Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Undercover & Overwhelmed
as a CIA Wife and Mother
by Lillian McCloy

When a young woman in Frank’s class, in the bloom of idealism and spirituality, asked him, “What did your experience in India teach you? What did you learn from that incredible country?,” he replied, “Always drive six car lengths behind an elephant.”

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From Pico Iyer, author of The Art of Stillness and Video Night in Kathmandu:

iyer“If you’re married to a spy, the always fraught arena of a relationship turns into a positive minefield. What does that all-night absence mean? What can you begin to say to the kids? In Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant, Lillian McCloy gives us the story of a life spent around secret intelligence that is funny and charming and in every wonderful sense, deeply spooky. This is the story John le Carré keeps out of his gripping bestsellers.”


From Alan B. Trabue, CIA (Ret.), author of A Life of Lies and Spies:

trabue“We’ve all read the romanticized accounts of a CIA officer’s life overseas. Rarely do we ever get to read about the spy’s family. Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant by Lillian McCloy is an engrossing, decades-long memoir of foreign life under deep cover for the CIA. McCloy reveals the intrigue, danger and humor of clandestine life in her thoroughly entertaining account of a CIA family’s nomadic lifestyle. Few living in the U.S. will ever encounter the unique trials and tribulations of the McCloy family, but what a fascinating read it is!”


From Joseph Galloway, Bronze Star-awarded journalist and co-author of We Were Soldiers Once . . . And Young:

galloway“Lillian McCloy poured her great heart and soul into a clear-eyed recounting of a life spent wandering the world behind a deep cover agent. My sincere congratulations on her achievement. A wise fellow once said that writing is the easiest thing in the world; all you have to do is open a vein and let the blood flow freely . . . ”

Read an excerpted story from Six Car Lengths Behind an Elephant: Mrs. Spook, Spain, 1965” 
Lillian recounts an occasion when she helped her husband by following a Russian spy down the streets of Madrid.

Lillian & Frank, 1960

Lillian & Frank, 1973

Lillian & Frank, 1985

Lillian & Frank, 1985