Dealing with or written by women in law enforcement


Many of the books listed in this section are the works that have been published through the years dealing with or written by women in law enforcement.

This library provides an excellent historical perspective in many cases through the direct testimony of women recounting their own experience as well as being illustrative of the prevailing political, economic, and social conditions of the era.

Academic perspectives are included as well and each provides an access towards a literature review for those interested in research and writing.

Women in Law Enforcement Library

Mary E. Hamilton :
Published in the 1920's
The Policewoman: Her Services and Ideals

In this autobiography, Mary Hamilton, the first woman to serve on the New York Police Department, accounts police work as experienced by a woman. Hamilton created it as a guide to women who enter the field and to give all people a better understanding of what women can do in regards to police protection and crime prevention.

Chloe Owings :

Women Police: A Study of the Development and Status of the Woman Police Movement

Commandant Mary S. Allen, O.B.E

The Pioneer Policewoman.

In this autobiography, Mary S. Allen chronicles her experiences as co-founder and Sub-Commandant of the Women's Police Volunteers during World War II.

Eleanor Hutzel : The Policewoman's Handbook

The Policewoman's Handbook is an effort to standardize the experience of policewomen within the broader organization. It is mainly based on the experiences of the policewomen's division of the Detroit Police department and advises on how to be an effective police officer as a female in that male dominated profession.

Mary S. Allen, O.B.E. :
Lady in Blue

In this autobiography, Mary S. Allen chronicles her experiences as co-founder and Sub-Commandant of the Women's Police Volunteers during World War II.

 Mary Sullivan : My Double Life

Mary Sullivan was the first woman detective in the New York Police Department. Written in 1935, this autobiography describes her experiences as an undercover detective at a time when there were few, if any, women in police departments.

Dee Brown
The Gentle Tamers: Women of the Old Wild West 

All aspects of western feminine life, which include a good deal about the western male, are covered in this lively, informal but soundly factual account of the women who built the West. Among those whose stories are included are Elizabeth Custer; Lola Montez, Ann Eliza Young, Josephine Meeker, Carry Nation, Esther Morris, and Virginia Reed.

Bryna Taubman
Lady Cop: True Stories of Policewomen in America's Toughest City 

Published in 1987, Lady Cop tells the stories of four policewomen from New York: their private lives and professional experiences. This book offers a glimpse into what policing for women was like in the late eighties and their struggles resultant from being a woman in a male dominated profession that accompanied everyday policing challenges.

Gayleen Hays
Policewoman One: My Twenty Years on the LAPD

Using 20 years of experience as a police officer, Gayleen Hays offers an inside look at being a police officer.

Peter Donovan
Changing the Guard: A History of the Australian Protective Service 

Peter Donovan recounts the history of the Australian Protective Service and its role as well as the issues that have arisen after its creation.

Connie Fletcher : Breaking and Entering 

 Based on interviews, this book chronicles the experiences of women on police forces and the challenges they have endured related to sexism and working in a male-dominated environment. The interviews reveal how the presence of women in law enforcement is changing the face of the American criminal justice system.

Gloria E. Myers :  A Municipal Mother

A Municipal Mother tells the story of Lola Baldwin, the first woman hired by an American municipality to carry out regular enforcement duties.

Val McDermid
A Suitable Job for a Woman: Inside the World of Female Private Eyes

While male private eyes have long been the mainstay of crime fiction, little is known or understood about females in that profession. Val McDermid, author of private detective fiction herself, interviewed women from Great Britain and the United States who make their living as private eyes in order to paint a picture of the experiences of female private eyes.

Kathleen Gregory Klein
The Woman Detective: Gender & Genre 

Kathleen Klein traces the evolution of gender boundaries in popular American, British, and Canadian detective fiction from a feminist viewpoint.This book reveals the detective novel as a reflection of and potential barrier to social change for women.

Susan Ehrlich Martin and Nancy C. Jurik:
Doing Justice Doing Gender 

An insight into the long-standing struggle of women in criminal justice occupations to move beyond the barriers of gender segregation is provided in this book.

Ellen Kirschman : I Love a Cop 

A psychologist with a long career working with cops, Ellen Kirschman offers practical ways of dealing with the challenges that arise from being an officer or part of his or her family. In addition to general advice, she includes special topics dealing with women and minorities on the force.

Larry F. Jetmore and Linnea Fredrickson (Editor)

The Path of the Warrior: An Ethical Guide to Personal and Professional Development in the Field of Criminal Justice 

This book provides ethical concepts melded with real-world scenarios in order to help those in the policing professions develop a moral warrior mind-set to assist them in dealing with right and wrong on the job.

Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen
The Spy Book: An Encyclopedia of Espionage

This intriguing book covers intelligence agencies, espionage code names, terms, countries, literature, equipment, and more. Contains over 2,000 entries and references and photos and illustrations of famous spies, codes, hardware and more.

Vali Stone
Cops Don't Cry: A Book of Help and Hope for Police Families

The author of this book provides insights and advice relating to every major event possible in a cop's career (e.g. colleague death or daily stress) and how to deal with them from both sides of the relationship.

Elizabeth P. McIntosh
Sisterhood of Spies: The Women of the OSS 

Elizabeth McIntosh, a veteran of sensitive OSS and CIA operations, draws on her own experiences and on interviews with more than 100 OSS women who served all over the world to highlight the contributions of the 4,000 women of the OSS during WWII.

Marion E. Gold
Top Cops: Profiles of Women in Command

Top Cops tells the stories of women across the country who have made their way through the ranks to become leaders in the law enforcement community.

Margaret Hope Bacon : Abby Hopper Gibbons 

This first contemporary biography of nineteenth-century American social activist and prison reformer Abigail Hopper Gibbons (1801-1893) illuminates women's changing role in the various reform movements of the period.

Dr. William Wilbanks : True Heroines 

True Heroines provides narratives of 138 women law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty between 1916 and 1998.

Gina Gallo
Armed and Dangerous: Memoirs of a Chicago Policewoman 

These are the memoirs of 16 year veteran Gina Gallo of the Chicago Police. She recounts her years on the force, telling of shoot-outs, ambushes, killing someone, domestic violence and all other situations she encountered during her career.

Candice DeLong Special Agent:

My Life and Times on the Front Lines as a Woman in the FBI

Candice DeLong tells the story in this autobiography of her time as an FBI agent. She recounts what led her to becoming an agent in a male-dominated agency and takes the reader through many of the cases she worked on.

Loren W. Christensen and Alexis Artwohl

Deadly Force Encounters: What Cops Need To Know To Mentally And Physically Prepare For And Survive A Gunfight

 This unique life- and career-saving manual contains every shred of critical information the police officer needs to survive the media, investigations and more.

Susan Hagen and Mary Carouba : Women at Ground Zero

This book is a powerful collection of first-person stories told by female firefighters, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, and others who responded to the events of September 11 and its aftermath.

Intelligence Officers Bookshelf

Courtesy of the CIA Web Site: Included within this section is a growing literature review of books and research articles about one of the oldest professions in the world.

A special thanks to members of the Intelligence Community, past and present, who continue to contribute to the site with recommendations and reviews. For more suggestions see here.

Anne Speckhard

Talking to Terrorists: Understanding the Psycho-Social Motivations of Militant Jihadi Terrorists, Mass Hostage Takers, Suicide Bombers & Martyrs to Combat Terrorism in Prion & Community Rehabilitation.

Dr. Speckhard deftly defines the lethal cocktail that leads to the creation of a terrorist by interviewing over four hundred terrorists, their friends, family members and hostages.

Peter Bergen and Katherine Tidemann

Talibanistan: Negotiating the Borders Between Terror, Politics, and Religion

This book looks at the conflict that straddles the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan--the Islamic militancy.

Matthew Aid

The Secret Sentry: The Untold History of the National Security Agency.

This book is the first comprehensive history of the NSA, detailing the untold history of the National Security Agency (NSA), since the end of World War II.

Matthew Aid

Intel Wars: The Secret History of the Fight Against Terror

Matthew Aid looks at the history of the American Intelligence community and its surge of growth post-9/11. He delivers the inside stories of how and why our shadow war against extremism has floundered despite the efforts of America's massive intelligence network.

Henry Crumpton

The Art of Intelligence: Lessons from a Life in the CIA's Clandestine Service

The author, a twenty-four-year veteran of the CIA's Clandestine Service, offers a thrilling account that delivers profound lessons about what it means to serve as an honorable spy.

Allen W. Dulles

The Craft of Intelligence: America's legendary Spy Master on the Fundamentals of Intelligence Gathering for a Free World.

Allen W. Dulles uses his experience as a diplomat, international lawyer, and intelligence officer of the OSS to discuss the roles and processes of intelligence gathering and processing.

