." Catherine Belton's excellent "Putin's People" is a must to understand Putin. Also, Toby Harnden's recent "First Casualty" is good on early Afghan. 5/      source
One Minute to Midnight book cover
One Minute to Midnight
Kennedy, Khrushchev, and Castro on the Brink of Nuclear War
Michael Dobbs - Jun 02, 2009 (first published in 2008)
Goodreads Rating
In October 1962, at the height of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union came to the brink of nuclear conflict over the placement of Soviet missiles in Cuba. In this hour-by-hour chronicle of those tense days, veteran Washington Post reporter Michael Dobbs reveals just how close we came to Armageddon.Here, for the first time, are grip...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
I read all Michael Dobbs' books but "One Minute to Midnight" is chilling, as is Lawrence Wright's "Thirteen Days in September." Catherine Belton's excellent "Putin's People" is a must to understand Putin. Also, Toby Harnden's recent "First Casualty" is good on early Afghan. 5/      source
The Haunted Wood book cover
The Haunted Wood
Soviet Espionage in America - The Stalin Era
Alexander Vassiliev, Allen Weinstein - Dec 22, 1998
Goodreads Rating
Four years ago, Allen Weinstein, the author of Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case, and Alexander Vassiliev, a former Soviet KGB agent-turned-journalist, were allowed to review and copy thousands of classified dispatches that documented the KGB's success in aquiring America's most valuable atomic, military, and diplomatic secrets. These efforts require...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
Among the best histories of Russian espionage is Allen Weinstein and Alexander Vassiliev's "The Haunted Wood". Christopher Andrew's classic "The Sword and the Shield" is a history of the KGB. Scott Anderson's recent "The Quiet Americans" is good on early CIA. 4/      source
Damascus Station book cover
Damascus Station
A Novel
David McCloskey - Oct 05, 2021
Goodreads Rating
CIA case officer Sam Joseph is dispatched to Paris to recruit Syrian Palace official Mariam Haddad. The two fall into a forbidden relationship, supercharging Haddad’s recruitment and creating unspeakable danger when they enter Damascus to find the man responsible for the disappearance of an American spy.But the cat-and-mouse chase for the killer so...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
..."Palace of Treason" and "The Kremlin's Candidate". David McCloskey is starting strong with "Damascus Station". Re key history related to Russia, Sam Tanenhaus' "Whitaker Chambers" and Allen Weinstein's "Perjury" are musts. 2/      source
Also recommended by
Steve Schmidt
The Kremlin's Candidate book cover
The Kremlin's Candidate
A Novel (3) (The Red Sparrow Trilogy)
Jason Matthews - Aug 07, 2018
Goodreads Rating
Red Sparrow is now a major motion picture starring Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton! The “exciting conclusion” (Entertainment Weekly) in the New York Times bestselling Red Sparrow Trilogy has Russian counterintelligence chief Dominika Egorova and her lover, CIA agent Nate Nash, on the hunt for a Russian agent working in the US government.With a ...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
..."Palace of Treason" and "The Kremlin's Candidate". David McCloskey is starting strong with "Damascus Station". Re key history related to Russia, Sam Tanenhaus' "Whitaker Chambers" and Allen Weinstein's "Perjury" are musts. 2/      source
Palace of Treason book cover
Palace of Treason
A Novel (2) (The Red Sparrow Trilogy)
Jason Matthews - Jun 13, 2017
Goodreads Rating
From the bestselling, Edgar Award–winning author of the “terrifically good” (The New York Times) Red Sparrow, a compulsively readable new novel about star-crossed Russian agent Dominika Egorova and CIA's Nate Nash in a desperate race to the finish. Captain Dominika Egorova of the Russian Intelligence Service (SVR) has returned from the West to Mosc...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
..."Palace of Treason" and "The Kremlin's Candidate". David McCloskey is starting strong with "Damascus Station". Re key history related to Russia, Sam Tanenhaus' "Whitaker Chambers" and Allen Weinstein's "Perjury" are musts. 2/      source
Perjury book cover
Perjury
The Hiss-Chambers Case
Allen Weinstein - Jan 01, 2013 (first published in 1978)
Goodreads Rating
Although almost a half-century has passed since the jury at Alger Hiss's second trial pronounced him guilty of perjury, the case remains controversial and the verdict leaves questions unanswered. The case has continued to make headlines and attract considerable media attention in the years since Perjury was first published in 1978, and this new edi...
John Sipher
Mar 06, 2022
..."Palace of Treason" and "The Kremlin's Candidate". David McCloskey is starting strong with "Damascus Station". Re key history related to Russia, Sam Tanenhaus' "Whitaker Chambers" and Allen Weinstein's "Perjury" are musts. 2/      source
American Prometheus by Kai Bird
Whittaker Chambers by Sam Tanenhaus
Dark Sun by Richard Rhodes
The Making of the Atomic Bomb by Richard Rhodes
Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
The Commission by Philip Shenon
Eastern Approaches by Fitzroy MacLean
Bag Man by Rachel Maddow
Russians Among Us by Gordon Corera
Wilderness of Mirrors by David C. Martin
The Angel by Uri Bar-Joseph
Mole by William Hood
The Billion Dollar Spy by David E. Hoffman
A Secret Life by Benjamin Weiser
The Spy Who Saved the World by Jerrold L. Schecter
Agent Sonya by Ben MacIntyre
The Spy and the Traitor by Ben MacIntyre
Operation Mincemeat by Ben MacIntyre
Agent Zigzag by Ben MacIntyre
Say Nothing by Patrick Radden Keefe
Dead Doubles by Trevor Barnes
Owney by Mona Kerby
All the Shah's Men by Stephen Kinzer
Betrayal in Berlin by Steve Vogel
Nothing is True and Everything is Possible by Peter Pomerantsev
Active Measures by Thomas Rid
Witness by Whittaker Chambers