The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage

The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage

A riveting true story of industrial espionage in which a Chinese-born scientist is pursued by the U.S. government for trying to steal trade secrets, by a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction.

In September 2011, sheriff's deputies in Iowa encountered three ethnic Chinese men near a field where a farmer was growing corn seed under contract with Monsanto. What began as a simple trespassing inquiry mushroomed into a two-year FBI operation in which investigators bugged the men's rental cars, used a warrant intended for foreign terrorists and spies, and flew surveillance planes over corn country--all in the name of protecting trade secrets of corporate giants Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer. In The Scientist and the Spy, Hvistendahl gives a gripping account of this unusually far-reaching investigation, which pitted a veteran FBI special agent against Florida resident Robert Mo, who after his academic career foundered took a questionable job with the Chinese agricultural company DBN--and became a pawn in a global rivalry.

Industrial espionage by Chinese companies lies beneath the United States' recent trade war with China, and it is one of the top counterintelligence targets of the FBI. But a decade of efforts to stem the problem have been largely ineffective. Through previously unreleased FBI files and her reporting from across the United States and China, Hvistendahl describes a long history of shoddy counterintelligence on China, much of it tinged with racism, and questions the role that corporate influence plays in trade secrets theft cases brought by the U.S. government. The Scientist and the Spy is both an important exploration of the issues at stake and a compelling, involving read.

Title:The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage
ISBN:9780735214286
Format Type:

    The Scientist and the Spy: A True Story of China, the FBI, and Industrial Espionage Reviews

  • Todd Wright

    What makes a bad book bad? This is a classic example. The author has an interesting premise and has mastered the mechanics of writing but the finished product leaves you wishing she had written a jour...

  • Katie (katieladyreads)

    Finished. Absolutely wild. Super thought provoking. Def hoping to continue to follow this story in the news 😳 thank you again to @riverheadbooks for the free copy. Ill be thinking about this one fo...

  • Jeep Gidi

    Simple story, biased author, not worth the timeThis is a pretty straightforward story of Chinese spying that could have been told in one chapter. Author seems to have little problem with Chinese espio...

  • Clara Patricia

    Note: The copy I have with me is the uncorrected version, which I have won through a raffle by Fully Booked called 20 Reads for 2020. I cannot cite the book as such, and will still have to refer to th...

  • Nick

    Hvistendahl presents a thoroughly researched and engaging account of a case of economic espionage against a Chinese citizen. She does an excellent job factually breaking down the components of the cas...

  • Mary

    This gripping true account of the attempt by the FBI to stop the theft of agricultural trade secrets by a group from China also deals with the related issue of racial profiling in U.S. crime enforceme...

  • Russell Atkinson

    As a retired FBI agent who worked both foreign counterintelligence against China and Economic Espionage cases, I found this book fascinating. I did not know of this particular case before reading the ...

  • Brian

    The bias demonstrated by the author comes through clearly which casts some doubt on how true is this "True Story of China". When Nancy Pelosi implores Europe to avoid Chinese technology I begin to won...

  • PSexton

    It was a false promise. I thought I was going to read factual, unbiased information about the issues that the United States has in dealing with an example of Chinese espionage in its obvious attempt t...

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