Stories of intrigue, thrilling escapades, and conniving maneuvers designed to uncover high-priority secrets are the stuff of everyday work for some people who work in national security. Most of the time, their work is Top Secret and the general public will never know all the intricacies involved.

Perhaps that’s why books and films about spies and secret missions offering a behind-the-scenes look at how the government handles espionage are so popular. Do these films give a true depiction of what happens in real life? Maybe yes, maybe no (okay, probably not), but either way, we love to watch them!

Famous Jobs in National Security

What careers are depicted in some of these super-famous films and books? Take our quiz to find out what you know!

More Than Entertainment

Narratives that explore the United States’ history of involvement in global conflicts, and even on our own soil, are compelling for those interested in national security and terrorism. They often give us protagonists who are skilled, highly intelligent, and resourceful in their fight against the enemy – all the things we hope we would be, should the need arise.

From Jack Ryan to Oppenheimer, spy movies and TV shows don’t just entertain us. They make us think about our actions and our policies as a nation. Even those based on fictional accounts can cause us to question the ideas we hold dear, either reaffirming all we know or causing us to ask more questions. The stories based on true life show us how far we’ve come and how much policies can change over the decades.

Usually, though, it’s just a lot of fun to watch the good guys beat the bad guys, doing whatever they need to do to get the job done.

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Brynn Mahnke is a freelance writer specializing in researching, writing, and ghostwriting for clients in the career, finance, SaaS, and B2B/B2C niches. She focuses on writing case studies, whitepapers, ebooks, and articles showcasing the value her clients bring to their customers. When she isn't writing, you can find her running, cycling, or wrangling children. She can be reached through her website or at