Bibliography on Women in Intelligence

Sarah Helm

A Life In Secrets: The Story of Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE

London: Little Brown, 2005

In the “man’s world” of WWII European intelligence, Atkins rose quickly to a key position in Britain’s Special; Operations Executive (SOE) selecting agents and sending them to Europe. After the war she went searching for those who hadn’t returned. This book tells her story.


Mary S. Lovell

Cast No Shadow: The Life of the American Spy Who Changed the Course of World War II.

New York: Pantheon Books, 1992.

The story of Amy Elizabeth Thorpe Pack who spied for the British Security Coordination and the Office of Strategic Services. Her work led to the acquisition of the Italian and French naval ciphers prior to America’s landing in North Africa and other critical data.


Elizabeth P. MacDonald

Undercover Girl.

New York: Macmillan, 1947.

A look at the organization and personalities of the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, China, and Southeast Asia focusing on the Morale Operations section.

Melissa Mahle.

Denial and Deception: An Insider’s View of the CIA from Iran-Contra to 9/11

New York, Nation Books, 2004

The author was a successful operations officer in the CIA’s clandestine service. In he book she tells how that came about, what the training was like, and share some of her experiences in espionage.


Elizabeth P. McIntosh

Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS.

Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1998.

Veteran of the OSS, Elizabeth McIntosh relates her own experiences and those of fellow OSS women in this book that reveals interesting stories and long kept secrets from WWII.


Judith Pearson

Wolves At The Door : The True Story of America’s Greatest Female Spy

Guildford, CT: The Lyons Press, 2005

Pearson tells the story of American Virginia Hall who became first a British agent with the French resistance, then an OSS officer behind the Nazi lines, and finally a CIA officer. All this despite the slight handicap of her wooden leg. She was the only women in WWII to receive the Distinguished Service Cross.


Tammy M. Proctor.

Female Intelligence: Women and Espionage in the First World War.

New York: New York University Press, 2003.

This book examines several important but little known espionage cases involving female spies during WWI.


Margaret Rossiter

Women in the Resistance.

New York: Praeger, 1991.

Stories of the Allied women who were part of the WWII resistance movement behind German lines.


Elizabeth R. Varon.

Southern Lady, Yankee Spy: The True Story of Elizabeth Van Lew, A Union Agent in the Heart of the Confederacy

New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.

New details from archives highlight this biography of this very successful Union agent who lived in the South.

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