The Billion Dollar Spy

The Billion Dollar Spy

A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

Book - 2015
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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.

Publisher: New York :, Doubleday,, [2015]
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2015
ISBN: 9780385537605
0385537603
Characteristics: 312 pages : illustrations, maps

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y
yehafr
Aug 13, 2016

Fascinating to read about
"a dissident at heart" in "The Billion Dollar Spy" back in the '70's-'80's , how much of what is covered in news reports about Russia today is leading to the same discontent ?

m
mammothhawk229e
Mar 10, 2016

Wow, I never knew CIA had James bond gadgets like predated Blackberry or I-phone. Very telling spy's list included western music & goods mainly for his son. Big nugget if Russia was just starting to think about countering stealth theory. Heartbreaking on what happened to his wife.

i
infinityg37
Oct 31, 2015

fascinating account of spy craft

s
SEBoiko
Oct 09, 2015

Betrayal from within!

b
bette108
Sep 23, 2015

Well researched and easy to read, as well as a look into the workings of US clandestine operations in Moscow with one high-performing Russian turncoat.

b
beccajoyconnell
Sep 07, 2015

An a amazing spy story and a testament to the importance of intelligence. I will need to read more of David E. Hoffman.

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y
yehafr
Aug 13, 2016

"Then he asked Tolkachev the question that nagged at them all: What was his motive for taking such a big risk?
Tolkachev replied, hesitantly, that it was complex question, one that would require a lot of time to discuss.
Guilsher prodded "Why"
Tolkachev responded only that he was " a dissident at heart"

s
SEBoiko
Oct 09, 2015

When you're black, you're black.

s
SEBoiko
Oct 09, 2015

The Soviet authorities had long feared copiers.

s
SEBoiko
Oct 09, 2015

Espionage required going out on a limb.

s
SEBoiko
Oct 09, 2015

Espionage is the art of illusion.

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