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Deception [Kindle Edition]

Edward Lucas
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

From the capture of Sidney Reilly, the 'Ace of Spies', by Lenin's Bolsheviks in 1925, to the deportation from the USA of Anna Chapman, the 'Redhead under the Bed', in 2010, Kremlin and Western spymasters have battled for supremacy for nearly a century. In Deception Edward Lucas uncovers the real story of Chapman and her colleagues in Britain and America, unveiling their clandestine missions and the spy-hunt that led to their downfall. It reveals unknown triumphs and disasters of Western intelligence in the Cold War, providing the background to the new world of industrial and political espionage. To tell the story of post-Soviet espionage, Lucas draws on exclusive interviews with Russia's top NATO spy, Herman Simm, and unveils the horrific treatment of a Moscow lawyer who dared to challenge the ruling criminal syndicate there. Once the threat from Moscow was international communism; now it comes from the siloviki, Russia's ruthless 'men of power'.

Editorial Reviews


“Mr. Romney's smug critics might laugh a bit less once they read Deception, Edward Lucas's riveting follow-up to his prescient2008 book on Russia…. Mr. Lucas's account of his jailhouse interview with [Herman] Simm is one of the highlights of Deception, as is his meticulous reconstruction of the way the SVR recruited, ran and ultimately abandoned the Estonian. One depressing conclusion from reading Deception is that Russians are much better than their Western counterparts at the spy business. Another is that, even now, the West doesn't much seem to care that its secrets are being pilfered by a regime that wishes us ill…. Anyone who imagines that Mr. Obama's ‘reset’ has done much to change that picture should read this sobering book.”—Bret Stephens, The Wall Street Journal
“Lucas's account is a masterful achievement, blending first-class reporting with the flare of John le Carré and Daniel Silva.”—C.C. Lovett, CHOICE


Entertaining and informative ... In the fascinating chapters about the voluptuous Anna Chapman, who was expelled from the US two years ago together with nine other exposed Russian spies, we learn much that is new, especially about her life in London. Lucas contrasts our complacency and delusion with Russia's ruthless ingenuity. Mail on Sunday Putin [and] his friends ... are gangsters on a scale that makes Al Capone or the Corleones seem small-time ... Lucas is right to castigate our folly in treating all this so lightly. Max Hastings, Sunday Times Well-researched, engaging, and eerie. Publishers' Weekly This important book is a sequel to the author's last indictment of the Putin regime, The New Cold War, which came out four years ago. Deception is, if anything, even more devastating. Standpoint Urgent and heartfelt. The Times

Product Details

  • File Size: 832 KB
  • Print Length: 385 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1408802848
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (March 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00746TV4O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #512,618 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
By John
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
People who follow events in the Baltic states in English have a great source in Edward Lucas.

His articles in The Economist, where he is a senior editor, have long provided a view of the Baltics and Russia that is closer to reality than the whitewashed articles in other publications. The view would be closer still if Lucas didn't fear baseless "libel" lawsuits in the UK and elsewhere.

I enjoyed the insight Lucas put forth in "The New Cold War" in 2008 and was therefore happy to hear that he published this new book, "Deception," in 2012.

"Deception" starts off with a description of the modern Russian state including detailed explanations of the Anna Chapman and Sergei Magnitsky situations. Lucas provides valuable analysis regarding the mentality of the agents in the Russian security services.

Then, "Deception" provides a historical review of British/American/Russian/German espionage with focus on the years immediately following the 1917 Revolution and World War II. Much of the historical review is about Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia.

Lucas used many primary sources for his research of the current events and historical events discussed in the book.

For me, the most interesting part of the book was about Herman Simm, an Estonian official who was arrested in 2008 for secretly working for Russian intelligence. Lucas gained first-hand information by interviewing Simm in prison. The process by which Simm was recruited, compensated, and operated reveals to Westerners the way in which other officials in Eastern Europe are probably controlled by Russia today.

