From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning history The Dead Hand comes the riveting story of a spy who cracked open the Soviet military research establishment and a penetrating portrait of the CIA’s Moscow station, an outpost of daring espionage in the last years of the Cold War While driving out of the American embassy in Moscow on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station heard a knock on his car window. A man on the curb handed him an envelope whose contents stunned U.S. intelligence: details of top-secret Soviet research and developments in military technology that were totally unknown to the United States. In the years that followed, the man, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau, used his high-level access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of technical secrets. His revelations allowed America to reshape its weapons systems to defeat Soviet radar on the ground and in the air, giving the United States near total superiority in the skies over Europe. One of the most valuable spies to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union, Tolkachev took enormous personal risks—but so did the Americans. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev was a singular breakthrough. Using spy cameras and secret codes as well as face-to-face meetings in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded for years in eluding the feared KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk. Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA and on interviews with participants, David Hoffman has created an unprecedented and poignant portrait of Tolkachev, a man motivated by the depredations of the Soviet state to master the craft of spying against his own country. Stirring, unpredictable, and at times unbearably tense, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting that unfolds like an espionage thriller.
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WATERSTONES NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE MONTH AUGUST 2018 AND A SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER 'An astonishingly detailed picture of espionage in the 1980s, written with pacey journalistic verve and an eerily contemporary feel.' Ben Macintyre, The Times ‘A gripping story of courage, professionalism, and betrayal in the secret world.’ Rodric Braithwaite, British Ambassador in Moscow, 1988-1992 ‘One of the best spy stories to come out of the Cold War and all the more riveting for being true.’ Washington Post January, 1977. While the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station fills his gas tank, a stranger drops a note into the car. In the years that followed, that stranger, Adolf Tolkachev, became one of the West’s most valuable spies. At enormous risk Tolkachev and his handlers conducted clandestine meetings across Moscow, using spy cameras, props, and private codes to elude the KGB in its own backyard – until a shocking betrayal put them all at risk. Drawing on previously classified CIA documents and interviews with first-hand participants, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting and a riveting true story from the final years of the Cold War.
"While getting into his car on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA's Moscow station was handed an envelope by an unknown Russian. Its contents stunned the Americans: details of top-secret Soviet research and development in military technology that was totally unknown to the United States. From 1979 to 1985, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer at a military research center, cracked open the secret Soviet military research establishment, using his access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of material about the latest advances in aviation technology, alerting the Americans to possible developments years in the future. He was one of the most productive and valuable spies ever to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union. Tolkachev took enormous personal risks, but so did his CIA handlers. Moscow station was a dangerous posting to the KGB's backyard. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev became a singular breakthrough. With hidden cameras and secret codes, and in face-to-face meetings with CIA case officers in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and the CIA worked to elude the feared KGB. Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA, as well as interviews with participants, Hoffman reveals how the depredations of the Soviet state motivated one man to master the craft of spying against his own nation until he was betrayed to the KGB by a disgruntled former CIA trainee. No one has ever told this story before in such detail, and Hoffman's deep knowledge of spycraft, the Cold War, and military technology makes him uniquely qualified to bring readers this real-life espionage thriller"--Provided by publisher.
From the spymaster and inspiration for the movie Argo, discover the "real-life spy thriller" of the brilliant but under-supported CIA operatives who developed breakthrough spy tactics that helped turn the tide of the Cold War (Malcolm Nance). Antonio Mendez and his future wife Jonna were CIA operatives working to spy on Moscow in the late 1970s, at one of the most dangerous moments in the Cold War. Soviets kept files on all foreigners, studied their patterns, and tapped their phones. Intelligence work was effectively impossible. The Soviet threat loomed larger than ever. The Moscow Rules tells the story of the intelligence breakthroughs that turned the odds in America's favor. As experts in disguise, Antonio and Jonna were instrumental in developing a series of tactics -- Hollywood-inspired identity swaps, ingenious evasion techniques, and an armory of James Bond-style gadgets -- that allowed CIA officers to outmaneuver the KGB. As Russia again rises in opposition to America, this remarkable story is a tribute to those who risked everything for their country, and to the ingenuity that allowed them to succeed.
From the bestselling author of The Spy and the Traitor, A Spy Among Friends, and Rogue Heroes, a fascinating work of popular history that vividly recreates the vast web of deception spun by spies in order to conceal D-Day. On June 6, 1944, 150,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy and suffered an astonishingly low rate of casualties. A stunning military achievement, it was also a masterpiece of trickery. Operation Fortitude, which protected and enabled the invasion, and the Double Cross system, which specialized in turning German spies into double agents, tricked the Nazis into believing that the Allied attacks would come in Calais and Norway rather than Normandy. It was the most sophisticated and successful deception operation ever carried out, ensuring Allied victory at the most pivotal moment in the war. This epic event has never before been told from the perspective of the key individuals in the Double Cross system, who together made up one of the oddest and most brilliant military units ever assembled. Until now.
A behind-the-scenes history of the CIA's spy wars with the KGB ranges from 1985, through the Afghan war, to the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union, detailing the high-stakes operations and activities of intelligence operatives on both sides of the conflict. Reprint.
THE TRUE STORY THAT INSPIRED THE NETFLIX FILM THE RED SEA DIVING RESORT. 'Secret missions, brazen deceptions and thrilling, clandestine operations – Red Sea Spies has it all. But it has something more important, too – a genuine human mission that made a difference.' David Hoffman, author of The Billion Dollar Spy In the early 1980s on a remote part of the Sudanese coast, a new luxury holiday resort opened for business. Catering for divers, it attracted guests from around the world. Little did the holidaymakers know that the staff were undercover spies, working for the Mossad – the Israeli secret service. Providing a front for covert night-time activities, the holiday village allowed the agents to carry out an operation unlike any seen before. What began with one cryptic message pleading for help, turned into the secret evacuation of thousands of Ethiopian Jews who had been languishing in refugee camps, and the spiriting of them to Israel. Written in collaboration with operatives involved in the mission, endorsed as the definitive account and including an afterword from the commander who went on to become the head of the Mossad, this is the complete, never-before-heard, gripping tale of a top-secret and often hazardous operation.
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.
The thrilling, true story of the race to find a leak in the United States Embassy in Moscow—before more American assets are rounded up and killed. Foreword by Gen. Michael V. Hayden (Retd.), Former Director of NSA & CIA In the late 1970s, the National Security Agency still did not officially exist—those in the know referred to it dryly as the No Such Agency. So why, when NSA engineer Charles Gandy filed for a visa to visit Moscow, did the Russian Foreign Ministry assert with confidence that he was a spy? Outsmarting honey traps and encroaching deep enough into enemy territory to perform complicated technical investigations, Gandy accomplished his mission in Russia, but discovered more than State and CIA wanted him to know. Eric Haseltine's The Spy in Moscow Station tells of a time when—much like today—Russian spycraft had proven itself far beyond the best technology the U.S. had to offer. The perils of American arrogance mixed with bureaucratic infighting left the country unspeakably vulnerable to ultra-sophisticated Russian electronic surveillance and espionage. This is the true story of unorthodox, underdog intelligence officers who fought an uphill battle against their own government to prove that the KGB had pulled off the most devastating penetration of U.S. national security in history. If you think "The Americans" isn't riveting enough, you'll love this toe-curling nonfiction thriller.