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Fair Game: My Life as a Spy, My Betrayal by the White House

3.46 of 5 stars 3.46  ·  rating details  ·  1,661 ratings  ·  338 reviews
On July 6, 2003, four months after the United States invaded Iraq, former ambassador Joseph Wilson's now historic op-ed, "What I Didn't Find in Africa," appeared in The New York Times. A week later, conservative pundit Robert Novak revealed in his newspaper column that Ambassador Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a CIA operative. The public disclosure of that secret ...more
Kindle Edition, 433 pages
Published (first published 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ashley Zacharias
This book should make every American angry. Angry that an American President, Vice President, and their staff would break the law, destroy the careers of patriotic civil servants, and send thousands of soldiers to die in an unnecessary war for no reason but to avoid an embarrassing headline in the newspaper. Angry that an agency whose sole reason for existing is to discover and present the truth to those in power should spend taxpayer's money keeping the truth from those who are paying for it. A ...more
Sandra D
I followed this story for nearly four years, so I was delighted to finally be able to get the story from Valerie Plame Wilson's point of view.

When I first dug into the book, I thought, "Well, she's not a writer, but neither am I, so I can't hold that against her." But the further I went, the more I felt like something was missing (besides the blacked-out parts); it was curiously flat, with very little depth or dimension. Even the chapter where she dealt with post-partum depression failed to move
...more
Eastofoz
Nov 17, 2009 Eastofoz rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People interested in Valerie Plame-Wilson's side of the story
A Kafka-esque story that will send chills down your spine because it’s actually true; too bad it’s such a dry, flat read. It’s worth more 3.5 stars than just three because the author was able to make this mess into something that the average reader could understand.

This is the story of ex-CIA spy Valerie Plame-Wilson whose cover was blown by the government that employed her all out of pure spite because her husband, a diplomat, told the powers that be that there was no cause to go to war with Ir
...more
Belinda
Well.... I had followed this story in the New York Times so was eager to read Ms. Plame Wilson's memoir. The book wasn't horrible, but not the juicy read I hoped for.

The redacted sections (courtesy of the CIA, as if they haven't done enough to her!) make for a choppy, disjointed story. For example, the part explaining how Valerie meets Joe is so buried in blacked out pages that the reader goes from Valerie hoping to "have it all" to giving birth to twins.

The narrative lacks the emotion I expect
...more
Clarrissa Moon
Awesome biography! I'd like to thank her and her whole family for being strong enough and tough enough not to let our White House get away with it.
The Bush administration unfortunately has still gotten away with too much and in my opinion the result of Karl Rove and Scooter Libby was too tame. They should have been tried for treason...period.
I wish justice could have been done the right way with not only this but 9-11 itself. We'll never see it done. Not enough people are yelling for justice. W
...more
Mike Hoffman
This book did everything a good book is supposed to do. It engaged me, evoked emotional response, told a good story and left me wanting more. This woman's story (or as much as our government would lt her tell) was totally tragic. An effective and talented spy, outed by the country she loved for political retribution. They put her and her family at risk, they attacked her on so many levels. Yet, she remained positive, focussed and truly unique.

I watched Frost/Nixon again right after I listened t
...more
Eugenia
Apparently, the CIA redacted approximately 10% of her book, but she and her publisher decided to leave the blacked-out portions in. So according to a review in The New York Times, the part about where she met her husband jumps from a mention of "a woman in a Chanel suit who wheeled two Burberry-wearing pug dogs in a baby carriage" to Joe becoming a part of her life, with 7-and-a-quarter pages of blacked out lines in between!

I read Joe Wilson's book several years ago when her cover was first blo
...more
Genie
This highly personal memoir, recounts how and why Valerie came to work for the CIA and describes the trauma endured by she and her family due to the betrayal by the administration. Valerie, daughter of an Air Force colonel and sister of a marine, gave over twenty years of loyal service to the defense of the United States. In return, she saw her career come to an end and her reputation smeared for political ends.

