The Company We Keep
A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story
Publication Date: March 8, 2011
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Robert Baer was known inside the CIA as perhaps the best operative working the Middle East. But if his career was all that a spy might aspire to, his personal life was a brutal illustration of everything a spy is asked to sacrifice.
Dayna Williamson thought of herself as just an ordinary California girl. 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 she quickly distinguished herself as someone who could thrive in the field. 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.
When Bob and Dayna met on a mission in Sarajevo, it wasn’t love at first sight. But there was something there, a spark. And as the danger escalated and their affection for each other grew, they realized it was time to leave “the Company,” to somehow rediscover the people they’d once been. As worldly as they both were, the couple didn’t realize at first that turning in their Agency ID cards would not be enough to put their covert past behind.
Robert Baer is the author of three New York Times bestsellers involving the CIA: See No Evil (which was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana), Sleeping with the Devil, and The Devil We Know. He has become one of the most authoritative voices on American intelligence and frequently appears as a media commentator.
Dayna Baer, before leaving the Agency to settle down with Bob, was also an accomplished CIA operative.
Former CIA operatives Robert and Dayna Baer met on the job and fell in love. They talk about their relationship and some of their assignments in The Company We Keep: A Husband-and-Wife True-Life Spy Story. More at NPR.org
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"[A] bloody, suspenseful story of love and deceit.”--Mens Journal
“The Company We Keep is a breezy, often fascinating account of this CIA romance, with tradecraft details and war stories thrown in to make it catnip for any fan of espionage fiction...That the Baers coaxed a happy ending out of all this is not the least remarkable part of their appealing story, and hats off to them."--The Washington Post
“Engrossing…filled with juicy, personal on-the-job details…[an] exhilarating tale of geopolitical love and peril...”--More
"The Company We Keep is the best true-life spy story I've ever read…You'll find yourself rooting for these two vagabond spies, and you won't want their exciting and moving story to end."--David Ignatius, New York Times bestselling author of Body of Lies
"Funny, frightening, ironic, and deeply moving, this is an utterly engrossing thrill ride through the hall of mirrors that is modern espionage…A wonderful book."--Richard North Patterson, New York Times bestselling author of Degree of Guilt and In the Name of Honor
"Provides a spot-on and compelling portrait of real life inside the CIA; the periods of boredom and frustration loudly punctuated by fast-moving and sometimes frightening, sometimes amusing intelligence operations. Bob and Dayna Baer are the real deal and they beautifully capture the murky world they lived and worked in for years."--Valerie Plame Wilson, New York Times bestselling author of Fair Game
“Propulsive momentum…the authors give a good sense of the improvisational nature of the CIA…Both Baers write affectingly of their experiences.”--Kirkus Reviews
"A revelation…[shows] how spies operate in the field, the personal costs they pay for the exceptional lives they live, and the way fate can deliver up redemption…I loved this book."--Barry Eisler, New York Times bestselling author of Rain Fall and Fault Line
"An emotionally candid memoir of a life few could imagine, juggling terrorists and dictators with all too real family dramas…describes how two accomplished spies trained in shooting for the heart, improbably found their own."--Jane Mayer, National Book Award Finalist for The Dark Side
"After 20 years as the CIA's best and most adventurous spy, Bob Baer has established himself as America's go-to writer on espionage and the Middle East in the age of 9/11. Now he and his wife Dayna have added a heart-stopping new chapter, revealing how a couple caught up in the dark world of CIA intrigue try to balance romance and gunplay while building a relationship on the jagged edge of undercover work…The Company We Keepwill make you ask, who needs Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?"--James Risen, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of State of War
"A cross between John Le Carre and Erich Segal…Told with flair, intelligence and emotion – and often diary-like detail."--Leslie Stahl, CBS News
"Extraordinary…shows the Baers’ ultimate triumph over the isolation inherent in their professions and the banality of bureaucracy worldwide."--Lindsay Moran, author of Blowing My Cover: My Life as a CIA Spy
"Will illuminate the dark world of intelligence gathering that very few people ever see. It's filled with ground truth, tradecraft and operational details...You will not be disappointed."--Fred Burton, VP Intelligence, STRATFOR, and author of Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent
"A cross between voyeurism and adventure, this book takes us through the emotional, poignant, and often dangerous lives of two CIA operatives: the fear, the violence, the requisite suspicion, and the tenuous friendships…It’s especially intriguing to follow a woman into dark corners, thrilling missions, and psychologically difficult moments."--Rita Golden Gelman, author of Tales of a Female Nomad
"Vivid and revealing…a look inside the real CIA."--David Wise, author of Spy
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