Monday, August 23, 2021

Book Review & GIVEAWAY - It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent, by Kathy Stearman {ends 8/30}

Guest review by: Becki Bayley

Despite my rocky start, India began to feel like home. I recall coming back to Delhi from a conference in the US. The embassy car had picked me up at the airport and dropped me off at my house. Walking up the driveway, I could hear the family of lime green parrots singing in the garden, the scent of the frangipani blossoms floated on the humid air. I felt like I belonged to this place. I realized, regardless how my tenure had begun, that I loved my job. I loved being in India, and I loved being part of something larger than myself. I was only beginning to understand how this time in my career would change my life.

Kathy Stearman grew up on a farm, and wanted the career she could find the farthest from her childhood. A job with the FBI was not like she’d seen in the movies, but it definitely wasn’t like life on the farm either.

Official synopsis:
Book Review & GIVEAWAY - It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent, by Kathy Stearman {ends 8/30}
When former FBI Agent Kathy Stearman read in the
New York Times that sixteen women were suing the FBI for discrimination at the training academy, she was surprised to see the women come forward—no one ever had before. But the truth behind their accusations resonated.

After a twenty-six-year career in the Bureau, Kathy Stearman knows from personal experience that this type of behavior has been prevalent for decades. Stearman’s It’s Not About the Gun examines the influence of attitude and gender in her journey to becoming FBI Legal Attaché, the most senior FBI representative in a foreign office.

When she entered the FBI Academy in 1987, Stearman was one of about 600 women in a force of 10,000 agents. While there, she evolved into an assertive woman, working her way up the ranks and across the globe to hold positions that very few women have held before. And yet, even at the height of her career, Stearman had to check herself to make sure that she never appeared weak, inferior, or afraid. The accepted attitude for women in power has long been cool, calm, and in control—and sometimes that means coming across as cold and emotionless.

Stearman changed for the FBI, but she longs for a different path for future women of the Bureau. If the system changes, then women can remain constant, valuing their female identity and nurturing the people they truly are. In It's Not About the Gun, Stearman describes how she was viewed as a woman and an American overseas, and how her perception of her country and the FBI, observed from the optics of distance, has evolved.

This book was wonderfully written and engaging. The author comes across as straight-forward and not overly-emotional (probably a necessary stance, working among mostly men). The stories about her upbringing, training, and career were all interesting, and then became even more compelling when paired with her retrospective insight.

Not all of the book was about the author’s own life. The commentary she offered about different political, military, and cultural events and occurrences around the world were also enlightening. As a reader without a desire to tour the world, the author’s descriptions of the physical beauty and traditions in the countries where she worked were colorful and appreciated.

Overall, I’d give this book 4 out of 5 stars. It would surely be enjoyed by those who enjoy law enforcement or FBI stories, and also highly recommended to those who like true stories about strong women, especially in non-traditional roles.

{click HERE to purchase}

Becki Bayley enjoys blasting Kesha or The Chicks on her CD player for a mental escape while working from home again. See what else she’s been up to on her blog,


One of my lucky readers will win a copy of It's Not About the Gun!

Enter via the widget below. Giveaway will end on Monday, August 30th, at 11:59pm EST, and winner will be notified the next day via email, and have 24 hours to respond, or an alternate winner will be chosen.

U.S. residents only, please.


It's Not About the Gun: Lessons from My Global Career as a Female FBI Agent, by Kathy Stearman


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