Laura Rozen's afterwards (in the last two CDs) reviews the public record and gives th
...more
Florence
Washington can indeed be a very nasty place. As the Bush administration gathered its evidence that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, prior to invading that country, it encouraged the CIA to provide evidence that he WMD did, in fact, exist. Anything contrary to that assessment was looked upon with skeptisicm and virtually ignored. Enter former ambassador Joe Wilson with a report from Niger debunking a rumor that Iraq had procured "yellowcake" from that country for use in nuclear weapons. I kn ...more
Katie
I remember being shocked and fascinated when Valerie Plame was outed as a covert CIA operative by her own government and I kept thinking that there had to be some kind of explaination. Surely the US government wouldn't do this to someone who served their country. I was wrong and the subsequent legal proceedings revealed a cover up at the highest level. Palme's husband, Joe Wilson had been sent by the CIA to Niger to investigate claims of Iraq obtaining yellowcake uranium from Africa prior to the ...more
Jamie
Okay, I was all excited to read this book after hearing Ms. Plame's interview on NPR. The CIA! Spy work! The scandal of her outing! How frustrating, then, to get this book and discover that all of the interesting parts have been blacked out by the CIA. Huge chunks of the book are reduced to fragments like "And then he said..................the gun....................got married." I have no idea what happened, to whom, or where. The only part of the story that was relatively intact was the sectio ...more
Jackie
Valerie Plame Wilson explains her version of events before and during the scandal involving her husband and trial of Scooter Libby. She insists the intent for writing this book was a means of getting the truth out. Yet the information is blatantly slanted with her obscure, subjective details and professed hatred for the Right. You get toward the final chapters and there is a plug for donations to the Wilson Trust. This trust funds her lawsuit against Cheney, Libby, Rove, and others.

Overall I fe
...more
Lisa
Valerie Plame Wilson, an undercover operative for the CIA, was "outed" by the Bush White House (a federal crime) in retaliation for her husband's opposition to the President's statement that Iraq had tried to buy yellowcake uranium from Niger--her husband, Joseph Wilson, was a former ambassador sent to investigate the Niger story and had reported to the CIA and the White House that the rumor was false. Nevertheless, the President included the story in his State of the Union address. This was dur ...more
Abdul Manan
Film Fair Game, yang dibintangi oleh Naomi Watts dan Sean Penn, menarik. Tapi bukunya, yang berjudul sama, jauh lebih menarik. Ini adalah kisah hidup Veleri Plame, agen rahasia CIA yang menangani isu senjata pemusnah massal. Sebagaimana layaknya agen rahasia, identitasnya tak boleh dibocorkan. Jika itu dilakukan, pembocornya akan dijerat pidana.

Ini cerita tentang Washington, di mana intrik dan persaingan seperti sebuah cerita yang biasa-biasa saja. Identitasnya sebagai agen rahasia ternyata boco
...more
shana naomi
i read this the day after watching the film w/ my parents. very impressive source material (and great movie).

i should have read this backwards, though - there's a note from S&S at the top about how she submitted the book (per regs) to the CIA for approval and clearance of any sensitive material. it came back substantially redacted, and various negotiations and a lawsuit later, most of them were left standing -- even the areas that were not classified and had been otherwise reported on in the
...more
Kyle Pennekamp
Pretty boring. Covers her time in the CIA (most of the details of which were redacted, which made for a pretty uninformative read, even with the explanatory afterword), then Novak's outing of her and the aftereffects. Most of her publicity stuff she tries to excuse saying her decisions were made because of all the stress she was under, but it comes off as pretty tough to by, and not a very good excuse. No Valerie, you think, you pretty much just liked the idea of being on the cover of Vanity Fai ...more
Stephen Collins
I'd always been interested in this case as it took place through the US courts and the media. I followed it with a passing, if not obsessive interest.

Reading the story, from Valerie Plame's side, especially as the book has been published with the CIA's redactions in place (they create a marvellous, if somewhat dissonant effect as you read), gives a tremendous insight into how twisted and bitter the Bush government's need to perpetuate the Iraq War was (and remains afterwards, even now).

Plame was
...more
Philip
I would have rated the book higher for its content, but I found it a little irritating to know every place the CIA had censored it. I would have preferred a statement about the kinds of material that had been expurgated. That said, it's an informative and troubling book. It compellingly makes the case that there was no intelligence failure that led us into the war in Iraq. Instead, there were a few bad actors (in the White House, unfortunately) who did not want intelligence that did not support ...more
Madison Meljac-lehmann
I just finished reading Fair Game and felt that the book was good, but really could have been more. Valerie's section, printed with the redactions was a bit irritating at first, which did help you identify with the frustrations that she faced in bureaucracy. By the third chapter the redactions had gone from intriguing to a non-issue to the flow of the story.

