Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For

Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For

by Michele Rigby Assad


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Breaking Cover: My Secret Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a good read. It is a true story and of necessity specific missions were not played out in detail, but it was an accurate view into the lifestyle of CIA agents. I pre-purchased the book and after doing so was concerned that I would have to endure reading about things that were cruel and inhumane like the book Unbroken. To my delight, it was nothing like that. I was relieved to read a personal story that was intriguing and ended well.
B-loNY More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hollywood portrays CIA agents as full of action, intense swagger, and having a dedicated skill set. CIA agent Michele Rigby Assad provides a truer portrait in her memoir, Breaking Cover. Her frank, engaging story emphasizes how much time is spent gathering reliable intel and creating a trustworthy network. Car chases and fiery shootouts aren't mentioned, although trying to survive searing desert heat and daily bombings lend a gritty authenticity. Assad outlines the process of becoming an agent as well as highlights some of her tours in the Middle East. While her tours might not be the stuff of Hollywood, she relates plenty of intense episodes of needing to be the best of her abilities. The fact that she and her husband both worked as agents and are dedicated Christians heightened the overall interest of her time spent in counterterrorism. The second half of her book brings in the subtitle: My Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What's Worth Fighting For. Having left the CIA, Michele and her Egyptian immigrant husband Joseph became international security consultants. The larger part of this section involves their work with relocating displaced Iraqi Christians (featured as an ABC 20/20 special). Assad's passion and faith especially comes through as she fought to find a safe refuge for a people under persecution. Overall, the memoir comes across as genuine and inspiring, and while it's understandable there might have been restrictions on how much detail she could divulge of her CIA experience, it would have added more to her memoir to have further experiences about being married agents, definitely a unique perspective. Disclaimer: Tyndale House Publishers provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Michele Rigby Assad is a former CIA counterterrorism specialist. Not what you'd expect for a CIA operative (by her own admission), Michele was a petite, southern, homecoming queen. Her interest in the Middle East was sparked when she had the opportunity to study abroad, and her husband, Joseph, also a former CIA agent, is from Egypt. As a woman in a male-dominated field, Michele faced many obstacles, but she ultimately found that the obstacles served to make her stronger, and a better officer. The challenges in her CIA career were, in retrospect, all training her for the mission that the Lord had for her and her husband in leading teams to rescue Iraqi refugees and help them resettle in other countries. Michele prayed that she wouldn't be stationed in Iraq, yet it was there that the Lord taught her much about herself and also lessons she would use later in her work as a security consultant and in resettling refugees. She states, "By the grace of God, I discovered that struggle could become a skill builder, pain could become a motivator, and confusion could serve as a clarifier."  I really, really admire Michele Assad. I really, really wanted to like her book. I just couldn't ever get into the pace of the book, as it seemed disjointed to me. There were sections where I wished for much more detail, and sections where I felt there was too much detail spent on things that weren't that pertinent or interesting. Michele has a great story. I wish she had told it and had someone else write it. I read Jack Barsky's book Deep Undercover and kind of expected this book to be similar. It wasn't. If you want to read a riveting book about the life of a spy (in this case, a KGB spy), read Deep Undercover.  Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 
KentuckyOrangeBlog More than 1 year ago
Michele Rigby Assad's book, Breaking Cover, is a can't put down read. She tells her story of her life in the CIA in a way that grips your interest and keeps you reading page after page. Her account of the adventures that take place overseas will open your eyes to the life of sacrifice and service that we often don't think about and definitely don't understand. Michele adds in doses of humor along the way, in the midst of tales that will leave you in disbelief of all that she encountered. While the accounts of adventure and struggle are plentiful, it's the thread of a faithful trust in God that is inspiring. In her book, Asaad writes, "In the meantime, I trusted that God had a plan - he always does. It might not be as clear as day, but it's always there, preparing us for what's to come." There are lessons throughout Breaking Cover that remind me that God is in fact always there, always working, and always looking ahead. Many of her recounts show that while there is tragedy and evil in this world, there is also God, working to make all things good despite how hard the enemy is working. While I was captured by the stories from her CIA days, I love that Assad doesn't end the book there, but instead lets her readers here the rest of the story. A story that God continues to write. (Click book image for link to purchase.) Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
susanwalkergirl More than 1 year ago
Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad – Fascinating, Intense & It May Keep You Up Late I love a good mystery filled with suspense and intrigue. That’s why I wanted to read author Michele Rigby Assad’s new book Breaking Cover – My Secret Life In The CIA and What It Taught Me About What’s Worth Fighting For. Have you ever wondered how in the world someone ends up working for the CIA as spy? It’s not like you take a class in school or get a degree in spying. What type of person is well suited to become a spy? As a Christian, how do you reconcile the deceptive practices that are necessary for spying with your Christian values? Those are just a few topics that Michele talks about in her book Breaking Cover. It was sobering to learn about what Michele and her husband Joseph experienced when they were in field. They endured a lot, from the bureaucracy within the CIA, the transitory secretive life that being a spy necessitates and the ever-present perils that surrounded them. Not just once and a while, but every day their lives were on the line. Reading about what Michele endured, because she is a woman, gave me a greater respect for the work that she did and the sacrifices she and Joseph made to help protect our Country from those who sought to do us harm. I couldn’t have done what she did, I would have quit! There was one scene in the book that left a lasting impression on me. Michele was driving to work in Iraq, not exactly a safe and friendly place for women. She was at a stop light when all of a sudden some very evil men took notice of her. Not good…not good at all. How in the world was she going to get out this situation alive, much less unharmed? That was just one of the many stories that gripped me and kept me up late at night to find out how things were going to turn out. As intriguing as their ten-year careers were, it was interesting to see how they transitioned out of the CIA into regular life. It’s not like you can fill out a resume and list your jobs and give references. Michele shared that there is a high recidivism rate for CIA agents. They end up coming back to work for the CIA because the transition can be too hard. What I appreciated most about Michele and Joseph Assad’s story was how God had gone before them and was using the incredibly trying and difficult circumstances they lived in for ten years to prepare them for a greater mission. They learned and honed their skills, talents, abilities and discernment. One day, they would be called upon to employ all they had learned and much more to help bring to 150 Christians from war torn Iraq to safety. I came away from reading Breaking Cover more grateful for the Country we live in and freedoms we have. I have a greater appreciation for the work that people in the intelligence community do to keep our Country safe. Breaking Cover by Michele Rigby Assad is fascinating, especially from the unique perspective of a woman being a CIA officer and a counterterrorism expert in the Middle East. I highly recommend this book, but be forewarned, you may be staying up late at night because it’s too intense to put down. I would like to thank Tyndale House Publishers for the opportunity to read a complimentary copy of Breaking Cover in exchange for an honest review. I was under no obligation to give a favorable review.