Liza Mundy shares from THE SISTERHOOD: The Secret History of Women at the CIA - at Arlington Library

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Tuesday, April 30, 2024 - 6:30pm to 8:00pm

The Sisterhood by Liza Mundy event at Arlington LIbrary on April 30 at 6:30We're thrilled to welcome Liza Mundy, the NYT best-selling author of CODE GIRLS, to Arlington Library to share from her new book THE SISTERHOOD: The Secret History of Women at the CIA.

RSVP to receive an event reminder email from Arlington Library. Attendance is first-come, first-served until seating capacity is reached. Please note this author talk will not be recorded. 

THE SISTERHOOD reveals the untold story of how women at the CIA ushered in the modern intelligence age, a sweeping story of a "sisterhood" of women spies spanning three generations who broke the glass ceiling, helped transform spycraft, and tracked down Osama Bin Laden. Upon its creation in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency instantly became one of the most important spy services in the world. Like every male-dominated workplace in Eisenhower America, the growing intelligence agency needed women to type memos, send messages, manipulate expense accounts, and keep secrets.

Despite discrimination-even because of it-these clerks and secretaries rose to become some of the shrewdest, toughest operatives the agency employed. Because women were seen as unimportant, they moved unnoticed on the streets of Bonn, Geneva, and Moscow, stealing secrets under the noses of the KGB. Back at headquarters, they built the CIA's critical archives-first by hand, then by computer. These women also battled institutional stereotyping and beat it. Men argued they alone could run spy rings. But the women proved they could be spymasters, too. During the Cold War, women made critical contributions to U.S. intelligence, sometimes as officers, sometimes as unpaid spouses, working together as their numbers grew. The women also made unique sacrifices, giving up marriage, children, even their own lives. They noticed things that the men at the top didn't see. In the final years of the twentieth century, it was a close-knit network of female CIA analysts who warned about the rising threat of Al Qaeda. After the 9/11 attacks, women rushed to join the fight as a new job, "targeter," came to prominence. They showed that painstaking data analysis would be crucial to the post-9/11 national security landscape-an effort that culminated spectacularly in the CIA's successful efforts to track down Osama Bin Laden and, later, Ayman al-Zawahiri. With the same meticulous reporting and storytelling verve that she brought to her New York Times bestseller Code Girls, Liza Mundy has written an indispensable and sweeping history that reveals how women at the CIA ushered in the modern intelligence age"--

Biographical Note:
Liza Mundy is an award-winning journalist and the New York Times bestselling author of four books, including Code Girls. A former staff writer for The Washington Post, Mundy writes for The Atlantic, Politico, and Smithsonian Magazine, among other publications.


Review Quotes:
"Based on more than 100 interviews, published histories, academic articles, declassified documents and personal writings, The Sisterhood is a deeply researched, exhaustive read spanning seven decades of CIA history." --Smithsonian

"Liza Mundy recognizes how rescuing stories from the past can illuminate bias and abuse, and she does so in her latest book. . . . The Sisterhood offers a different and valuable inside look at an agency that has long fascinated American culture." --Washington Post

"Staggeringly well-researched . . . Mundy, who has written four other books, including the similarly sweeping Code Girls, delivers suspenseful stories of women like Heidi August, a onetime clerk who went on to spend three decades in the C.I.A. and became one of its first female station chiefs; and Lisa Manfull Harper, who worked menial jobs for a decade before being permitted to complete certification as a sleuth." --The New York Times

"Every page is electric with revelations as Mundy vividly and perceptively portrays the remarkable women who covertly elevated this complicated, controversial, yet essential government agency." --Booklist (starred review)

"Another winner from Mundy, who tells a story that deserves to be told about women who deserve to be remembered." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Event address: 
1015 N Quincy St
Arlington, VA 22201