The only regret that I had about this book was the feeling that I was reading a CIA report, full of facts and lacking some of the feelings
...more
Marta
This was tough going for me, as political science is not a strength. I was intrigued that Valerie Plame Wilson had become a thriller writer after having been outed by Scooter Libby and Dick Cheney as an undercover CIA agent. I remembered the story, but little about it. The book is a bit dry, much of the story is redacted. It looks as if a thick sharpie was taken to much of the text.
Even if I didn't follow names, acronyms and dates very well, I appreciate this book as a more permanent record of a
...more
Kenneth
This is the story of Valerie Plame Wilson, the CIA officer outed by “Skooter” Libbey, one of Vice President Dick Chaney’s aides. Chaney was angry at Plames’ husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson for writing an Op-Ed piece in the NY Times regarding not finding any illegal sales “yellowcake” uranium (to Saddam’s Iraq) in the African country of Niger when the CIA had sent Wilson there a year earlier to investigate. That contradicted the load of lies that the White House had been using to launch ...more
Donna
I am Canadian; if I were American, I would likely be Republican and have voted for Bush.

I am stating this so that you realize that I have not been affected by political bias in reviewing this book. Although Plame seems to be a strong Democrat, she speaks factually about the involvement of the government and seems to treat the Bush administration with much more respect than they gave to her.

What Bush's administration did to Valerie Plame Wilson, the CIA and even the United States people was ille
...more
Rachael
This book, not surprisingly, seemed very one-sided to me. I thought that it was going to be a biography but it seemed to be more about bashing George W. Bush and his administration. Character assassinations galore! Mrs. Wilson's story was very choppy because of all of the redacted sections. I hoped that the afterword would help to fill in the gaps but it was more of a history lesson than a gap-filler. Definitely not my favorite book.
Ria
Gah, this sounded so interesting! When I first started reading and encountered various sections blacked out by the CIA, I found myself grinning in excitement - I was anticipating an interesting memoir of a woman's life as a spy, the challenges she faced, her juggling of motherhood and marriage with a dangerous job and the drama of being publicly outed.

What I got was a remarkable story rendered kind of dull and throughout I really struggled to engage. Maybe my expectation of spy life has been hor
...more
Dora Sky
This was an intriguing read. I enjoyed it a lot.

Sometimes it was hard to follow because most of the sentences are cut off and it jumps into a different line but overall it was alluring.


I watched the movie also and it was quite enjoyable!
Erin McCarthy
This was difficult to read because of the large amounts of text redacted by the CIA. I didn't feel that I was able to really grasp the early events leading to the author's exposure as a spy until I read the addendum.
Jessica Jackson
This was an interesting read; however, it could have been better if the interesting details hadn't been redacted.
Nenia Campbell
I still remember the Scooter Libby/Valerie Plame trial. I was in my senior government class and the teacher turned on the TV to the news and said, "This is important. You guys should watch this. It's history in the making." I didn't really understand what was going on the time, as I was only seventeen and equated politics with boring old men using a lot of words to say nothing at all, so I basically tuned out and doodled on my notebook.

Now that I'm able to grasp the finer points of this situatio
...more
Kristen Fowler
While one-sided in it's account, the book gives a unique glimpse into one woman's struggle to make a name for herself within the unarguably male-dominated CIA. Unfortunately, she never imagined that the name she made for herself would also make it into the public forum, setting her life on a far different course.

As a C.I.A. Operative, having her name in leaked to the public jeopardizes national security, as well as her personal security. This book explores Valerie Plame Wilson's recruitment and
...more
Jessica
Finally done! Awful.
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Huntsville-Madiso...: Staff Picks: Fair Game: How A Top CIA Agent Was Betrayed By Her Own Government 1 5 Jun 06, 2013 08:42AM  
Review 1 26 May 04, 2009 02:54PM  
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Valerie Elise Plame Wilson, known as Valerie Plame, Valerie E. Wilson, and Valerie Plame Wilson, is a former United States CIA Operations Officer and the wife of former Ambassador Joseph C. Wilson IV.
More about Valerie Plame Wilson...
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