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The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story

The Company We Keep A Husband and Wife True Life Spy Story Robert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East Over several decades he served everywhere from Iraq to New Delhi and racked up such an impressive list of acc

Robert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East Over several decades he served everywhere from Iraq to New Delhi and racked up such an impressive list of accomplishments that he was eventually awarded the Career Intelligence Medal But if his career was everything a spy might aspire to, his personal life was a brutal illustratioRobert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East Over several decades he served everywhere from Iraq to New Delhi and racked up such an impressive list of accomplishments that he was eventually awarded the Career Intelligence Medal But if his career was everything a spy might aspire to, his personal life was a brutal illustration of everything a spy is asked to sacrifice Bob had few enduring non work friendships, only contacts and acquaintances His prolonged absences destroyed his marriage, and he felt intense guilt at spending so little time with his children Sworn to secrecy and constantly driven by ulterior motives, he was a man apart wherever he went Dayna Williamson thought of herself as just an ordinary California girl admittedly one born into a comfortable lifestyle But she was always looking to get closer to the edge When she joined the CIA, she was initially tasked with Agency background checks, but the attractive Berkeley graduate quickly distinguished herself as someone who could thrive in the field, and she was eventually assigned to Protective Operations training where she learned to handle weapons and explosives and conduct high speed escape and evasion Tapped to serve in some of the world s most dangerous places, she discovered an inner strength and resourcefulness she d never known but she also came to see that the spy life exacts a heavy toll Her

  • Ã The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story ì Robert B. Baer Dayna Baer
    123 Robert B. Baer Dayna Baer

About Author

  1. Robert B. Baer Dayna Baer says:
    ROBERT B BAER is one of the most accomplished agents in CIA history, and a winner of the Career Intelligence Medal He is the author of four New York Times bestsellers, including See No Evil the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Baer He is considered one of the world s foremost authorities on the Middle East and frequently appears on all major news outlets Baer writes regularly for Time and has contributed to Vanity Fair, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post He is the current national security affairs analyst for CNN.

Comment 264 on “The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story

  1. Paul Pessolano says:
    Robert Baer was probably the best CIA spy that the United States had that handled the Middle East This was the time when this area was literally a powder keg The book tells of his experiences in this area and how he befriended people that would help him gather information.Dayna Williamson was a recent college graduate and wanted out of life and found that the CIA offered her the excitement and intrigue she desired.Dayna started at a very mundane job within the CIA but was offered the position o [...]

  2. Orion says:
    This was not up to Robert Baer s usual quality The book is not cohesive Sometimes it seems like the author is name dropping, bragging, and showing off Motivations are unclear for example, while Robert and Dayna Baer indicate that working for the Company destroyed their previous marriages, they don t show how that happened other than noting that they were separated from their spouses for a long time Some incidents are described in excruciating detail while elsewhere, the events of several years a [...]

  3. Tori says:
    This book has been sitting on my shelf for quite a while, thanks to Sara who loaned it to me It looked like a fairly quick read, and very different from my last book, so I picked it up It was written by husband and wife spies, detailing some of their experiences working for the CIA And the CIA evidently went through it to make sure nothing classified was revealed It was very informative not nearly as romantic as James Bond would make us believe I guess I can t even imagine people who would put t [...]

  4. Mindful Reader says:
    Is it possible that a husband and wife true life spy story could be this mundane Was that the point of this book Would it have been interesting if I had read it in book form instead of listened to the droning monotone voices of the authors on audio Can there even be life stories and relationships with less emotion I don t know the answers to these questions, I never will, and I do not care This story could have been effectively, and excitingly, told in this way, We were in the CIA Nothing we [...]

  5. Joan says:
    This book gives you some idea of what life is like in the CIA I m sure a lot of it is watered down Also, the writing is not the best On the whole, it was an interesting read.

  6. Juliana Philippa says:
    Interesting, but not what I expected 3.5 stars The Company We Keep was by no means a bad book, but I think my expectations were such that I was bound to be a little disappointed I didn t really know what to expect, but an action, spy, historical political, and love story or some combination of the four was what I had in mind when I started the book, and it ended up being relatively light on all four.It s an interesting read and I liked how Dayna and Bob each wrote their separate short chapters, [...]

