Download Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent Audiobook

Ghost: Confessions of a Counterterrorism Agent Audiobook, by Fred Burton Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Fred Burton Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2008 ISBN: 9781481583428
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (415 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $19.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $12.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

For decades, Fred Burton, a key figure in international counterterrorism and domestic spycraft, has secretly been on the front lines in the fight to keep Americans safe around the world. Now, in this hard-hitting memoir, Burton emerges from the shadows to reveal who he is, what he has accomplished, and the threats that lurk unseen except by an experienced, world-wise few.

In the mid-80s, the idea of defending Americans against terrorism was still new. But a trio of suicide bombings in Beirut—including one that killed 241 marines and forced our exit from Lebanon—sparked a change in the State Department’s mindset. Burton, a member of a tiny but elite counterterrorism unit, was plunged into a murky world of violent religious extremism spanning the streets of Middle Eastern cities and the informant-filled alleys of American slums. From battling Libyan terrorists and their Palestinian surrogates to facing down hijackers, hostages, and Hezbollah double agents, Burton found himself on the front lines of America’s first campaign against terror.

In this globe-trotting account of one counterterrorism agent’s life and career, Burton takes us behind the scenes to reveal how the United States tracked Libya-linked master terrorist Abu Nidal; captured Ramzi Yusef, architect of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing; and pursued the assassins of major figures including Yitzhak Rabin, Meir Kahane, and General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, the president of Pakistan—classic cases that have sobering new meaning in the treacherous years since 9/11. Here, too, is Burton’s advice on personal safety for today’s most powerful CEOs, gleaned from his experience at Stratfor, the private firm Barron’s calls “the shadow CIA.”

Told in a no-holds-barred, gripping, nuanced style that illuminates a complex and driven man, Ghost is both a riveting read and an illuminating look into the shadows of the most important struggle of our time.

Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “With spy thriller suspense and the clarity of a police report, [Ghost] reads like a brewing-storm prequel to the current ‘war on terror.’…Of obvious interest to anyone with an eye on world affairs, Burton’s assets will draw in even casual counterterrorism fans: the spook can actually write.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Burton’s memoir of fighting the defensive fight against the burgeoning terrorist threat in the 1980s and beyond is a revealing personal journal of the stress and boredom involved in putting the pieces of the puzzle together to obtain justice. Fred Burton was there, and you will be as well.” 

    Bobby R. Inman, admiral, United States Navy (retired), former director of National Security Agency and former deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency

  • “In the first five minutes you’ll be hooked, knowing you're going to enter the dark world of a former counterintelligence agent. Tom Weiner’s deep voice maximizes the impact of the author’s machine-gun present-tense style to create an aura of tension and awareness…Weiner has distinct voices for all the author’s colleagues, enemies, and informants. Each is so convincing that none sound contrived. Burton writes with the skill of Tom Clancy, but his plot contains the extra dimension of historical accuracy.”


  • “There’s no point in beating around the bush: this book is a masterpiece. Stylistically what makes it especially good is its restraint...carefully modulated and controlled. Nothing in the novel is superfluous, everything contributes to theme and form.”


Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nicole | 2/19/2014

    " This was just OK for me ... I was expecting something a bit more exciting. His story was interesting, but it felt a little forced, especially on his investigative trips that felt more like a paper-pusher wanting to be more. I thought he did a great job relating the day-to-day stress that these agents live everyday, and the effects on their family life. It makes you appreciate what you don't know is done for your security. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 John | 2/17/2014

    " Very interesting first person account of the U.S.'s early anti-terror efforts. Most of the book takes place in the second half of the 1980's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 2/13/2014

    " An interesting look into the career of a DSS agent that tracks down terrorists. Definitely captivates the reader and provides a lot of information on terrorist attacks that have affected our country. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marsmannix | 2/11/2014

    " Page turner!!!!!!!!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kerilotion | 2/4/2014

    " Interesting but hated the way it was written.. How many different ways can you say the same damn thing?! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 1/16/2014

    " 1st edition, signed & inscribed by author; r.m. bottom edge - red dot "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 1/16/2014

