Left of Boom signed copy.
On September 11, 2001, Doug Laux was a freshman in college, on the path to becoming a doctor. But with the fall of the Twin Towers came a turning point in his life. After graduating he joined the Central Intelligence Agency, determined to get himself to Afghanistan and into the center of the action. Through persistence and hard work he was fast-tracked to a clandestine operations position overseas. Dropped into a remote region of Afghanistan, he received his baptism by fire. Frustrated by bureaucratic red tape, a widespread lack of knowledge of the local customs and culture and an attitude of complacency that hindered his ability to combat the local Taliban, Doug confounded his peers by dressing like a native and mastering the local dialect, making contact and building sources within several deadly terrorist networks. His new approach resulted in unprecedented successes, including uncovering the largest IED network in the world, responsible for killing hundreds of US soldiers. Meanwhile, Doug had to keep up false pretenses with his family, girlfriend and friends–nobody could know what he did for a living–and deal with the emotional turbulence of constantly living a lie. His double life was building to an explosive resolution, with repercussions that would have far reaching consequences
“Mr. Laux brings a raw perspective to the canon. His memoir is not filled with recollections of White House meetings or lengthy defenses of waterboarding. Mr. Laux was thousands of miles from Washington, a grunt in a secret war.” – New York Times
“The first glimpse of a younger generation of CIA spies whose careers have been defined by the War on Terror. . . . Laux’s narrative offers new insights, bludgeoned as they were by agency censors, into how the CIA goes about the business of war zone espionage.” – NBC News
“Every bit as riveting and even more spellbinding than the best the thriller genre has to offer. . . . In addition to providing a superb glimpse at the minutia involved in [being a CIA case officer], Left of Boom also does a splendid job of revealing the psychological and emotional costs in undertaking such a dangerous undercover mission.” ―Providence Journal
“This is an unvarnished, critical look at the inner workings of the CIA…Smith is able to present unique descriptions of the psychological stresses endured by the CIA case officers who are forced to lie to even their closest family and friends about what they do, where they are, and whom they work for. It’s a fascinating and engaging look inside the fast-paced and dangerous daily workings of today’s CIA.” – Publishers Weekly
“Left of Boom is a riveting personal story of how a young CIA operative, attached to the National Clandestine Service (NCS) and fresh out of college, managed to actually penetrate into the Talban and Al-Qaeda…. This story is absolutely fascinating and provides readers with a very rare look at just how CIA operatives live and work at the tip of the spear.” – Don Mann, SEAL Team SIX (ret), co-author of Inside SEAL Team SIX
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