  7. Jill says:
    I ve read a couple of books by Robert Baer, and liked them very much, so I was eager to read this memoir by him and his wife about their time together in the CIA, both before and after they got together Robert Baer is the author of Sleeping with the Devil, The Devil We Know and See No Evil, which was the basis for the George Clooney movie Syriana Bob and Dayna take turns narrating as they each literally go all over the map from one hotspot to another Before they got together, they were going to [...]

  8. Patrick Brown says:
    Disappointing, mostly because the bar had been set so high by Baer s previous books, particularly See No Evil The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA s War on Terrorism The first half of the book lived up to that earlier title, with Bob and Dayna trading incredible spy stories A particular highlight was the section in which Bob brought Yuri, the KGB agent, to the US for a vacation Yuri, a native of Tajikistan, marveled at the TV in his hotel room, the meals they served on the plane, the Cl [...]

  9. Loren Secretts says:
    Its no secret that I m somewhat enthralled with the CIA, and so it should come as no surprise that I was intrigued with this book This was a page turner for me, and I particularly enjoyed reading the story of a gutsy real life heroine Bob s own accounts on the field didn t leave me breathless as I was expecting, but they were entertaining Regarding content, there is some crass language, and the spies form a romantic relationship while still married to other spouses.At the end of the day, I m so [...]

  10. Kelley says:
    so I really wanted this non fiction account of a true life husband and wife spy team to be a catchy read about life under the radar and their ensuing love affair HOWEVER, the story was just a rehash of some of the missions they went on which are not actually that glamorous , touched on a few of their meetings before they fell in love and then their life post CIA which included them adopting a foreign baby I really felt like they left a LOT out about their lives and the overall effect of the book [...]

  11. Michelle says:
    What I wanted was what I heard on NPR a spy love story between two former CIA agents I wanted to learn about how they met, how they dealt with the relationship on the job, and how they broke the news to their respective non CIA spouses Plus some CIA gossip Some intel, as it were That is what I wanted What I got was 2 3 page insipid little chapters on their former assignments that weren t even that interesting In one fake chapter they met in Bosnia A few chapters later, they moved in together No [...]

  12. Andrea says:
    The title interested me as did the look at a different way of life and reading a book outside my usuals Wasn t as romantic as it appeared it was going to be, since they both ditched their first spouses and one of them their kids not for each other but originally for the job Bob s first wife and he met in the CIA too Still, I found it worth finishing and learned about the world and the fact that going into the CIA could ruin your marriage This couple met in it, but doesn t stay in for that reaso [...]

  13. Verena says:
    If this book had not been lying around the house I would not have sought it out Spies working for the CIA are not of particular interest to me But I knew so little about the topic that this book was a revelation The format is very readable Two CIA employees tell their stories in alternate chapters The fact that they eventually meet and marry adds a personal touch to the otherwise grim and gritty details of their assignments in some of the world s most volatile countries Much of the time their jo [...]

  14. Marisa says:
    I love a good spy story, but this wasn t it I don t really understand exactly what it was a series of remember that time stories told by a husband and wife, which should include I guess you had to be there at the end of each chapter With one story told by Dayna and the next by Bob, any sequencing that might have been there is easily lost And I really don t understand the way that suspense is built all these details leading you to think that finally you may be in the middle of the chapter that fi [...]

  15. Olethros says:
    El matrimonio que esp a unido permanece unido G nero Biograf a.Lo que nos cuenta Con el subt tulo la historia real de un matrimonio de esp as, aproximaci n a la vida de Robert Baer, contada por l mismo, agente de la CIA con una gran experiencia en inteligencia en Oriente Pr ximo, y la vida de Dayna Williamson, contada por ella misma, agente de la CIA con roles operativos en contrainteligencia, que se terminar n encontrando en Sarajevo y comenzar n una amistad intensa y hasta aqu puedo leer, esti [...]

