GREAT SPIES OF THE 20TH CENTURY


GREAT SPIES OF THE 20TH CENTURY

PATRICK PESNOT    Book Number: 91867    Product format: Hardback

A mixture of detailed research coupled with the insider revelations of "Mr X", these gripping mini-biographies of 23 agents of various nationalities includes members of the DGSE, KGB, CIA and MI6. Starting with Sir Anthony Blunt, the "gentleman spy" who for many years was Master of the Queen's Paintings, the author exposes the divided loyalties, complicated trade-offs, vanities and sheer ruthless appetite for betrayal that drove these complex personalities. Blunt was sincere in his loyalty to Communism, an ideology he absorbed at Cambridge in the exclusive circle of the "Apostles", and when he was approached by Arnold Deutsch on behalf of the NKVD, spying was presented as a fight for peace against fascism. Deutsch saw Blunt not so much as an information gatherer as a head-hunter, but after being recruited by MI5 in the War, Blunt passed on huge amounts of information, no doubt reassuring himself that Russia was of course an ally. Meanwhile John Cairncross, another of the Cambridge Five, had passed on the information that the Allies were developing the atomic bomb. Moving into the Cold War, an estimated two thirds of Soviet diplomats were in fact agents, operating under diplomatic protection, while there was also a large cast of "illegals", freelancers who were given a "legend" and whose task it was to infiltrate. Markus Wolf, head of east German intelligence, may have been the inspiration for Le Carre's character Karla, though unlike Karla he was good-looking and charismatic. Wolf ran an operation named "Romeo and Juliet" where spooks such as double agent Gabriele Gast were tasked with seducing key targets to gain information, or to set up a honeytrap which would enable blackmail to take place. The reader will find Aldrich Ames, an American accused of spying for the KGB; Eli Cohen, the Israeli spy best known for his espionage work in Syria and Klaus Fuchs, the German-born British agent who helped the USSR to manufacture its atomic bomb in 1949. Other stories here include the defection of Lieutenant Werner Stiller and the classic case of Oleg Gordievsky and his escape to the west under the floorboards of a van. 201pp, notes.
Published price: £19.99
Bibliophile price: £10.00


Additional product information

ISBN 9781473862197
Browse these categories as well: Crime, Modern History/Current Affairs, SPY BOX

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