Jennifer E. Sims (Editor), Burton Gerber (Editor)

Vaults, Mirrors, and Masks

In this book, top practitioners and scholars in the intelligence field explain the importance of counterintelligence today and its role in protecting the U.S. They describe and explore the causes of and practical solutions for U.S. counterintelligence weaknesses especially in the light of modern technology and the challenges posed by confused purposes, political culture, and bureaucratic rigidity.

Christopher A. Ford, David Alan Rosenberg, Randy Carol Bolano

Admiral's Advantage: U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War

This book elaborates on the development and practice of operational intelligence within the U.S. Navy.

Brian Latell

After Fidel : The Inside Story of Castro's 40-Year Regime and Cuba's Next Leader

Brian Latell, a CIA analyst who has followed Castro since the 60s, writes a behind the scenes account of the relationship between Fidel and Raul Castro.

Erasmus H. Kloman

Assignment Algiers: With the OSS in the Mediterranean Theatre

Erasmus H. Kloman. Kloman tells his story of life working for the OSS during WWII.

Timothy Naftali

Blind Spot: The Secret History of American Counter-Terrorism

This book traces the decades-long history of the U.S.'s attempts to fight terrorism and examines why domestic terrorism was the biggest blind spot in American national security until the events of 9/11.

Nigel West

Historical Dictionary of British Intelligence

With more than 1,800 entries, this dictionary provides detailed and comprehensive information on a topic that is normally shrouded in mystery. Entries include agencies, moles, defectors, techniques, jargon and much more, all surrounding the history and operations of British Intelligence.

Stansfield Turner

Burn Before Reading: Presidents, CIA Directors and Secret Intelligence

The author of this book studies twelve sets of presidents and chiefs to look into the machinery of intelligence gathering and how personal and political issues often interfere with government business and the safety of the nation.

Steve Usdin

Engineering Communism: How Two Americans Spied for Stalin and Founded the Soviet Silicon Valley

Joel Barr and Alfred Sarant, both members of the Rosenberg spy ring, stole information that helped the USSR build their first advanced weapons system. Before they could be arrested, the KGB assisted them in escaping. In this book, Steve Usdin tells the story of what led these two to becoming spies, how they obtained military secrets, and what mistakes led to their escape. 

Stephen Budiansky

Her Majesty's Spymaster: Elizabeth I, Sir Francis Walsingham, and the Birth of Modern Espionage

This book is about Sir Francis Walsingham, outwardly the Queen's principal secretary, was the first spymaster of England. He pioneered techniques for exploiting double agents, spreading disinformation, and deciphering codes against the background of rivalries with Catholic Spain and France and Mary, Queen of Scots.

Roland Perry

Last of the Cold War Spies: The Life of Michael Straight - The Only American in Britain's Cambridge Spy Ring

Investigative journalist Roland Perry has taken a closer look at the life of Michael Straight, the only American within the Cambridge Spy Ring, in order to build a comprehensive picture of his activities on behalf of Soviet Intelligence that gives lie to his "confession" that his covert activity ceased in 1941.

Sarah Helm

A Life in Secrets: Vera Atkins and the Lost Agents of SOE

This book is about Vera Atkins, the head of the French Section of the British Special Operations Executive and how she recruited, trained, and mentored special operatives whose job was to organize and arm the resistance in Nazi-occupied France. After the war, Atkins courageously committed herself to a dangerous search for twelve of her most cherished women spies who had gone missing in action.

John H. Richardson

My Father the Spy: A Family History of the CIA, the Cold War, and the Sixties

Son of a CIA "chief of station" for multiple assignments, John H. Richardson grew up against the background of the pivotal events of the Cold War. He writes of his experiences at home, the actions of his father and information from declassified documents to reconstruct the innermost workings of a family enmeshed in the Cold War.

Richard Zacks

The Pirate Coast: Thomas Jefferson, the First Marines, and the Secret Mission of 1805

The author tells the story of Eaton's, who was sent on a secret mission to overthrow the government of Tripoli, journey across the Libyan Desert with only a few men and few supplies and his subsequent capture of Derne. His actions laid the groundwork for the end of the Barbary Pirates and made history as the first overseas American covert op.

Tessa Stirling, Daria Natcz, and Tadeusz Dubicki, editors Intelligence Co-Operation Between Poland and Great Britain During World War II: The Report of the Anglo-Polish Historical Committee, Volume 1

The Anglo-Polish Historical Committee was formed to examine the contributions made by Polish Intelligence during WWII. In this volume, they recount major intelligence breakthroughs made by the Polish and the specific actions of Polish agents that helped lead the Allies to victory.