    " An interesting foray into the dark world of counterintelligence by a member of the DSS. They protect US diplomats and embassies, as wel as visiting dignitaries, and Burton was on the groundfloor of antiterrorist activities. It scares you when you see how ill-equipped we were to handle the emerging terrorist threats. This book focuses mostly on the 80s and early 90s: the hostage crisis in Lebanon, the Libyans, the assassination of Pakistani leader Zia, Lockerbie, and the first WTC bombing, and the capture of Ramzi Yousef. I find these books fascinating, but frustrating as well. As a warning to modernize and strengthen our capabilities, I think it is a good thing; but doesn't he also give terrorists an insight into inner workings and policy as well? I think he convinced me that the Soviets knocked off Zia. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Debi | 1/2/2014

    " Burton's memoir of counter terrorism is like sitting on the stairs and secretly listening to the adult's uncensored talk downstairs. Interesting insights, although at times a little self serving. Otherwise recommended reading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Digger | 12/23/2013

    " Interesting insights into understaffed State Department's efforts to create counterterrorism processes and procedures to deal with the new threats. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ryan | 11/19/2013

    " This book blew my mind. Fred Burton's stories from his career in counterterrorism, especially in the 1980s, are amazing. I don't read much non-fiction, but I'd recommend this book to anybody. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 11/6/2013

    " The view from inside the counter-terrorism office in the 1990's. He tells about sifting through so many leads, trying to find that one that is credible...the needle in the haystack, but with potentially grave consequences if it is missed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 10/15/2013

    " Behind the scenes of our intelligence groups. I learn some history about what is really going on instead of what is on the news. I like the up front and personal accounts. This guy checks out leads on terrorism to see if they are credible or not. Very good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tamara | 9/10/2013

    " Burton was one of three agents who began the US Counterterrorism unit (think Jack Bauer). The book starts slow and is poorly written, but gives a few interesting insights into CT work. He's probably too limited in what he can say to be able to make it that interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kelly | 8/3/2013

    " I appreciated what I learned about the CIA, FBI, etc in this book. I like that the author did not include info for titillating purposes but just wanted to show what life for a government agent is like. The bits of dry humor added to the tone of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristen | 7/25/2013

    " This book was pretty interesting, and I definitely learned a lot about terrorism in the Middle East. I wish there was more of a payoff at the end though . . . in the book and in reality! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 mike | 10/7/2012

    " a very good look into the life of a real-life counterterrorist. This US agent keeps his story exciting and readable without overcomplicating it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meadow | 6/13/2012

    " So, I got this because we totally got sucked into the show "Burn Notice". If I fail my Regulations test, it will be because of the Burn Notice marathon. Anyway, it was not nearly as exciting as the show. But, interesting to read about some of the big terror attacks from an insiders viewpoint. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kevin | 8/2/2011

    " I am not a big spy kind of guy but I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 9/20/2010

    " Very similar to other spy memoirs. He was not a spy so much as a State Department counterterrorism agent. So-so interesting read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Topher | 3/22/2010

    " Saw the author on Colbert, thought'd be worth checking out. Got through 95+% of it while I gave a final exam. Entertaining, not surprising though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phillip | 7/2/2009

    " Pretty good book about the early days of chasing terrorists. Can scare the crap out of you realizing what goes on out there. A bit too personal, but interesting. Good book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 4/26/2009

    " fascinating.brings a lot of overlooked perspective on the stress of working in an intelligence field.along with interesting,and little known facts.i was particularly fascinated by the assasination concept of President Muhammad Zia-Ul-Haq. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patrick | 3/20/2009

    " Very interesting read... Fred Burton experienced first hand some of the most defining moments in world modern world history. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Snail | 3/13/2009

    " An interesting look at behind the scenes work on counterterrorism from the mid-80s to the early 90s. Good complement to something like Chief of Station: Congo. Manages not to be overly partisan. "

About the Author

Fred Burton is one of the world’s foremost experts on security, terrorists, and terrorist organizations. He is vice president for counterterrorism and corporate security at Stratfor, the influential private security intelligence company sometimes called “the shadow CIA.” He is the former deputy chief of the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Department of State’s counterterrorism branch.

About the Narrator

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is the winner of eight Earphones Awards and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.