Ric Prado is an American original, a shadow warrior whose combat and street skills actually live up to Hollywood's spy movie fantasies. Any story of his life and his C.I.A. career will stand out in the genre of such memoirs and biographies, not only because of Ric's outsized experiences, but because his adventurous work included some of the most important covert actions in recent Agency history.” —Steve Coll, New York Times bestselling author of GHOST WARS and DIRECTORATE S and winner of the Pulitzer Prize
“Ric Prado is a rare breed of CIA officer—a man as comfortable operating behind enemy lines in disguise as he is strolling the halls of power in a suit. Having interviewed numerous of Prado’s Agency colleagues, I understand him to be a badass paramilitary operations officer and a sharp-thinking member of the Agency’s Senior Intelligence Service elite. Further adding to Ric Prado’s unique and complex character is his ability to discuss his flaws, weaknesses, and struggles, as well as his myriad of strengths. He reminds me of an ancient warrior-poet, the kind who reads haiku before going into battle with a very sharp sword.” —Annie Jacobsen, New York Times bestselling author of AREA 51 and SURPRISE, KILL, VANISH
“Ric Prado is a legendary CIA Operations Officer who gave almost three decades of exceptional service to his country in the most challenging foreign assignments, including the potential risk of immediate physical danger. He has lived his personal and professional life exhibiting the highest standards of character, ethics, principle, courage, and heroism. Ric and I served together in CTC, where he was my Chief of Operations and Chief of Station. He achieved the CIA rank equivalent of military general. No stay-at-home bureaucrat, Ric served in harm’s way with exceptional dedication and courage.” —Cofer Black, former Director, CIA Counterterrorist Center
“Enrique ‘Ric’ Prado is an American hero, having served his country loyally for decades in tough places, spying and fighting against tough enemies, from North Korean subversives to al Qaeda terrorists. He entered the CIA’s Clandestine Service as an operations officer in the early 1980s-and immediately joined the front lines in the hot battles of the Cold War. Working his way through the ranks, he recruited and ran spies throughout the globe. He designed and led some of the Agency’s most creative and successful operations against the hardest targets. When I departed the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center, responsible for all worldwide operations, I sought out Ric as the one and only candidate to replace me. The CIA’s leadership enthusiastically endorsed my recommendation. Ric did not disappoint, rallying and directing the Center’s resources after the 9/11 attacks and soon thereafter embracing some of the most risky leadership challenges, both operationally and politically, in recent history. He stands alone in many respects, for his daring and his dedication to the mission. His story is an operational adventure, but more, an example of a young immigrant who embraces America and devotes his life to making his new country even better. A man of towering integrity and determination, he bears honest witness to his trials, successes, failures, and his great, enduring love for America.” —Ambassador Henry A. Crumpton, former Director of Operations, CIA Counterterrorist Center, author of THE ART OF INTELLIGENCE
“In addition to being a loyal, trusted and highly esteemed colleague and friend, Ric is one of the best intelligence officers that I worked with in my thirty-year career at CIA. Whether in the jungles of South and Central America or the dangerous and challenging operational environments of North Africa or in the modern capital cities in Asia or Europe, Ric excelled in his chosen craft. His operational exploits are legendary, especially in targeting insurgents and terrorists around the globe. His background in paramilitary operations combined with his expertise in classic espionage made him uniquely qualified to tackle some of the most challenging operational requirements in the modern era. Ric is one of the best operations officers of his generation. His exploits helped protect the Homeland and saved American lives in the post 9/11 era. He is the real deal.” —Jose Rodriguez, former Director, National Clandestine Service, author of HARD MEASURES
With In Love, NBA/NBCC finalist Bloom (White Houses) takes us on a painful journey as her husband retires from his job, withdraws from life, and finally receives a diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer's; she recalls both the love they experienced and the love it took to stand by him as he ended his life on his own terms. In The Beauty of Dusk, New York Times columnist Bruni contemplates aging, illness, and the end of the road as he describes a rare stroke that deprived him of sight in his right eye, even as he learns that he could lose sight in his left eye as well. In Aurelia, Aurélia, Lannan Literary Award-winning novelist Davis (The Silk Road) considers how living and imagining interact in a book grounded in the joys and troubles of her marriage and her husband's recent death. Raised in an ultra-orthodox Jewish household and married off at age 19 to a man she barely knew, Haart made a Brazen decision more than two decades later, surreptitiously earning enough money to break away, then entering the fashion world, and finally becoming CEO and co-owner of the modeling agency Elite World Group. Adding to all those paw-poundingly wonderful canine celebrations that keep coming our way, And a Dog Called Fig is Dublin IMPAC long-listed Canadian novelist Humphreys's paean to dogs as the ideal companion to the writing life. In The Tears of a Man Flow Inward, Burundi-born, U.S.-based Pushcart/Whiting honoree Irankunda recalls how his family and fellow villagers survived the 13-year civil war in his country—with the help, crucially, of his kind and brave mother, a Mushingantahe, or chosen village leader—and how the war destroyed Burundi's culture and traditions. As private investigator Krouse explains in Tell Me Everything, she accepted a case of alleged sexual assault at a party for college football players and recruits despite reservations owing to her own experiences with sexual violence, then saw the case become a landmark civil rights case. In Red Paint, LaPointe, a Salish poet and nonfiction author from the Nooksack and Upper Skagit Indian tribes, explains how she has sought to reclaim a place in the world for herself and her people by blending her passion for the punk rock of the Pacific Northwest and her desire to honor spiritual traditions and particularly a namesake great-grandmother who fought to preserve the Lushootseed language. Undoubtedly, book critic Newton has Ancestor Trouble: a forebear accused of witchcraft in Puritan Massachusetts, a grandfather married 13 times, a father who praised slavery and obsessed over the purity of his bloodlines, and a frantic, cat-rescuing mother who performed exorcisms, all of which made her wonder how she would turn out. In How Do I Un-Remember This? comedian/screenwriter Pellegrino draws on his big-hit podcast Everything Iconic with Danny Pellegrino (over 13.5 million downloads in 2020) as he renegotiates 1990s pop culture and moments funny, embarrassing, or painful to limn growing up closeted in a conservative Ohio community. In Black Ops, Prado portrays a life that ranges from his family's fleeing the Cuban revolution when he was seven to his retirement from the CIA as the equivalent of a two-star general while also detailing the agency's involvement over the decades in numerous "shadow wars" (200,000-copy first printing). Segall came of age as a reporter just as tech entrepreneurs began to soar, and as she interviewed these Special Characters, she also rose to become an award-winning investigative reporter and (until 2019) CNN's senior tech correspondent (75,000-copy first printing).