  16. Joanne Pass says:
    ok, so i absolutely loved this book why because it is a TRUE story but you don t really believe that it is i mean, how can someone train to be a spy you learn how in this book talk about running all over and seeing the world well that s what bob and dayna do here, all the while hunting down and trying to identify the bad guys sometimes that in and of itself is ridiculously difficult but what is so interesting is that much of the time they are schmoozing foreign nationals, diplomats,and other spi [...]

  17. Lisa says:
    The NPR interview with this couple, former CIA operatives in war torn countries around the world, was fascinating Unfortunately the book is superficial and just terrible I am put off by poor writing The chapters alternate between the two authors but it is all written in present tense in too colloquial, yet mostly complete, sentences Terms like all those years ago are meaningless when there is no telling when this story takes place The chapters are a collection of half stories that don t come tog [...]

  18. Jean says:
    I enjoyed the first half of this book It s about two current day CIA agents who met and married while on duty I listened to the Audible version on a trip The story is told by both of them, back and forth, as they describe their lives in the CIA before they met and married He was in Afghanistan and other places She describes her training and early assignments This was the most interesting part, because I got to see what the modern CIA is doing at least up to the late 1990s After the married and l [...]

  19. Ellen McGinnis says:
    I was disappointed in this book co written by a husband and wife, formerly in the CIA The stories of adventures in the CIA were interesting, but overall this was a pretty superficial attempt to tell their story To the extent they explored personal feelings as their relationship evolved, and its effect on others they were both married when the story begins , the situations were treated in a facile way It was as if there was some rush to get through to the end Very unsatisfactory.

  20. Diane says:
    Former CIA officer Robert Baer writes this book with his wife about their experiences as spies, how they met and became a couple, and their lives after the CIA including adopting a child from Pakistan The book is filled with interesting anecdotes, but overall, it is somewhat disjointed and hard to follow largely because the chapters don t seem to go in chronilogical order, and they never give dates for anything that is happening.

  21. Carrie says:
    While there were some interesting parts overall I was disappointed by the disjointedness of the way the book was put together.

  22. Jim Crocker says:
    I thought this one was fascinating Lot s of inside stuff.

  23. PoligirlReads says:
    This was a fantastic read This was my first introduction to the Baers I liked the back and forth format, as the two are eventually introduced to each other and begin working together Dayna s stories of training, and both of their missions offered a fascinating glimpse into the field work of the CIA The descriptions of the mission in Greece were so vivid that I could feel my pulse racing, wondering if they d be caught Those exciting missions, of course, come at a cost Their marriages end, Robert [...]

  24. Richard Croner says:
    I don t remember the exact quote regarding military personnel in a war zone but it was along the lines of daily boredom punctuated with moments of sheer terror After having read this book I think it also applies to spies I read other reviews that did not think this book was well written and I disagree I think it was a pretty good description of a pair of people who devoted a chunk of time to serving the government of this country and its people One of the questions that came to me was how people [...]

  25. Jan says:
    I have this as audio come back to listening often His See No Evil as film syrianna recently viewed a 2nd time still leaves me trying to remember just what was going on at that time Thanks Baer.

  26. Christine says:
    Interesting, engaging read The authors seem bizarrely naive about human relations and psychology, all things considered Maybe that s what it takes to be a spy Idk.

  27. Jim says:
    It reads like a spy novel, but it s real Very well written and gripping.


  28. Simon Bullock says:
    Wasn t entirely what I expected from a book pushing the spy angle While the couples life as CIA agents in Yugoslavia is peppered through the book early on, it reads of a memoir of two people that happen to be spies that said, the memoir is interesting and provides a unique perspective of Americans living in tumultuous regions of the world the exposure to famous and infamous geopolitical elite and saboteurs provided a rare glimpse to their world beyond news headlines.

  29. Sara says:
    4.5 stars I won this book through the First Reads program and started reading very soon after I received it The authors are former CIA operatives, telling stories from their time in the CIA and how this work affected their lives few lasting friendships, family lives a mess Eventually, their work led them to each other, and they fell in love, got married, and tried to start new lives together outside of the CIA.This memoir definitely covers a much different situation than most memoirs you can fin [...]

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