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The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War (2018)

de Ben Macintyre

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1,5995411,164 (4.36)48
Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.
??The best true spy story I have ever read.???JOHN LE CARR?
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist ? Shortlisted for the Bailie Giffords Prize in Nonfiction

If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. 
Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the
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» Mira també 48 mencions

Another excellent book by Macintyre, the best I've read so far. Macintyre writes about real spies.
Gordievsky was one of the most influencial (for the west) and probably one of the bravest. Gordievsky was a citizen of the Soviet Union, but at heart he wasn't a Soviet, he was a Russian. ( )
  dvoratreis | May 22, 2024 |
This was solid, and a good listen narrated by John Lee. The author is a little moralistic, clearly extremely pro-British and pro-west, and a bit basic in his writing, though the latter works well for the audiobook format. Overall an interesting story that gives a readable insight into cold war espionage, albeit from a biased source. ( )
  mrbearbooks | Apr 22, 2024 |
A really unpleasant situation, well-researched, as always, by this author. I found this riveting story of Oleg Gordievsky eventual escape to the west a sad insight of how the KGB (now titled Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation) operates with no care about global peace or freedom for Russian citizens to know the political and military truths. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | Mar 7, 2024 |
This was a pretty remarkable story of a brave and principled man in the dying days of the Soviet Union. Oleg Gordievsky buried deep in the KBG spied for the British when paranoia over an American First Strike nuclear capability almost brought the Soviets to start a thermonuclear war. Gordievsky was fingered by the Soviet mole in the CIA, Aldrich Ames, but the KGB moved too slowly to prevent Gordievsky from escaping to the West in a risky MI6 exfiltration plan. Gordievsky’s wife never forgave him for deceiving and ultimately abandoning her and their two daughters even after they were allowed to leave Russia six years after his escape, in 1991. At 81, Gordievsky now lives in an English suburb protected from but not forgotten by Vladimir Putin whose own KGB career was briefly derailed by Gordievsky’s treachery. ( )
  MylesKesten | Jan 23, 2024 |
Chilling. ( )
  Suem330 | Dec 28, 2023 |
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Biography & Autobiography. History. Politics. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER ? The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.
??The best true spy story I have ever read.???JOHN LE CARR?
Named a Best Book of the Year by The Economist ? Shortlisted for the Bailie Giffords Prize in Nonfiction

If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. 
Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the

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