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

By: Hoffman, David E. (David Emanuel).
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London : Icon Books Ltd, 2017Copyright date: ©2015Edition: First edition.Description: 3391 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, map ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 9781785781971.Subject(s): Tolkachev, Adolf, 1927-1986 | United States. Central Intelligence Agency -- History -- 20th century | Spies -- United States -- Biography | Spies -- Russia (Federation) -- Moscow -- Biography | Engineers -- Soviet Union -- Biography | Aeronautics -- Research -- Soviet Union -- History | Espionage, American -- Soviet Union -- History | Cold War | United States -- Foreign relations -- Soviet Union | Soviet Union -- Foreign relations -- United StatesDDC classification: 327.12092 | B
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.
Scope and content: "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. Provided by publisher.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

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.




Includes bibliographical references and index.

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.

"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. Provided by publisher.

Excerpt provided by Syndetics

1 Out of the Wilderness In the early years of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, the Central Intelligence Agency harbored an uncomfortable secret about itself. The CIA had never really gained an espionage foothold on the streets of Moscow. The agency didn't recruit in Moscow, because it was just too dangerous--"immensely dangerous," recalled one officer--for any Soviet citizen or official they might enlist. The recruitment process itself, from the first moment a possible spy was identified and approached, was filled with risk of discovery by the KGB, and if caught spying, an agent would face certain death. A few agents who volunteered or were recruited by the CIA outside the Soviet Union continued to report securely once they returned home. But for the most part, the CIA did not lure agents into spying in the heart of darkness. This is the story of an espionage operation that turned the tide. At the center of it is an engineer in a top secret design laboratory, a specialist in airborne radar who worked deep inside the Soviet military establishment. Driven by anger and vengeance, he passed thousands of pages of secret documents to the United States, even though he had never set foot in America and knew little about it. He met with CIA officers twenty-one times over six years on the streets of Moscow, a city swarming with KGB surveillance, and was never detected. The engineer was one of the CIA's most productive agents of the Cold War, providing the United States with intelligence no other spy had ever obtained. The operation was a coming-of-age for the CIA, a moment when it accomplished what was long thought unattainable: personally meeting with a spy right under the nose of the KGB. Then the operation was destroyed, not by the KGB, but by betrayal from within. To understand the significance of the operation, one must look back at the CIA's long, difficult struggle to penetrate the Soviet Union. The CIA was born out of the disaster at Pearl Harbor. Despite warning signals, Japan achieved complete and overwhelming surprise in the December 7, 1941, attack that took the lives of more than twenty-four hundred Americans, sunk or damaged twenty-one ships in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, and thrust the United States into war. Intelligence was splintered among different agencies, and no one pulled all the pieces together; a congressional investigation concluded the fragmented process "was seriously at fault." The creation of the CIA in 1947 reflected more than anything else the determination of Congress and President Truman that Pearl Harbor should never happen again. Truman wanted the CIA to provide high-quality, objective analysis.1 It was to be the first centralized, civilian intelligence agency in American history.2 But the early plans for the CIA soon changed, largely because of the growing Soviet threat, including the blockade of Berlin, Stalin's tightening grip on Eastern Europe, and Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb. The CIA rapidly expanded far beyond just intelligence analysis into espionage and covert action. Pursuing a policy of containment, first outlined in George Kennan's long telegram of 1946 from Moscow and later significantly expanded, the United States attempted to counter Soviet efforts to penetrate and subvert governments all over the world. The Cold War began as a rivalry over war-ravaged Europe but spread far and wide, a contest of ideology, politics, culture, economics, geography, and military might. The CIA was on the front lines. The battle against communism never escalated into direct combat between the superpowers; it was fought in the shadows between war and peace. It played out in what Secretary of State Dean Rusk once called the "back alleys of the world."3 There was one back alley that was too dangerous to tread--the Soviet Union itself. Stalin was convinced the World War II victory over the Nazis demonstrated the unshakability of the Soviet state. After the war, he resolutely and consciously deepened the brutal, closed system he had perfected in the 1930s, creating perpetual tension in society, constant struggle against "enemies of the people," "spies," "doubters," "cosmopolitans," and "degenerates." It was prohibited to receive a book from abroad or listen to a foreign radio broadcast. Travel overseas was nearly impossible for most people, and unauthorized contacts with foreigners were severely punished. Phones were tapped, mail opened, and informers encouraged. The secret police were in every factory and office. It was dangerous for anyone to speak frankly, even in intimate circles.4 This was a forbidding environment for spying. In the early years of the Cold War, the CIA did not set up a station in Moscow and had no case officers on the streets in the capital of the world's largest and most secretive party-state. It could not identify and recruit Soviet agents, as