• The Recruiter

  • Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence
  • By: Douglas London
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 17 hrs and 13 mins
  • 4.2 out of 5 stars (95 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

This revealing memoir from a 34-year veteran of the CIA who worked as a case officer and recruiter of foreign agents before and after 9/11 provides an invaluable perspective on the state of modern spy craft, how the CIA has developed, and how it must continue to evolve.

If you've ever wondered what it's like to be a modern-day spy, Douglas London is here to explain. London’s overseas work involved spotting and identifying targets, building relationships over weeks or months, and then pitching them to work for the CIA - all the while maintaining various identities, a day job, and a very real wife and kids at home.

The Recruiter: Spying and the Lost Art of American Intelligence captures the best stories from London's life as a spy, his insights into the challenges and failures of intelligence work, and the complicated relationships he developed with agents and colleagues. In the end, London presents a highly enjoyable insider’s tale about the state of espionage, a warning about the decline of American intelligence since 9/11 and Iraq, and what can be done to recover.

©2021 Douglas London (P)2021 Hachette Books

Critic Reviews

"Douglas London draws the reader deeply into the world of CIA operations officers, and in his well-written, clear-eyed account he sheds considerable light on the hitherto murky world of CIA operatives in the field. It is a fascinating read." (Peter Bergen, author of The Rise and Fall of Osama bin Laden)

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What a whiner

This is the reason why the US intelligence system is screwed up. This guy is a huge whiner and complainer. He’s perfect his bosses are idiots according to him. It was a waste of a purchase.

2 people found this helpful

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Interesting story dampened by authors politics

Author constantly injected his own Elitist political views which ruined the otherwise interesting messages he was trying to get across

1 person found this helpful

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Realistic

Loads of recent era insights by a career CIA man. Heard about this from interviews of the author. Great realistic advice from the author.

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Exceptional Read

The Recruiter is a fascinating account of a very well lived life in the intelligence world by the author. As a former Marine and fan of the Intelligence Community the book was spot on in uncovering what political influence and patriarchal attitude has done to diminish impartial intelligence collection. It reveals how people within the CIA put their careers and self serving interest above the needs of our country. It also confirms to me as an African American how racism and prejudice is par for the course in the intelligence community. I appreciate the authors candor and no holds barred criticism of the CIA, along with his takeaway on how the ship could be righted. He is correct in saying that we as a country have taken our eye off the ball of internal threats to concentrate on threats from abroad. The enemy is within our midst. I hope we figure it out before it’s too late.

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OPS Primer with a good dose of Political Intrigue

Great description CIA approach to human intelligence operations by a lifelong practitioner. Unfortunately, the author serve it up with a dose of internal and external political commentaries. More interesting is what is not said, than what is said regarding political appointee vs careerist interaction. His introduction make this very clear in describing the CIA’s bureaucratic review, redactions and (I suspect) insertions. Well worth the read/listen for understanding CIA human intelligence operations. I hope the author found this cleansing, so as to land back into open society.

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Definitely glad I read!

Insightful. Interesting. Transparent. While the author has quite a few bones to pick with agency leadership, he wins the listener over with vulnerable demonstrations of his own failures and takes accountability for his career. It would have been great to read the full version without all the redactions for agency bureaucracy. I’m glad I stuck with it!

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Great book

Great book,fascinating stories on case officers role & working with agents & good insight on organizational issues and

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Interesting stories, but political

Author talks about how Obama and Brennan changed things for the worse, but blames President Trump.
The book has some interesting stories, but is very political and liberal in it's presentation. It is very anti-Trump

I do not recommend it.

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An axe to grind

The book is one half of an instructor speaking to a new class of trainees and the other half bearing witness against those colleagues that sent him to teach. Worth listening to since noise from the back of the room can still be a conversation just beyond earshot.