Book: The Spy And The Traitor

Ben Macintyre
Ben Macintyre

New York Times Bestseller-the celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy stay yet, a thrilling American 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 LeCarre’

May 18,1985

For the KGB’s counterintelligence section, Directorate K, this was a routine bugging job.

It took less than a minute to spring the looks on the front door of the flat on the eighth floor of 103 Lensky, Prospekt, a Moscow tower block occupied by KGB officers and their families. While two men in gloves and overalls set about methodically searching the apartment, two technicians wired the place, swiftly and invisibly, implanting eavesdropping devices behind the wallpaper and baseboards, inserting a live microphone into the telephone mouth-piece and video cameras in the light-fixtures in the sitting room, bedroom, and kitchen.KGB

By the time they had finished, an hour later, there was barely a corner in the flat where the KGB did not have eyes and ears. Finally, they put on face masks and sprinkled radioactive dust on the clothes and shoes in the closet, sufficiently low in concentration to avoid poisoning, but enough to enable the KGB’s Geiger counters to track the wearer’s movements. Then they left, and carefully locked the front door behind them.

A Senior Russian Intelligence Officer

Continuing With Story, a few hours later, a senior Russian intelligence officer landed at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport on the Aeroflot flight from London.

Oleg Gordievsky
Oleg Gordievsky

Colonel Oleg Antonyevich Gordievsky of the KGB was at the pinnacle of his career. A prodigy of the Soviet Intelligence service, he had diligently risen through the ranks, serving in Scandinavia, Moscow, and Britain with hardly a blemish on his record. And now at the age of forty-six, he had been promoted to chief of the KGB Station in London, a plum posting, and inviting returning to Moscow to be formally anointed by the head of the KBG. A career spy, Gordievsky was tipped to ascend to the upper-most ranks of that vast and ruthless security and intelligence network that controlled the Soviet Union.

A stock, athletic figure, Gordievsky strode confidently through the airport crowds. Inside him, though, a low terror bubbled. For Oleg Gordievsky, KGB veteran, faithful secret servant of the Soviet Union, was a British spy.

Spy Networks Helping To Avert Nuclear War

Recruited a dozen years earlier by M16, Britain’s foreign-intelligence service, the agent code-named NOCTON had proven to be one of the most valuable spies in history. The immense amount of information he fed back to his British handlers had changed the course of the Cold War, cracking open Soviet spy networks, helping to avert nuclear war, and furnishing the West with a unique insight into the Kremlin’s thinking during a critically dangerous period in the world affairs. Both Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher had been briefed on the extraordinary trove of secrets provided by the Russian spy, though neither the American president nor the British prime minister know his real identity. Even Gordievsky’s young wife was entirely unaware of his double life.

The Product Of The Best Soviet Institutions

Collapse of CommunismIf 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 nations communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russia intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union’s top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for M16. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, M16 never revealed Gordievsky’s name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britains’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 security spying for the Soviets.

In Conclusion

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 Carre’, 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 Spy And The Traitor

This book: The Spy and The Traitor-The Greatest Espionage Story Of The Cold War by Ben Macintyre is a wonderful read of awe-inspiring heroics and the hatred of communism by the KGB Operation and he turned the tables on the Soviet Union to stop a possible nuclear war. I give this book five starts out of five stars.

If you have any questions or want to leave a comment, please do below and I will get back with you as soon as I can.

All The Best,



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