it did elsewhere. The Soviet secret police, which after 1954 was named the KGB, or Komitet Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti, was seasoned, proficient, omnipotent, and ruthless. By the 1950s, the KGB had been hardened by three decades of experience in carrying out the Stalin purges, in eliminating threats to Soviet rule during and after the war, and in stealing America's atom bomb secrets. It was not even possible for a foreigner to strike up a conversation in Moscow without arousing suspicion. The CIA was still getting its feet wet, a young organization, optimistic, naive, and determined to get things done--a reflection of America's character.5 In 1954, the pioneering aviator General James Doolittle warned that the United States needed to be more hard-nosed and cold-blooded. "We must develop effective espionage and counter-espionage services and must learn to subvert, sabotage and destroy our enemies by more clever, more sophisticated and more effective methods than those used against us," he said in a top secret report to President Eisenhower.6 The CIA faced intense and constant pressure for intelligence on the Soviet Union and its satellites. In Washington, policy makers were on edge over possible war in Europe--and anxious for early warning. Much information was available from open sources, but that wasn't the same as genuine, penetrating intelligence. "The pressure for results ranged from repeated instructions to do 'something' to exasperated demands to try 'anything,' " recalled Richard Helms, who was responsible for clandestine operations in the 1950s.7 Outside the Soviet Union, the CIA diligently collected intelligence from refugees, defectors, and émigrés. Soviet diplomats, soldiers, and intelligence officers were approached around the world. From refugee camps in Europe, the CIA's covert action unit recruited a secret army. Some five thousand volunteers were trained as a "post-nuclear guerilla force" to invade the Soviet Union after an atomic attack. Separately, the United States dropped lone parachutists into the Soviet bloc to spy or link up with resistance groups. Most of them were caught and killed. The chief of the covert action unit, Frank G. Wisner, dreamed of penetrating the Eastern bloc and breaking it to pieces. Wisner hoped that through psychological warfare and underground aid--arms caches, radios, propaganda--the peoples of Eastern Europe might be persuaded to throw off their communist oppressors. But almost all of these attempts to get behind enemy lines with covert action were a flop. The intelligence produced was scanty, and the Soviet Union was unshaken.8 The CIA's sources were still on the outside looking in. "The only way to fulfill our mission was to develop inside sources--spies who could sit beside the policymakers, listen to their debates, and read their mail," Helms recalled. But the possibility of recruiting and running agents in Moscow who could warn of decisions made by the Soviet leadership "was as improbable as placing resident spies on the planet Mars," Helms said.9 A comprehensive assessment of the CIA's intelligence on the Soviet bloc, completed in 1953, was grim. "We have no reliable inside intelligence on thinking in the Kremlin," it acknowledged. About the military, it added, "Reliable intelligence of the enemy's long-range plans and intentions is practically non-existent." The assessment cautioned, "In the event of a surprise attack, we could not hope to obtain any detailed information of the Soviet military intentions."10 In the early years of the agency, the CIA found it "impossibly difficult to penetrate Stalin's paranoid police state with agents."11 "In those days," said Helms, "our information about the Soviet Union was very sparse indeed."12 For all the difficulties, the CIA scored two breakthroughs in the 1950s and early 1960s. Pyotr Popov and Oleg Penkovsky, both officers of Soviet military intelligence, began to spy for the United States. They were volunteers, not recruited, who came forward separately, spilling secrets to the CIA largely outside Moscow, each demonstrating the immense advantages of a clandestine agent. On New Year's Day 1953 in Vienna, a short and stocky Russian handed an envelope to a U.S. diplomat who was getting into his car in the international zone. At the time, Vienna was under occupation of the American, British, French, and Soviet forces, a city tense with suspicion. The envelope carried a letter, dated December 28, 1952, written in Russian, which said, "I am a Soviet officer. I wish to meet with an American officer with the object of offering certain services." The letter specified a place and time to meet. Such offers were common in Vienna in those years; a horde of tricksters tried to make money from fabricated intelligence reports. The CIA had trouble sifting them all, but this time the letter seemed real. On the following Saturday evening, the Russian was waiting where he promised to be--standing in the shadows of a doorway, alone, in a hat and bulky overcoat. He was Pyotr Popov, a twenty-nine-year-old major in Soviet military intelligence, the Glavnoye Razvedyvatelnoye Upravleniye, or GRU, a smaller cousin of the KGB. Popov became the CIA's first and, at the time, most valuable clandestine military source on the inner workings of the Soviet army and security services. He met sixty-six times with the CIA in Vienna between January 1953 and August 1955. His CIA case officer, George Kisevalter, was a rumpled bear of a man, born in Russia to a prominent family in St. Petersburg, who had immigrated to the United States as a young boy. Over time, Popov revealed to Kisevalter that he was the son of peasants, grew up on the dirt floor of a hut, and had not owned a proper pair of leather shoes until he was thirteen years old. He seethed with hatred at what Stalin had done to destroy the Russian peasantry through forced collectivization and famine. His spying was driven by a desire to avenge the injustice inflicted on his parents and his small village near the Volga River. In the CIA safe house in Vienna, Kisevalter kept some magazines spread out, such as Life and Look, but Popov was fascinated by only one, American Farm Journal.13 The CIA helped Popov forge a key that allowed him to open classified drawers at the GRU rezidentura, or station, in Vienna. Popov fingered the identity of all the Soviet intelligence officers in Vienna, delivered information on a broad array of Warsaw Pact units, and handed Kisevalter gems such as a 1954 Soviet military field service manual for the use of atomic weapons.14 When Popov was reassigned to Moscow in 1955, CIA headquarters sent an officer to the city, undercover, to scout for dead drops, or concealed locations, where Popov could leave messages. But the CIA man performed poorly, was snared in a KGB "honeypot" trap, and was later fired.15 The CIA's first attempt to establish an outpost in Moscow had ended badly. 