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Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games
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Spy Wars: Moles, Mysteries, and Deadly Games

3.54  ·  Rating Details ·  156 Ratings  ·  24 Reviews
Chosen by William Safire in the New York Times to be the publishing sleeper-seller of the year for 2007.

In this rapid-paced book, a former CIA chief of Soviet bloc counterintelligence breaks open the mysterious case of KGB officer Yuri Nosenko’s 1964 defection to the United States. Still a highly controversial chapter in the history of Cold War espionage, the Nosenko affai
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published April 24th 2007 by Yale University Press (first published April 1st 2007)
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Sep 22, 2008 Sarah rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: people who worked with Tennent H Bagley
Recommended to Sarah by: Leonard Pham
There are so many things wrong with this book, I'm not sure where to begin. I guess the worst thing about the book is that it's very hard to follow. The author throws out a lot of names and dates in rapid succession and I just couldn't really follow all of it. A lot of the time I felt like I was just skimming the text, something I never do. But I pressed on hoping that it would all come together in the end. Unfortunately all that was revealed in the end was that the author is a bitter former CIA ...more
May 09, 2011 Alexander rated it did not like it
Shelves: audiobooks
This was a truly disappointing book that I barely got through. I agree with a previous reviewer. It was hard to follow, disorganized, and at the end of the day was one-man's opinion on what happened. I really cannot recommend this book to anyone.
Jan 06, 2015 Sully rated it did not like it
The author interweaves the story of Yuri Nosenko's defection to the CIA in 1964 with historical information about the "spy wars" fought between the KGB and Western intelligence agencies. The controversy over whether or not Nosenko was a genuine defector or a KGB plant has been described as dividing the CIA into different camps. If that's true then this book makes the case for the skeptics.

All of the "non-Nosenko" historical information relates to the Nosenko defection in some way, and most of it
Feb 26, 2012 Nativeabuse rated it liked it
Based on the title I thought that this was going to cover multiple spy problems, but it focuses in on one specific Nosenko case. This didn't really bother me much though.

The book itself was turning out to be a pretty rivetting story for the first 50-100 pages(I stopped reading at like 130) But you can just really feel that this guy is being so one sided with this right from the very beginning.

I hate reading about biased history reporting. It is really one of the things that gets under my skin.
Sep 17, 2007 Nathan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: People not prone to paranoia.
Golitsyn, Nosenko. Nosenko, Golitsyn. Who to believe? Are both of them double agents? Is our intelligence community riddled with Soviet moles to this day? Did the Cold War ever end? I'm not sure how much of this to believe, but apparently the Cold War is like one of those MC Escher staircases that has no discernible beginning or end, and in fact actually loops around all over itself through space-time until your head explodes. This book is a great read if only because it is frighteningly paranoi ...more
Vincent Paul
Jul 22, 2015 Vincent Paul rated it liked it
The books every spy wannabe needs to read. The delusions that they could be a spy satisfies their quest.
Mar 31, 2016 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at spying during the cold war from someone intimately involved in the practice. This would have received five stars had the chronology been a bit more consistent. Otherwise, well written with information previously classified. It almost read as a spy novel and would make an intriguing film.
Nov 14, 2015 William rated it really liked it
Good read, nothing too heavy. Easy to follow.
Benjamin Gordon
Jan 09, 2012 Benjamin Gordon rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-2012
What could have been a gripping pageturner takes what is on its face a very interesting topic and is instead plodding and difficult to read. I didn't know anything about the Nosenko case before reading it, and liked that the author argued persuasively for his interpretation of the case in his book, and that he went to the effort to make sure his version of the tale was published in the public arena. The book, unfortunately, could use more organization -- less jumping around in CIA and KGB histor ...more
Mar 04, 2015 Desirae rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Starts really strong but falls apart in the end.
Alistair Rae
Oct 31, 2013 Alistair Rae rated it it was ok
what was pitched as a review of Cold War human intelligence and counter intelligence turned into a polemic on a single, albeit contentious, case.

Bagley seeks to clear his name and puts together a detailed case for his interpretation. in doing so he undermines his position by developing a complex and far reaching hypothesis around the treatment of the KGB by the CIA.

not an easy read, but some illuminating detail on human source handling, and the hall of mirrors that is CI.
Nov 26, 2015 Shawn rated it really liked it
It is interesting to hear the stories of what both sides were doing to gather intelligence.
Nov 22, 2008 Jason rated it it was ok
I thought the book was interesting, but I had to quit about 50% of the way through it. I kept getting confused with all the names the author was introducing and got frustrated. It could have been because I was listening to it in my car instead of reading it.
GLBT interest tag - the villain Soviet agent claimed a history of using himself as a honey trap, seducing and then blackmailing American men into spying for the USSR. Which would have made for a far sexier book.
Tom Reynolds
Jul 20, 2010 Tom Reynolds rated it liked it
Fairly interesting, especially in light of recent events. It is a difficult and ry read at times, especially with all the names and people introduced, but an interesting piece of history nonetheless.
Aug 31, 2013 Baco rated it liked it
A little dry and repetitive, and I wish it covered more than just the Nosenko affair, but there's some really interesting detail here about defections and deceptions, and some stunning detective work.
Karen Rafferty
Jan 13, 2013 Karen Rafferty rated it liked it
The book is not well written; there is a lot of repetition of information. The. inside peak of the CIA with its infighting and the history of Cold War intelligence was fascinating.
Nathan Eckman
Oct 25, 2012 Nathan Eckman rated it liked it
I used to dream of being a spy. This book changed my name. Takes a while to warm up. If you're interested in non-fiction spy novels it's worth a glance.
Ryan Harvey
Oct 03, 2013 Ryan Harvey rated it liked it
Interesting story but too technical for the lay reader to follow. If you work for the CIA you will probably really enjoy this book.
Jul 29, 2013 Rebecka rated it really liked it
Would have appreciated even more insight into how we can ensure that our government does not make mistakes like this again.
Sep 11, 2008 Shivesh marked it as to-read
Shelves: political
Decided to shelve this for another day... in the mood for fiction nowadays!
Jan 04, 2008 Eric rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Jun 20, 2010 Jahan rated it liked it
Tired of it
Mark Monsma
Mark Monsma marked it as to-read
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Enso marked it as to-read
Sep 27, 2016
Matthew Dambro
Matthew Dambro marked it as to-read
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Alexander marked it as to-read
Aug 31, 2016
Jim Garrett
Jim Garrett marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2016
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Ina Cawl marked it as to-read
Aug 14, 2016
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Alexa Stevens marked it as to-read
Aug 04, 2016
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