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The Resource The billion dollar spy : a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal, David E. Hoffman

The billion dollar spy : a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal, David E. Hoffman

Label
The billion dollar spy : a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal
Title
The billion dollar spy
Title remainder
a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal
Statement of responsibility
David E. Hoffman
Title variation
True story of Cold War espionage and betrayal
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"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
Writing style
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ Pulitzer-winner Hoffman (The Dead Hand ) returns to the Cold War era in his latest biography, proving that nonfiction can read like a John le Carre thriller. The opening sets a grim tone for what will follow, casting a pall over the account of the successes the CIA enjoyed from a Russian spy, Adolf Tolkachev. Hoffman warns early on that Tolkachev (code-named CKSphere), “the most successful and valued agent the United States had run inside the Soviet Union in two decades,” will be destroyed by “betrayal from within.” But, as in the best genre fiction, giving away the ending actually heightens the suspense. Hoffman recounts the history of the CIA’s efforts to learn what the Kremlin was up to, building up to the moment in 1977 when Tolkachev, an engineer, approaches them to provide incredibly valuable intelligence. The information about Soviet weaponry is estimated to have saved the Pentagon about $2 billion in research and development costs, giving the book its title, and making the end to the operation all the more tragic. This real-life tale of espionage will hook readers from the get-go. Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (July) --Staff (Reviewed April 20, 2015) (Publishers Weekly, vol 262, issue 16, p)
  • Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hoffman's (The Dead Hand ) gripping and informative history covers U.S. espionage against the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Focusing on Adolf Tolkachev, who served as a spy inside the Soviet Union for more than 20 years before being betrayed, the author sets out to write the story of a spy and in so doing, chronicles Cold War espionage and an overall compelling tale that draws on secret documents from the CIA as well as interviews with surviving participants. Hoffman succeeds on both accounts. VERDICT This well-written volume will be of interest to many, from general readers interested in espionage to academics looking for research on either espionage or the history of Cold War-era international relations, in particular the long-unavailable history of Cold War spy tactics and the people who took part in them. [See Prepub Alert, 1/5/15.]— John Sandstrom, New Mexico State Univ. Lib., Las Cruces --John Sandstrom (Reviewed May 15, 2015) (Library Journal, vol 140, issue 9, p92)
  • A thoroughly researched excavation of an astoundingly important (and sadly sacrificed) spy for the CIA during the low point of the 1970s. The winner of the Pulitzer Prize for his previous book, The Dead Hand: The Untold Story of the Cold War Arms Race and Its Dangerous Legacy (2009), Washington Post contributing editor Hoffman has strong credentials to tell the unheralded story of Adolf Tolkachev (1927-1986), a radar engineer who offered invaluable information on the state of arms technology in the Soviet Union until he was snagged by the KGB in 1985 and executed soon after. The CIA was scrambling to make a connection in the Soviet Union after the loss of the extremely productive spy Oleg Penkovsky for clandestine acquisition of technology for the West in the 1960s, though the agency was hampered by the "long shadow" cast by ultraparanoid chief of Moscow counterintelligence James Angleton, who believed the KGB was employing a "vast †̃master plan' of deception," and thus he trusted no one. Once he left in 1975, a younger generation of more enterprising officers trained in Berlin and other Eastern Bloc cities—e.g., Burton Gerber, who advocated for rigorous sifting of genuine sources from phony ones. Consequently, when a Russian engineer at Moscow's Scientific Research Institute for Radio Engineering repeatedly approached American diplomats with his declared access to the development of a "look-down, shoot-down" radar system, they finally paid attention. Given the code name CKSPHERE, Tolkachev was motivated to photograph reams of priceless documents out of deep resentment of the "impassable, hypocritical demagoguery" of the Soviet state. Inspired by famous defectors Viktor Belenko and Andrei Sakharov, Tolkachev also wanted money—the "six figures" that Belenko reportedly got, as well as rock albums for his teenage son, all of which would push him to take too many risks. Hoffman ably navigates the many strands of this complex espionage story. An intricate, mesmerizing portrayal of the KGB-CIA spy culture.(Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 2015)
Biography type
individual biography
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10434657
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Hoffman, David E.
Dewey number
  • 327.12092
  • B
Illustrations
  • illustrations
  • maps
  • plates
Index
index present
Literary form
non fiction
Nature of contents
bibliography
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Tolkachev, Adolf
  • United States
  • Spies
  • Spies
  • Engineers
  • Aeronautics
  • Espionage, American
  • Cold War
  • United States
  • Soviet Union
http://bibfra.me/vocab/lite/titleRemainder
a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal
Label
The billion dollar spy : a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal, David E. Hoffman
Instantiates
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Map -- Prologue -- Out of the Wilderness -- Moscow Station -- A Man Called Sphere -- "Finally I have reached you" -- "A dissident at heart" -- Six Figures -- Spy Camera -- Windfalls and Hazards -- The Billion Dollar Spy -- Flight of Utopia -- Going Black -- Devices and Desires -- Tormented by the Past -- "Everything is dangerous" -- Not Caught Alive -- Seeds of Betrayal -- Vanquish -- Selling Out -- Without Warning -- On the Run -- "For freedom" -- Epilogue -- A Note on the Intelligence
Control code
1101488
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
312 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780385537605
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015003370
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385537605
  • (OCoLC)906798006
Label
The billion dollar spy : a true story of Cold War espionage and betrayal, David E. Hoffman
Publication
Bibliography note
Includes bibliographical references and index
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Contents
Map -- Prologue -- Out of the Wilderness -- Moscow Station -- A Man Called Sphere -- "Finally I have reached you" -- "A dissident at heart" -- Six Figures -- Spy Camera -- Windfalls and Hazards -- The Billion Dollar Spy -- Flight of Utopia -- Going Black -- Devices and Desires -- Tormented by the Past -- "Everything is dangerous" -- Not Caught Alive -- Seeds of Betrayal -- Vanquish -- Selling Out -- Without Warning -- On the Run -- "For freedom" -- Epilogue -- A Note on the Intelligence
Control code
1101488
Dimensions
25 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
312 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates
Isbn
9780385537605
Isbn Type
(hardcover)
Lccn
2015003370
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
Other physical details
illustrations, map
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780385537605
  • (OCoLC)906798006

Library Locations

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