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American Spy: Wry Reflections on My Life in the CIA

by H. K. Roy Prometheus
Pub Date:
Hbk 320 pages
AU$52.99 NZ$54.77
Product Status: Out of stock. Not available to order.
This candid and darkly witty memoir recounts an exhilarating life - and a few close brushes with death. With remarkable sangfroid and a humorist's eye for absurdity, H. K. Roy describes his many strange and risky exploits in his long career with the CIA. Whether he was pursuing Soviet and Cuban spies, running "denied area" operations in Eastern Europe, hunting Bosnian War criminals, or providing actionable intelligence to US government and coalition forces in Iraq, Roy usually found himself at the right place at the right time.


Except when he didn't - like the time he stumbled into a life-threatening ambush by Iranian terrorists while dodging Serb snipers and shelling in Sarajevo. Eight summers later, caught in a blinding sandstorm between Amman and Baghdad, he learned his fate was in the hands of an Iraqi tribal chief who had just lost his entire family to a US airstrike in Ramadi, in a failed attempt to kill Saddam Hussein that had tragic consequences.


Combining dedication to duty with a maverick's disdain for bureaucracy, Roy makes it clear that he prefers foreign locales to Washington and thrives on the adrenaline rush that comes with danger. He also sheds much light on why intelligence is an essential component of national defense, even our very survival as a nation.
“Roy is the real thing, his brush with a foiled assassination legendary in the CIA. His life is the stuff of movies, and a great read.”
- Bob Baer: Former CIA operations officer, author of four New York Times bestsellers, and an intelligence and security analyst for CNN.


“H.K. Roy's new book is a fascinating insider's account of a career working in the shadows. American Spy is filled with all the spy operations and tradecraft a reader could hope to find. But more importantly - and what sets it apart from the slew of recent intelligence memoirs - is his insight into the pitfalls and perils of when politics and policymakers unduly influence the ability of intelligence officers to do their jobs. A must-read for any student of intelligence, and casual readers alike.”
- Vince Houghton, Historian/Curator, International Spy Museum


“American Spy is a fascinating look into the training and life of a CIA operations officer.”
- Fred Burton, former special agent and New York Times bestselling author


“American Spy is an action packed tour de force…. Move over, James Bond and George Smiley - this is the real deal, written by a patriotic American who deserves our gratitude for his service.”
- Jack Philip Barsky, author of Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiances as a KGB Spy in America


“This is no ordinary spy story of an American hero. What H. K. Roy witnessed and reported on in Srebrenica will make you shudder.”
- Joe Navarro, FBI counterintelligence agent and bestselling author of What Every Body Is Saying and Three Minutes to Doomsday


"American Spy takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes journey filled with espionage, intrigue, sex, lies, and betrayal. Spy turned author H. K. Roy offers a firsthand account of being a covert agent in hostile countries and war zones during the Cold War and after the breakup of the Soviet Union. Composed of true stories and down-to-earth personal reflections, American Spy gives us a glimpse into Roy’s life - working in the shadows, stealing secrets, recruiting foreign assets, and staying alive while undercover.”
- Francis Gary Powers Jr., founder and chairman emeritus of the Cold War Museum and author of Spy Pilot: Francis Gary Powers, the U-2 Incident, and a Controversial Cold War Legacy


“American Spy is a rollicking spy’s eye view of the conflicts that shaped the modern world, from Bosnia to Basra. H. K. Roy shows readers what it is like to be trained as a CIA officer and to be deployed the front lines.”
- Steve Usdin, author of Bureau of Spies: The Secret Connections Between Journalism and Espionage in Washington
H. K. Roy.