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The Volunteer: The Incredible True Story of an Israeli Spy on the Trail of International Terrorists

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When Michael Ross decided to go backpacking across Europe, he had no inkling that his vacation would lead to a life tracking down the world's most dangerous terrorists. In Israel, out of money and alone, Ross began working on a Kibbutz—and fell in love with both the country and an Israeli woman. After converting to Judaism, Ross was recruited by the country's secret servic When Michael Ross decided to go backpacking across Europe, he had no inkling that his vacation would lead to a life tracking down the world's most dangerous terrorists. In Israel, out of money and alone, Ross began working on a Kibbutz—and fell in love with both the country and an Israeli woman. After converting to Judaism, Ross was recruited by the country's secret service—the Mossad—as an undercover agent. In the years that followed, he played a significant role in capturing al-Qaeda members responsible for the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and worked jointly with the FBI and CIA to uncover a senior Hezbollah terrorist living in the United States. His never before revealed story makes an action-packed biography.


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When Michael Ross decided to go backpacking across Europe, he had no inkling that his vacation would lead to a life tracking down the world's most dangerous terrorists. In Israel, out of money and alone, Ross began working on a Kibbutz—and fell in love with both the country and an Israeli woman. After converting to Judaism, Ross was recruited by the country's secret servic When Michael Ross decided to go backpacking across Europe, he had no inkling that his vacation would lead to a life tracking down the world's most dangerous terrorists. In Israel, out of money and alone, Ross began working on a Kibbutz—and fell in love with both the country and an Israeli woman. After converting to Judaism, Ross was recruited by the country's secret service—the Mossad—as an undercover agent. In the years that followed, he played a significant role in capturing al-Qaeda members responsible for the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, and worked jointly with the FBI and CIA to uncover a senior Hezbollah terrorist living in the United States. His never before revealed story makes an action-packed biography.

30 review for The Volunteer: The Incredible True Story of an Israeli Spy on the Trail of International Terrorists

  1. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Interesting story of a Mossad agent. You have to wonder why he is spilling the beans. And since he is obviously using a pseudonym, you don't really know whether any of his personal background is true. Also the Mossad poo poo's many of his exploits (Of course) But, I liked it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin

    This was such an interesting book. I have never known to much, or been that interested in, the middle east but this seemed interesting. Before starting it I read a lot of reviews that said it dragged towards the end but I found the opposite. I couldn't wait to see how this guy's career turned out. There seems to be a lot more to each of these stories but I was glad to read what he was able to tell us. I recommend it.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marvin Breshears

    Valuable life lessons A candid narrative of one man's life in an agency often shrouded in secrecy and mystique. The lessons and observations that he presents here are important for all of us to consider. Wish our leaders would read this.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Louis

    Finally managed to complete this book, and SO glad I did! Absolutely loved it from start to finish. As the biography of a former spy, this flowed as well as Tom Marcus's Soldier Spy, which I read previous to this. I shall most definitely be reading this again at a later date!!!

  5. 4 out of 5

    GRAHAM MARTIN

    Factual Spy Account Love non fiction books that often read like fiction. Getting a bit outdated but interesting account of Hezbollah, 9-11 and the FBI. Not a lot of spy craft but remember certain information has to be left out because it's the Mossad

  6. 5 out of 5

    Donald K. Ulsh

    Excellent read. This is a really interesting story as it describes what it was like to be part of the Moss ad. Too bad the U.S. didn't listen to their warning.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Ronald Miller

    Very interesting A little slow in parts, but interesting a cursory look at something not known by most people. Unsung heroes as most intelligent agencies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Fiona Akkerman