Edwin C. Fishel

The Secret War for the Union: The Untold Story of Military Intelligence in the Civil War. 

The author has unearthed substantial collections of intelligence records records of the Civil War, and gives his "intelligence explanation" radically altering history's understanding of the campaigns.

Thaddeus Holt

The Deceivers: Allied Military Deception in the Second World War

The Deceivers reveals the history and techniques behind Allied success in WWII with deception through its three essentials--good plans, double agents, and codebreaking.

Robin Winks

Cloak and Gown: Scholars in the Secret War 1939-1961

The CIA and its World War II predecessor, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), were for many years largely populated by members of Ivy League colleges, particularly Yale. In this highly acclaimed book, Robin Winks explores the underlying bonds between the university and the intelligence communities.

Pete Earley

Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames

Pete Earley interviewed infamous KGB agent Aldrich Ames and spoke with his KGB handlers in order to tell the story of the man who arguably managed to sabotage national security more than any other in history.

David Wise

Spy: The Inside Story of How the FBI's Robert Hanssen Betrayed America

This book is about Hanssen, one of the most notorious spies in recent history. Davie Wise tells his story of how he passed information to the KGB from within the FBI.

John Peados

Safe for Democracy: The Secret Wars of the CIA

Safe for Democracy for the first time places the story of the CIA's covert operations squarely in the context of America's global quest for democratic values and institutions. National security historian John Prados offers a comprehensive history of the CIA's secret wars that is as close to a definitive account as is possible today.

Richards J. Heuer Jr.

Psychology of Intelligence Analysis

The Psychology of Intelligence Analysis has been required reading for intelligence officers studying the art and science of intelligence analysis for decades. Richards Heuer, Jr. discusses in the book how fundamental limitations in human mental processes can prompt people to jump to conclusions and employ other simplifying strategies that lead to predictably faulty judgments known as cognitive biases.

Philip Taubman

Secret Empire: Eisenhower, the CIA, and the Hidden Story of America's Space Espionage

The author is able to recount the history of the development of the spy plane and satellites, its disasters and triumphs, the people behind them, and the historic period in which they worked. Taubman takes the story into today's setting and analyzes how the nation's dependence on machines at the expense of human agents may have contributed to our recent vulnerability to terrorism.

Marc Sageman : Understanding Terror Networks 

Understanding Terror Networks combines Sageman's scrutiny of sources, personal acquaintance with Islamic fundamentalists, deep appreciation of history, and effective application of network theory, modeling, and forensic psychology. Sageman's unique research allows him to go beyond available academic studies, which are light on facts, and journalistic narratives, which are devoid of theory. The result is a profound contribution to our understanding of the perpetrators of 9/11 that has practical implications for the war on terror. 

Martin S. Alexander

Knowing Your Friends: Intelligence Inside Alliances and Coalitions from 1914 to the Cold War

This book addresses the business of gathering intelligence and forming estimates about friendly powers and how nations and groups evaluate other nations and groups in order to determine if an alliance should be made.

Ralph E. Weber (ed.)

Spymasters: Ten CIA officers in Their Own Words

A collection of interviews with former top-ranking CIA officials on the most sensitive issues and practices in American foreign intelligence. They give insight on the relationships between the agency's directors and U.S. presidents during the Cold War as well as into the various successes and failures through the eyes of those who were there and may have issued the orders.

Women In Intelligence Booklist

Included within this section is a growing literature review of books and research articles about one of the oldest professions in the world.

A special thanks to members of the Intelligence Community, past and present who continue to contribute to the site with recommendations and reviews.

Courtesy of the CIA Web Site:

Thomas B. Allen

George Washington, Spymaster: How the Americans Outspied the British and Won the Revolutionary War.

John Edwin Bakeless

Turncoats, Traitors, and Heroes: Espionage in the American Revolution

Mary Bancroft : Autobiography of a Spy

Helene Adams-Deschamps :Spyglass: An Autobiography

Mary S. Lovell

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

Mark M. Lowenthal : Intelligence: From Secret to Policy

Elizabeth P. McIntosh : Undercover Girl.

Donald E. Markle : Spies & Spymasters of the Civil War

P.K. Rose : Black Dispatches: Black American Contributions to Union Intelligence During the Civil War

P.K. Rose :Founding Fathers of American Intelligence.

P.K. Rose :Founding Fathers of American Intelligence.

Margaret Rossiter : Women in the Resistance

Robert David Steele : On Intelligence: Spies and Secrecy in an Open World.

Back To Top