Facts and Fears - James R. Clapper & Trey Brown

Facts and Fears

By James R. Clapper & Trey Brown

  • Release Date: 2018-05-22
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Book: Facts and Fears
Facts and Fears book review score

4 Score: 4 (From 41 Ratings)

Facts and Fears Book Review Score: ★★★★★ 5/5 stars

Facts and Fears is a great book. Our editors rated it with a top 5 stars.

New York Times bestseller

The former Director of National Intelligence's candid and compelling account of the intelligence community's successes--and failures--in facing some of the greatest threats to America


When he stepped down in January 2017 as the fourth United States director of national intelligence, James Clapper had been President Obama's senior intelligence adviser for six and a half years, longer than his three predecessors combined. He led the U.S. intelligence community through a period that included the raid on Osama bin Laden, the Benghazi attack, the leaks of Edward Snowden, and Russia's influence operation during the 2016 U.S. election campaign. In Facts and Fears, Clapper traces his career through the growing threat of cyberattacks, his relationships with presidents and Congress, and the truth about Russia's role in the presidential election. He describes, in the wake of Snowden and WikiLeaks, his efforts to make intelligence more transparent and to push back against the suspicion that Americans' private lives are subject to surveillance. Finally, it was living through Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and seeing how the foundations of American democracy were--and continue to be--undermined by a foreign power that led him to break with his instincts honed through more than five decades in the intelligence profession to share his inside experience.

Clapper considers such controversial questions as, Is intelligence ethical? Is it moral to intercept communications or to photograph closed societies from orbit? What are the limits of what we should be allowed to do? What protections should we give to the private citizens of the world, not to mention our fellow Americans? Are there times when intelligence officers can lose credibility as unbiased reporters of hard truths by inserting themselves into policy decisions?

Facts and Fears offers a privileged look inside the U.S. intelligence community and, with the frankness and professionalism for which James Clapper is known, addresses some of the most difficult challenges in our nation's history.

User reviews about the book

  • A national treasure

    5
    By Foxysr
    James Clapper seriously addresses the challenges of national security and the role of our intelligence community as we learn more each week of the seriousness of Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election. Truth to power is a major theme in his long service to our country and in retirement he is still speaking truth to all who want to hear the truth. Insightful read.
  • Facts and Fears by James Clapper

    5
    By Carpenbd
    An important book to help understand the intelligence community (IC) and most importantly its history and mission. The personal details and recollections not only of Director Clapper but also of the many professionals in the IC who not only dedicate their lives to preserving our liberty and freedoms but do so daily while receiving so little recognition or thanks provide an important perspective on the importance of their work to us all. At a time when the IC is subject to daily assaults and derision by the primary beneficiary of their sacrifices and efforts it is incumbent on all of us to better understand the importance of their role to preserving our democracy and liberties and dedication to that cause. Fear and Facts serves that purpose well. The narrative is compelling and the story it tells is important. I have a greater respect after reading it not only for Director Clapper but for all who serve our country as members of the IC.
  • An outstanding story

    5
    By JRWooden
    “ Truth to Power” says it all....this book is a well written, honest and open discussion of strength, weakness, success and failure! It contains hard truths that the country needs to hear and accept... it definitely isn’t “fake news” or “ alternative facts.”
  • Facts and Fears

    5
    By Fred-G-3rd
    A beautifully written story of a life and career well-lived by an extraordinary man and true patriot. This book gave me an intimate look at how US Intel works, something I did not believe possible given the very nature of the discipline. I now understand more than ever the critical nature of these institutions and how they operate -thanks to Director Clapper- in an integrative manner to protect us all. Most of all, he focuses on the danger the Russians pose, especially through their sowing of disinformation on various media platforms, and that each of us must take responsibility for demanding action to mitigate the threats. This was a long book but one I could not put down; I recommend it very highly to others who want to better understand the role the Intel community holds in keeping us safe.
  • A Brave American Speaks...

    5
    By Bob Magnant
    Jim Clapper sees current Administration actions as destabilizing to our traditional institutions and degrading to our career employees. I wish that more Americans would speak out against those who are determined to take down our predecessors and destroy the things that we have created to build a better world. I am a little depressed thinking about why we haven’t seen more adults like Jim Clapper and his generation speaking out against the Trump lackeys. In 'Facts and Fears', Clapper describes the kind of 'growing up American' that I can relate to. And when he proudly speaks out about his 70 years in the intelligence family, I feel the sincerity of his words. This kind of historical perspective should be 'required reading’ for all Americans.
  • Treacherous guilt

    1
    By Timmydds
    The man who will soon be dressed in an orange jumpsuit, makes an attempt at legitimizing his seditious ways. The book does give some interesting insight into the 3 letter agencies we have heard so much about of late. However, we the people understand the Sedition that has been implemented by the top brass of these agencies. It’s hard to believe this man.
  • Honest and direct

    5
    By larryeber
    Although intel surveillance and analysis is an essential ingredient in many literary works, this book demonstrates the reward for those who believe in the saying “Anyone can talk the talk, not everyone can walk the walk”. This author has “walked the walk”.

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