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

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It can be an isolating existence and one few are ever granted permission to share with the world. However, in Breaking Cover: My Secret Life Life in the CIA and What It Taught Me about What’s Worth Fighting For, Michele Rigby Assad recounts her life story as an uncover covert CIA officer, specializing in counterterrorism and counterintelligence. Throughout her tenure with the CIA, she worked in some of the most remote places in the world. She spent extensive time with her husband and colleague, Joseph, fighting the war on terror with skill and wit in the Middle East. She describes months serving in Iraq as some of the most difficult times of her life, but times that helped mold her as a person — an individual of great faith, incredible courage, keen intellect, and an intense longing to make a humanitarian difference in the world. That time of intensity and hypervigilance, due to the constant, bantering sounds of RPGs exploding and AK-47s firing in the background, helped her build a resilience that would go on to serve her and her nation well. Once leaving Baghdad she sincerely hoped to never return to what she once referred to as “Hell on Earth.” Iraq was to be a part of her past, not of her future. After 10 long years with the CIA, she and Joseph decided to take a leap of faith and leave the agency to which they’d worked so hard to gain access. They’d both endured years of minimal contact with the outside world, including their beloved family and friends, and were ready to return to civilian life, despite the challenges involved in doing so. They were eventually hired to do international security work as consultants for government leaders and multinational corporations and, in a turn of fate, the couple accepted an assignment just 30 kilometers outside of ISIS-controlled territory in northern Iraq. This assignment would prove to be one of their most meaningful missions of all, a mission to save those who could no longer save themselves.

Michele Rigby Assad does a remarkable job describing, in this eye-opening account, what it takes to become and serve as a Directorate of Operations in one of the most revered and secretive organizations in America. She unveils some of what so many have wondered, but not been privileged enough to know about the everyday work of an undercover agent serving in a battle zone. She does so with integrity and grace, as to carefully protect the agency she spent 10 years serving. Yet, she reveals enough to cast light into the shadows of her own experiences. She takes the reader behind the lines with her, allowing for a connection to be made with her work, her life, and, ultimately, her heart. She masterfully unveils what it’s like to live a life of elusiveness, isolation, and paradoxically, great privilege. Rigby Assad’s first-hand account serves as an inspiration to hold tightly onto what is deeply valued in life and to go forward with faith no matter what the cost. Further, she encourages the reader to live a life of humanitarianism and to never stop believing in a greater cause.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Tyndale Momentum
Publish Date 2018-Feb-06
ISBN 9781496419590 Buy this Book
Issue August 2018
Category Biographies & Memoirs


  1. Adam A

    Fully agree with the reviewer’s comments. You will not be able to put this book down. It will have you at the edge of your seat as you read this true story. You will be inspired and want to share it with others. Hands down the best book of 2018.

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