Chatter: The Secret History of Women at the CIA with Liza Mundy

Shane Harris, Liza Mundy
Thursday, October 19, 2023, 9:24 AM
Liza Mundy talks about her new book, The Sisterhood, with Shane Harris.

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Journalist Liza Mundy’s new history of the world’s most storied spy service focuses on the women of the CIA, who for decades worked in jobs that men found less glamorous or career enhancing, and that proved vital to the interests of U.S. national security. The Sisterhood covers practically the entire history of the agency, from its pre-World War II days as the Office of Strategic Services, through the Cold War and the 9/11 attacks, followed by the successful hunt for Osama bin Laden. 

Shane Harris spoke with Mundy about why she decided to write about the women of the CIA and what that story reveals about the hidden history of the agency. Mundy’s previous book, Code Girls, was about American women who worked as code breakers during WWII.  

Among the works mentioned in this episode:

Shane Harris has written about intelligence, security and foreign policy for more than two decades. He is a staff writer with The Washington Post, covering U.S. intelligence agencies and national security. He was part of the team that won the 2021 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service, for stories about the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol and efforts to overturn the presidential election. In 2019, he was part of the team that was a finalist for the Public Service award for coverage of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Shane has previously been a staff writer for the Wall Street Journal, the Daily Beast, and National Journal. He is the author of two books, "The Watchers: The Rise of America's Surveillance State" (Penguin Press, 2010) and "@War: The Rise of the Military-Internet Complex" (Eamon Dolan/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014). He frequently appears on national and international television and radio. He is also a co-host of the weekly podcast "Chatter." Shane graduated from Wake Forest University in 1998. He lives in Washington.
Liza Mundy is an American journalist, non-fiction writer, and fellow at New America Foundation.

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