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The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Book choice for the Non-Fiction book club meeting November 22, 2016.

— From Non-Fiction Book Club


A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year

It was the height of the Cold War, and a dangerous time to be stationed in the Soviet Union. One evening, while the chief of the CIA's Moscow station was filling his gas tank, a stranger approached and dropped a note into the car. The chief, suspicious of a KGB trap, ignored the overture. But the man had made up his mind. His attempts to establish contact with the CIA would be rebuffed four times before he thrust upon them an envelope whose contents would stun U.S. intelligence. In the years that followed, that man, Adolf Tolkachev, became one of the most valuable spies ever for the U.S. But these activities posed an enormous personal threat to Tolkachev and his American handlers. They had clandestine meetings in parks and on street corners, and used spy cameras, props, and private codes, eluding the ever-present KGB in its own backyard--until a shocking betrayal put them all at risk.

Drawing on previously classified CIA documents and on interviews with firsthand participants, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting and a riveting true story of intrigue in the final years of the Cold War.

About the Author

David E. Hoffman is a contributing editor at The Washington Post and a correspondent for PBS's flagship investigative series, Frontline. He is the author of The Oligarchs and of The Dead Hand, about the end of the Cold War arms race, and winner of a Pulitzer Prize. He lives with his wife in Maryland.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780345805973
ISBN-10: 0345805976
Publisher: Anchor Books
Publication Date: May 10th, 2016
Pages: 432
Language: English