    A storm is coming, and it would appear that those of us who cherish life, liberty and the goodness in our way of life will have no choice but to endure it. I decided not to wait for the inevitable. I volunteered. A highly informative look into the modern world of counter-terrorism and international intelligence, especially in the Middle East, this memoir details the author’s twelve years of experience serving as an undercover agent in the Mossad. Michael Ross left his native Canada wit A storm is coming, and it would appear that those of us who cherish life, liberty and the goodness in our way of life will have no choice but to endure it. I decided not to wait for the inevitable. I volunteered. A highly informative look into the modern world of counter-terrorism and international intelligence, especially in the Middle East, this memoir details the author’s twelve years of experience serving as an undercover agent in the Mossad. Michael Ross left his native Canada with not much and his travels soon led him to Israel, where, after serving in the IDF for a time, he was eventually recruited by the Mossad. So began his career as an undercover agent in the fascinating world of secret intelligence. Although the narrative dragged at times and wasn't very action-packed (the blurb didn't use the best adjective, there; I would say "compelling" is a more fitting word), I appreciated the honesty with which Ross portrays not the glamour and excitement of Hollywood's world of spies but the very real one of slow, at times painstaking and frustrating, everyday work within the intelligence community, both in the field and in the office; much of the book deals with nothing more than ordinary people working hard to slot little pieces into a giant jigsaw which, for the most part, they can't see in its entirety. Mistakes are made, leads are lost and constant pressure takes its toll mentally, but there are also quiet moments of triumph, a few astounding breakthroughs, some satisfying conclusions and almost completely unheard-of successes...all right under the nose of the public, and greatly under-appreciated (or unappreciated) by them. Sometimes I found myself exclaiming, "Why did we never read about that in the news?!" Ross is also frank about the effects his career had on his family and his own psyche, as well as other Mossad operatives. I loved the various quotes chosen as an introduction to each chapter, and my favourite parts were Ross's information about training, joint operations and the touchy relationship between different intelligence agencies, such as the Mossad and the CIA. Having converted to Judaism and committed so much of his life to Israel, Ross is understandably a little biased, but for the most part this didn't interfere with the accuracy of his account. I think this book is especially relevant today, considering recent events in the Middle East and the anti-Israel sentiment being stirred up by the media as a result. There are two sides to every coin. You'll learn a lot about the Mossad without really learning much. Which, I am sure, is exactly how it's intended to be. It's a good story and I liked its modern context (published 2007), but if you want a broader and more intense book about the Mossad, I recommend Gideon's Spies: The Secret History of the Mossad as a better alternative. But for anyone seeking more than just an overview and willing to dig deeper, The Volunteer: The Incredible True Story of an Israeli Spy on the Trail of International Terrorists is a great inside perspective of the Mossad.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    An interesting book written by a Canadian born Mossad agent. As a young man, Michael Ross travelled to Israel on vacation and ended up falling in love with the country, converting to Judaism and marrying an Israeli woman. After serving in the Israeli army he was recruited by Mossad and carried out missions for them for years, as well as liasing with the US. Details regarding Israeli intelligence were omitted for obvious reasons but it's still an interesting read. It also serves as a reminder of An interesting book written by a Canadian born Mossad agent. As a young man, Michael Ross travelled to Israel on vacation and ended up falling in love with the country, converting to Judaism and marrying an Israeli woman. After serving in the Israeli army he was recruited by Mossad and carried out missions for them for years, as well as liasing with the US. Details regarding Israeli intelligence were omitted for obvious reasons but it's still an interesting read. It also serves as a reminder of why we are at war with militant Islam... seeing as Israel embodies everything that the Western world idealises, and has been targetted by extremist states for those values.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    I really enoyed this. I tore through the first 80% in a few hours over the weekend...then I had to do things like 'go to work' and it took a few days longer to polish it off. Entertaining, well written (just the odd occasion of slight repetition), dramatic, and a fascinating subject.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Foxglove

    A perfect, brilliant, incredible and well written book, I enjoyed it so much. Very useful for a spy story research.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Charissa

    Seemed to drag a bit.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Albert Fang

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brian Leyton

  15. 4 out of 5

    Invisible Girl

  16. 5 out of 5

    David

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lovelle

  18. 4 out of 5

    Aladdin Elaasar

  19. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Newberg

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susie K.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Roosa

  22. 4 out of 5

    Michael A Cesnik

  23. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany Horne

  24. 4 out of 5

    JamesWES81

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dora

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leon Martynenko

  27. 5 out of 5

    Khia

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stacey

  29. 5 out of 5

    Joel

  30. 4 out of 5

    Scott

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