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Memoirs Of A Spymaster

3.88 of 5 stars 3.88  ·  rating details  ·  166 ratings  ·  17 reviews
'Since the Berlin wall came down eight years ago, many other barriers have come down also, and we have been allowed to see things we never knew before about the communist East, notably its intelligence operations. Markus Wolf's book is perhaps the most important to date absorbing, intelligent and well written. ' Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Sunday Times They called him 'the man wi ...more
Paperback, 367 pages
Published April 2nd 1998 by Pimlico (first published 1997)
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Man Without A Face is an interesting read. I've read criticisms about the book accusing Wolf of denying his involvement in the repression of East Germans and the GDR's involvement with terrorist organisations. I can't help but feel these people didn't read the book. As Wolf states early on, this is book written by someone on the losing side of the Cold War who still believes in the superiority of socialism over capitalism. There is no need for him to apologise for his beliefs but he does acknowl ...more
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I'm obsessed with Cold War history, and this is a good chronicle from the former head of intelligence services in East Germany. Born in Weimar Germany to communist parents and raised and educated in the Soviet Union during the Third Reich, Wolf returned to East Germany after WWII under the USSR's carefully orchestrated program of transitioning Soviet-occupied countries of Europe into Communist-partner states of the USSR. Wolf details the methods of intelligence used to procure information from c ...more
Bartosz Scheller
An excellent read into the three decade career of an East German spymaster.

Markus Wolf provides a sobering thought on his role as the head of the Foreign Intelligence Agency within the Stasi. A man who believed in the system he served, who nonetheless does not deny that he bears responsibility for the repressive nature of the regime he served---even if he was not directly involved in the repressive nature of the Ministry he was under.

The book is an excellent read to gauge the thoughts of a man w
Autobiography of East Germany's foreign espionage and intelligence chief. Very good; he became an advocate of glasnost, amazingly enough. Lots of interesting info.
Good read, but I read too many reviews arguing the veracity. I'm no expert on East Germany, but it was still interesting.
This book is a nice blend of cultures that I've studied (German and Russian) with spies. And really, what's more fun than spies? It is also a glimpse into the thoughts (i.e. justifications) of those who were responsible for serious oppression. They were people too, and looking at the "reasoning" they used while setting up such a police state gives perspective on our own justifications for things. But mostly it's about spies and spycraft.
Amar Pai
Kind of a gross apologia... dude takes pains to constantly justify everything he did & separate himself from the Stasi and KGB, but it rings hollow. He was Stasi scum. Not that our own spymasters in the US were heroes either... but at least they didn't write self-serving memoirs.

Also, the book is just boring. Much duller than the title suggests.
De memoires van het hoofd van de buitenlandse inlichtingendienst van de DDR. Zeer interessant voor wie geinteresseerd is in de (soms klein-menselijke) verhalen achter de geschiedkundige feiten.
Zeer vlot en toegankelijk geschreven, alhoewel wat kennis van de geschiedenis van de koude oorlog toch noodzakelijk is om van dit boek te genieten.
W.R. German
A good research source about the DDR, Wolf's book details his years as head of the Stasi's Foreign Intel unit. While I do wish there were more anecdotes about Erich Mielke, this was a worthwhile source for my own upcoming books about the DDR/BDR history.
Pankaj Kapoor
Mar 13, 2011 Pankaj Kapoor rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Pankaj by: Pravesh Bharadwaj
Wolf spent a lot of time in the book justifying what he did. Those explanations got a bit tedious. What I liked was this sprinkling of dry humor nuggets all over. The chapter on Cuba as well as Romeos is by far the best part about the book.
Dagmar Cunningham
tedious account of a spying life and justification , little regret. Markus Wolf describes the secret service of the GDR as just another workplace.
I couldn't finish chapter 3, that's how dull the writing was. To bad he was influenced by all those long winded Russian writers.
I didn't think you could make running a spy network during the Cold War boring, but this book manages to do it.
بهمن بهمن
khaterate jalebe rayise sabeghe sazmane jasoosie almane sharghi
Matty Wagener
Masterfully written and totally engrossing.
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Die Troika. Geschichte eines nicht gedrehten Films. Spionagechef Im Geheimen Krieg:  Erinnerungen Three Degrees Below Hero Markus Wolf: "Ich Bin Kein Spion" Gespräche Mit Markus Wolf Freimaurertum Bei Puskin: Einfuhrung In Die Russische Freimaurerei Und Ihre Bedeutung Fur Puskins Literarisches Werk (Slavistische Beitrage)

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“I know Mischa, but you know how the politburo runs. If I say one word of this in there, I'll be out of my job the next day.' Remember, Gorbachev only became general secretary after he had kept his mouth shut under three predecessors.” 2 likes
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