How women of the CIA changed history

side by side of a woman and a book
In her new book, "The Sisterhood," journalist Liza Mundy tells the previously hidden stories of the women spies who battled for equality in the CIA.
Photo by Nina Subin | Book cover courtesy Penguin Random House.

Women spies pop up in Hollywood movies all the time. But as Liza Mundy’s new book reveals, it took determined persistence, personal risk and a lot of sacrifice for women to be welcomed as CIA operatives.

“The Sisterhood” is a meticulously researched, seven-decade history of women who worked behind the scenes at America’s premier foreign intelligence agency. Mundy details how women opened up new avenues of recruiting for assets, formed a team that uncovered a Russian mole operating within the agency and rooted out where Osama bin Laden was hiding.

She joined host Kerri Miller on this week’s Big Books and Bold Ideas to share stories of the women who fought through blatant sexism to became some of the CIA’s most ingenious operatives.


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