NO BACKUP: A Female Agent's Life in the FBI

Rosemary Dew, Author, Patricia Pape, Author, Pat Pape, Author . Carroll & Graf $25 (320p) ISBN 978-0-7867-1278-6

Dew, who worked for the FBI from 1977 to 1990 in positions of increasing responsibility, delivers, with the assistance of writer and reporter Pape, a gripping exposé of the entrenched discrimination against women agents that is rampant throughout the bureau. During her initial training at the FBI Academy in Virginia, she and other women trainees were berated by instructors and subjected to inappropriate sexual overtures from some male classmates. Early in her career she was advised to avoid the company of other female agents and to work only with all-male squads. Deprived of each other's company and support, women agents were routinely faced severe harassment that went unpunished. In 1987, Dew was appointed to the position of squad supervisor of the Denver field division counterterrorism squad, where, despite her reputation for excellent job performance, a case supervisor consistently undermined her authority. She further charges that the FBI has poor internal communication and cooperation with other agencies, which may have contributed to its lack of prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks and also to the mishandling of other cases. Although Dew's story is engaging, the insertion of the details of her personal life (she had two abusive marriages before a satisfactory third) feels forced and unnecessary. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 11/24/2003
Release date: 12/01/2003
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 320 pages - 978-0-7867-1491-9
Show other formats
Discover what to read next