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The Targeter: My Life in the CIA, Hunting Terrorists and Challenging the White House Hardcover – 9 October 2019

4.3 out of 5 stars 45 ratings

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Review

"Readers will take from this memoir that the period of Bakos' CIA service was a major inflection point not only in her life, but also in CIA and US foreign policy. This book stands as a testament to the courage and strength of the officers who founded the targeting officer discipline.Readers will take from this memoir that the period of Bakos' CIA service was a major inflection point not only in her life, but also in CIA and US foreign policy. This book stands as a testament to the courage and strength of the officers who founded the targeting officer discipline."--Studies in Intelligence

As heard on NPR's Morning Edition

"Part Zero Dark Thirty, part memoir, The Targeter provides a rare inside look at the CIA's analysis shop at a particularly difficult time: the run-up to the American invasion of Iraq and the early years of the war... will appeal to those who want to learn about the events that presaged the rise of the Islamic State and are curious about the CIA's inner workings."--The Washington Post

"This remarkable memoir arrives as another astonishing story of wartime valor."--The New York Times

"The Targeter is a raw, honest, and gripping account of the thrilling but daunting task of a CIA analyst answering her inner call to keep America and her people safe. Nada Bakos is the real deal...Nada shares the lessons she learned when serving the United States and does not shy away from acknowledging that, in counterterrorism, tactical wins do not always translate into strategic successes. This book is an important asset for any analyst, policy maker, or thought leader looking to make a difference in counterterrorism in the 21st century."--Ali Soufan, Chief Executive Officer of The Soufan Group and former FBI Supervisory Special Agent

"A remarkable book."--David Priess, The Lawfare Podcast

"Bakos writes with authority and searing honesty about the demands of her work as a targeter and the dangers and dysfunction of post-invasion Iraq. The result is a gripping behind-the-scenes account of the hunt for one of the world's most brutal terrorists. The combination of a sharp, analytical mind and a genuine humility and humanity underscores why women make some of the best CIA analysts."--Clarissa Ward, Chief International Correspondent for CNN


"An exciting tale of cutting-edge espionage and a rueful account of how political exigencies can blunt tradecraft's effectiveness."--Kirkus

"Bakos takes us deep inside the CIA targeters who were tracking Al Qaeda and the Zarqawists during the height of the Iraq War, showing us both the professional dedication and personal costs of these most quiet professionals."
--Doug Ollivant, Senior Fellow, New America Foundation


"Nada Bakos takes you deep inside the tense, stressful, and driven world of the CIA's analysts as few others have. Life and death issues are on the line more than most know - but Ms. Bakos is one who does and she shows you that in the Targeter with candor, drama, integrity, and grit."--John McLaughlin, former Acting Director and Deputy Director of CIA

Book Description

The story of a young woman from Montana who joined the CIA and worked her way up through the ranks to the frontline of the fight against Islamic extremists.

From the Publisher

Customer reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5
45 customer ratings
5 star 66% (66%) 66%
4 star 16% (16%) 16%
3 star 7% (7%) 7%
2 star 3% (3%) 3%
1 star 7% (7%) 7%
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Top international reviews

David Quayle
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 October 2019
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Stephen M. Saideman
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful, fascinating account of female CIA agent hunting terrorists in Iraq
Reviewed in Canada on 5 June 2019
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J.M. Berger
5.0 out of 5 stars Insightful and candid view of life inside the CIA
Reviewed in the United States on 5 June 2019
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18 people found this helpful
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Mimi Mcbroom
3.0 out of 5 stars informative but not engaging
Reviewed in the United States on 13 June 2019
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16 people found this helpful
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K.D. Campbell
5.0 out of 5 stars An engaging, compelling story of the hunt for a dangerous and deadly foe
Reviewed in the United States on 17 June 2019
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12 people found this helpful
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Leopold Bloom
1.0 out of 5 stars FAR too much extraneous personal information.
Reviewed in the United States on 27 October 2019
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10 people found this helpful
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caidid
5.0 out of 5 stars A true story with the propulsion of a thriller and fascinating details of life in the CIA
Reviewed in the United States on 19 June 2019
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10 people found this helpful
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Matt Abrams
5.0 out of 5 stars A Montana girl goes to DC: inside the CIA and the fight for the truth and against extremists
Reviewed in the United States on 11 June 2019
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11 people found this helpful
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Diana
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating, engrossing, important book
Reviewed in the United States on 11 June 2019
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9 people found this helpful
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CR
3.0 out of 5 stars Nada Bakus provides analysis for CIA in War on Terror
Reviewed in the United States on 25 August 2019
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6 people found this helpful
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Doug Gritzinger
4.0 out of 5 stars Not So Sure About "Challenging the White House"
Reviewed in the United States on 20 August 2019
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5 people found this helpful
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Joseph L. Burke
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Informative And Interesting
Reviewed in the United States on 13 August 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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Alan Hardwick
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant! A poignant unveiling of the critical work of CIA analysts and how it impacts them.
Reviewed in the United States on 11 October 2019
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Salish Sea
1.0 out of 5 stars Like a middle schooler's autobiography
Reviewed in the United States on 19 December 2019
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2 people found this helpful
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Dave
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the time
Reviewed in the United States on 1 July 2019
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3 people found this helpful
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