The Spy and the Traitor

The Spy and the Traitor

The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War

Book - 2018
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The celebrated author of A Spy Among Friends and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Cold War-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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 future of nations.
Publisher: Toronto :, Signal/McClelland and Stewart,, 2018
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780771060335
Branch Call Number: 327.12092 GOR-M


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Aug 15, 2019

What an amazing book...a true story about the most famous spy of the Cold War--Oleg Gordievsky. If you didn’t know it was true you could be excused for thinking it was a fictional spy novel. The story is not new—Gordievsky has actually written two of his own books about working as a KGB officer in the 70s and 80s, while secretly spying for Britain’s MI6. But this book has so much depth of research into all sides of the spy game—including the American traitor who almost got Gordievsky killed in 1985—that Macintyre makes you feel as if you’re witnessing every event from just a few metres away.
Gordievsky’s bravery and intelligence is astounding, as is the world he was part of—the world of spies on both sides of the Iron Curtain. 330 pages that I just flew through. Highly recommended reading.

Aug 06, 2019

If Netflix doesn't pick this up, they're fools. Amazing (true) story.

Jul 06, 2019

A phenomenal, TRUE story of an incredible part of the Cold War history. I finished this book in two days - couldn't put it down. Given the not so distant poisoning of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in the UK, the world of spy craft, and totalitarianism vs. the democratic West continues unabated. I think we can all be thankful for men like Gordievsky who risk everything for a greater good.

Jun 13, 2019

This book is terrific - after the background is established it is truly a page turner.

Apr 25, 2019

Super! Fascinating, nonfiction story of a true hero. Exciting and hard to put down. I loved this book.

Apr 19, 2019

"The Spy and the Traitor The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War" is work of NONFICTION! One hundred million people died (executed, man made famine) in the name of communism during the twentieth century. Mostly in Russia and China.
Consider what happened recently to Skripals (father and daughter), Litvinenko and a few others in England. It only confirms that communism, Putin and Xi Jinping are all still with us! Nazism and Communism are two of the most destructive social systems of the Twentieth century!
It is absolutely unbelievable that somebody could write such comments like:
"Repetive to the point of boredom.
Well written novel of espionage during the Cold War - a real page turner!"
There is simple explanation. They do not like what is written about them. One of them actually has spelling mistake "repetive", instead of repetitive.

Apr 08, 2019

Fascinating story of Cold War counter-intelligence, etc., particularly after Oleg becomes a suspect of his KGB employer. Ruthlessness of KGB very disturbing, educational from a historical standpoint.

Apr 04, 2019

Ignore the negative comment. This book is a real page turner and a must read.

Mar 31, 2019

riveting, you won't be able to put it down, nor even be able to breathe for the last 100 pages

Feb 26, 2019

One of the best spy books I have read plus the story is true.

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