The Volunteer In The Mossad: Book Review

A few weeks ago in a conversation twitter with the author, Brad Thor, he joked about me: “You Mossad guys b*tch about every assignment. Never, ever happy.

A few days later I came across a real Mossad guy who was talking to our dear friend, Doucheblogger™ Richard Silverstien. Michael Ross has written a book about his experiences. He arrived in Israel as a non Jew, converted, joined the IDF and then progressed into The Mossad. He gives a fascinating account of his recruitment, some of his missions in Europe, Africa and Asia and his liaison with the CIA and FBI.

What the heck I thought, I looked up the book on Amazon and it was free to borrow for Prime members via the Kindle lending library.

So I borrowed The Volunteer by Michael Ross.

Headline: it’s a very entertaining and well written book (Ross credits his talented co-author, Jonathan Kay, for the style) but the stories are all from Ross. Some of the local details about place I know well like suburbs of Tel Aviv and even bits of South Africa, are highly detailed and ring true.

I should say I’m biased in favour of believing that The Mossad is, at heart, a moral organisation based on underlying Jewish ethics. I believe this in the way I think the same of Israel and all its efforts to defend the Jewish people. This is an anathema to it’s many critics and the lunatic conspiracy theorists would never believe this. This book confirms my best impressions of the organisation. If there is a criticism it is that the Mr Ross is almost too glowing in his praise and I wonder what got left out.

I would thoroughly recommend this book and if you have a Kindle and an Amazon Prime membership, go borrow it! It’s written in parts like a thriller and it’s a great story. And if you do like it, drop Michael Ross @mrossletters a note on Twitter and tell him!




He arrived in Israel as a non Jew, converted, joined the IDF and then progressed into The Mossad.

Review Overview

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About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News


  • Jim from Iowa

    My approach to analyzing human behaviour leads me away from the idea of good and evil. I have not read this book and have no plans to, but it seems to me Steven Spielberg probably got closer to the truth in his film “Munich” when trying to present a very complicated moral picture of a govenment’s policy of violent retribution.

    • Shy Guy

      Your brain on Hollywood. It shows.

      • Jim from Iowa

        Hmmm, and where do you suppose they made all those Warner Brothers cartoons you so enjoy? You’re more like me than you like to admit.

        • Shy Guy

          I don’t have your problem discerning fiction from truth, reality from make believe.

          Try searching for how much fiction and bologna was stuffed into Spielberg’s massacre of the Munich massacre. You are what you eat.

          • Jim from Iowa

            I have read some of the criticism of the film “Munich” and heard Mr. Spielberg’s defense of it. I’m just more persuaded by Mr. Spielberg, Shy Guy. It was not a documentary of Israel or Mossad. It was an entertainment film with a point of view on the effects and unexpected consequences violence has on human beings. If you can’t enjoy Mr. Spielberg’s work on this level, then I suppose this only leaves Warner Brothers cartoons for you. Kind of sad, really.

            • Shy Guy

              I was referring to your wishful claims that Spielberg’s movie “probably got closer to the truth”.

              Kind of pathetic, really.

              • Jim from Iowa

                OK, you’re right. Since I have not read the book Brian recommended and have no plans to, I really cannot know who’s approach is closer to the truth, Mr. Ross or Mr. Spielberg. I suspect the comparison is somewhat inexact since they might very well each have a different focus. Can you and the IsraellyCool readership forgive me? But can you allow that Mr. Spielberg is a different kind of filmmaker than Michael Moore or even Oliver Stone from the standpoints of cinematic intent and technique? If I go on AussieDave might mistake this for an IsraellyCool version of “Siskel and Ebert at the Movies.”

  • Naftali

    I have met him, very interesting story. It also tells you that the Mossad is made up of ordinary people, doing extraordinary things.

    As for Munich versus this story. Please. In Munich, the hero is agonizing about his exploits during sex with his wife. Anyone who knows Israelis know that when having sex, that’s all they focus on. In fact, that’s what most men do. I don’t agonize for a second those terrorists I had to deal with when I was in Tzahal, not then and not now.

    So, I don’t feel that Munich portrayed the reality at all. Michael Ross does.

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  • David

    Could you do a review on Gideon’s Spies by Gordon Thomas? It’s supposed to be a secret history of Mossad from the 1950s to the present day.