1. Roberta Wohlstetter, Pearl Harbor: Warning and Decision (Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1962), 48-49. Also see Joint Committee on the Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack, "Investigation of the Pearl Harbor Attack," U.S. Senate, 79th Cong., 2nd sess., Report no. 244, July 20, 1946, 257-58. In his memoirs, Truman wrote that he had "often thought that if there had been something like coordination of information in the government it would have been difficult, if not impossible, for the Japanese to succeed in the sneak attack at Pearl Harbor." Harry S. Truman, Memoirs, vol. 2, Years of Trial and Hope (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1956), 56. 2. Woodrow J. Kuhns, ed., Assessing the Soviet Threat: The Early Cold War Years (Washington, D.C.: Center for the Study of Intelligence, CIA, 1997), 1, 3. 3. The agency toppled leaders in Iran and Guatemala, carried out the abortive landing at the Bay of Pigs, warned of Soviet missiles in Cuba, and was drawn deeply into the Vietnam War, eventually managing a full-scale ground war in Laos. U.S. Senate, "Final Report of the Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities," 94th Cong., 2nd sess., bk. 1, "Foreign and Military Intelligence," pt. 6, "History of the Central Intelligence Agency," April 26, 1976, Report 94-755, 109. 4. Dmitri Volkogonov, Stalin: Triumph and Tragedy, trans. Harold Shukman (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1991), 502-24. 5. David E. Murphy, Sergei A. Kondrashev, and George Bailey, Battleground Berlin: CIA vs. KGB in the Cold War (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 1997), ix. 6. "Report on the Covert Activities of the Central Intelligence Agency," Special Study Group, J. H. Doolittle, chairman, Washington, D.C., Sept. 30, 1954, 7. 7. Richard Helms, A Look over My Shoulder: A Life in the Central Intelligence Agency, with William Hood (New York: Random House, 2003), 124. 8. Evan Thomas, The Very Best Men: The Daring Early Years of the CIA (New York: Simon & Schuster, 1995), 25, 30, 36, 142-52. Also, U.S. Senate, "Final Report," pt. 6, "History of the Central Intelligence Agency." Richard Immerman, "A Brief History of the CIA," in The Central Intelligence Agency: Security Under Scrutiny, ed. Athan Theoharis et al. (Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 2006), 21. 9. Helms, Look over My Shoulder, 124, 127. 10. Gerald K. Haines and Robert E. Leggett, eds., CIA's Analysis of the Soviet Union, 1947-1991: A Documentary Collection (Washington, D.C.: Center for the Study of Intelligence, 2001), 35-41. 11. Kuhns, Assessing the Soviet Threat, 12. 12. Richard Helms, interview with Robert M. Hathaway, May 30, 1984, released by CIA in 2004. Hathaway is co-author of an internal monograph on Helms as director. 13. This account of the Popov case is based on five sources. William Hood, Mole: The True Story of the First Russian Intelligence Officer Recruited by the CIA (New York: W. W. Norton, 1982), is descriptive. Hood was an operations officer in Vienna at the time, but his account is fuzzy about some details. Clarence Ashley, CIA Spymaster (Grenta, La.: Pelican, 2004), is based on recorded interviews with George Kisevalter, and the author is a former CIA analyst. John Limond Hart, The CIA's Russians (Annapolis, Md.: Naval Institute Press, 2003) includes a chapter on Popov. More can also be found in Murphy, Kondrashev, and Bailey, Battleground Berlin. Lastly, for examples of the positive intelligence and its significance, see Joan Bird and John Bird, "CIA Analysis of the Warsaw Pact Forces: The Importance of Clandestine Reporting," a monograph and document collection, Central Intelligence Agency, Historical Review Program, 2013. On the farm journal, see Hood, Mole, 123. 14. Intelligence reports based on Popov's reporting are contained in Bird and Bird, "CIA Analysis." 15. He was Edward Ellis Smith, then thirty-two, who had served in Moscow as a military attaché during World War II. He went to Moscow posing as a low-level State Department official. His choices of dead drop sites were deemed unsatisfactory by Popov. See Richard Harris Smith, "The First Moscow Station: An Espionage Footnote to Cold War History," International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence 3, no. 3 (1989): 333-46. This article is based on an interview with Edward Smith, who died in an auto accident in 1982, and on his papers. There are conflicting accounts about Smith's role in the Popov case and whether Popov passed useful intelligence to the CIA while in Moscow. According to Hood in Mole, the CIA decided not to run Popov at all while in Moscow because of the risks. In contrast, Richard Harris Smith says Popov while in Moscow tipped off the CIA to the most momentous political event of the decade, Khrushchev's secret speech to the Twentieth Party Congress denouncing Stalin on February 25, 1956. Ashley reports that Smith never met Popov. That doesn't preclude operations, however; if he was just servicing dead drops, there would be no need for a meeting. Smith had an affair with his Russian maid, who was working for the KGB and who made surreptitious photographs. The KGB then showed Smith the photographs and tried to blackmail him into working for them. Smith refused and confessed to the U.S. ambassador, Charles "Chip" Bohlen. Smith was recalled to CIA headquarters in July 1956 and fired. Excerpted from The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal by David E. Hoffman All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

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 © Copyright 2015. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Pulitzer-winner Hoffman returns to the Cold War era in his latest, a biography of Adolf Tolkachev, a Russian engineer who in 1977 approached the CIA offering his services as a spy for America. For over half a decade, Tolkachev gave the U.S. priceless information on the latest Russian technological advances, until his capture and subsequent execution. Woren provides the perfect narration for this book. His deep, well modulated voice brings just the right amount of formal authority to hold the listener's attention, but never falls into a drone of professorial lecturing. His phrasing, tone, and characterizations, especially his Russian characters, bring to life each clandestine meeting, each secretive exchange of information, and every moment of danger. He pulls the listener into the story and turns what could have been dry and boring into something as captivating and enthralling as a John le Carré spy novel. A Doubleday hardcover. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* Pulitzer Prize-winning author Hoffman (The Dead Hand, 2009), using declassified documents from the CIA, interviews, and other accounts, here details the last years of U.S.-USSR Cold War espionage. How to trust those wanting to pass information along, when the KGB seemed to have eyes everywhere and a man on every corner? Being caught by the KGB meant instant expulsion from the USSR for U.S. citizens, but for those providing the secrets often ground-shaking information about Soviet technology the consequences were much worse: disappearance, execution, even suicide (rather than divulging what they knew and what they had done). Hoffman carefully sets the scene with both cautious and free-wheeling CIA directors and staff and also provides intimate details that prove fascinating and give human faces to these brave participants, including spies often known by code names and encountered in fast drops (e.g., envelopes slipped through open car windows). The book's hero who gave the U.S. technological information worth billions, with the technology still in use today is Adolf Tolkachev, a Russian engineer, and Hoffman's revealing of him as a person and a spy is brilliantly done, making this mesmerizing true story scary and thrilling. For a fuller history of Soviet espionage, see Jonathan Haslam's Near and Distant Neighbors: A New History of Soviet Intelligence, reviewed below.--Kinney, Eloise Copyright 2015 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

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 citiese.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 moneythe "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. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.