Lucas' warning throughout is that the West is making a mistake by pretending that everything is okay in democratic Russia.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent until page 193. July 26, 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Overall I agree with Mr. Lucas, though I am sure that he - as I - could name many wonderful Russian individuals. As a system, however, I think he is probably quite accurate. I lived in Russia for several years. I agree that it is "xenophobic yet obsessed with the West." I was once on a bus in Moscow during a traffic jam, due to an accident. The babuski on board immediately blamed it on the 'chornies' - dark skinned people. I once was walking down a street when I heard a strange clinking noise. It was a group of about 200-300 skinheads adorned in chains. I know there are skinheads elsewhere in the world but I have never seen so many skinheads randomly walking down a street as if they own the place.

My main beef with this book is that it should have ended at 192 pages. The author sets the stage well, historically, for the discovery and capture of the illegals. Thereafter, the author reverts into a historical treatise on all things Baltic spies. It was basically a completely different book. In fact, Deception should have been developed into 3 books: The first comprising up to and including 192. The second should be the additional historical information and facts about spies in the past as related to the Baltics and the East/West conflict (which he introduces after page 192). The third should be all about the Estonian master spy Mr, Simm (working for the Russians). It just doesn't make sense to force a separate storyline and information into the book after the climax (which was only about half way through).
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lucas brings espionage to life, without Bond and Bourne September 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Lucas' DECEPTION is an exciting read. He combines his journalistic experience in Eastern Europe and the USSR with his years of interest and research to bring us a frightening view of intrigue in the Baltic and USSR. I was pleased to read my friend Harry Rositzke's work had been included. The SIS and CIA did not, as many of us had thought, always have an upper hand in clandestine operations. Great Britain and the U.S. lost spies and agents secretly being run by the KGB after WWI and WWII. Lucas points out that what we read in the paper about the apprehension of spies in this country, and recently about the illegals caught in 2010, is not always the full story. Our spymasters deliberately report only what is necessary. This limits exposing information about FBI and CIA technology and methods and the level of probable damage to our country. Lucas includes details of horrendous deaths, details we don't really like to think about, but that happen to agents and our spies who are caught. Horrible deaths, of being put into a flaming furnace, and of unspeakable tortures.

Lucas brings details of operations that misfired, such as Hungary; and of Baltic states' efforts to free themselves from the USSR in 1989 and 1990, just as they had earlier tried to regain independence from the constant German/Nazi and Russian advances across their territory. The Baltic is more important as a fertile ground for gathering information about Eastern Europe, Russia, and former USSR states than I had realized. I am convinced that we must remain alert to what is currently going on in Russia. The espionage of the communist state continues in its new guise today.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Full of original information and insights July 31, 2012
The is the best treatment of the background and handling of the 10 Russian illegals caught in 2010, but it also contains good history of Soviet deception tactics dating back to the post-1917 war with the Whites, and the subsequent Trust, which was a disaster for Western intelligence.
Also demonstrates in detail the ties between post-Soviet Russian intelligence and criminal financial operations.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time.
"Espionage Today" means 30 years ago. If you read newspapers there is no "untold story".
Published 14 days ago by Michael J. Gray
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book!!!
Published 15 days ago by CLIFFORD R. SCOTT
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
One third of the book is a bibliography? Need I say more!
Published 16 days ago by john l mihelick
2.0 out of 5 stars While it seemed well researched (assuming the information is accurate)...
It was a very dry and lengthy read. While it seemed well researched (assuming the information is accurate) it also seemed like it was by a person with a specific "ax to... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Cameron J. Fleury
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent insights on present-day Russian espionage
Edward Lucas is a top expert on Putin's Russia: "The West hardly realises that it is dealing with an adversary that understands us better than we know ourselves, whose goals and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by anonymous
2.0 out of 5 stars Putin is Sauron and Russians are Orcs
I bought this book expecting some interesting anecdotes about espionage, a subject I enjoy since Connery's Bond. Unfortunately, Mr. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor writing, bad book
Edward Lucas has often written some good books about East West relations, and especially about Russia and the Soviet Union. His bias against Russia is very obvious in this book. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Barbara R
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent book
Decent book about the kleptocratic nature of the new Russian state and the extension of its intelligence services as a tool to maintain this...
Published 4 months ago by T Chin
2.0 out of 5 stars Not recommended
There seemed to be a bit too much detail which was not always easy to follow. The author may have been too immersed in the events being described.
Published 5 months ago by Leo F. Morandin
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Appraisal
While this book is overly detailed, it is a warning for all who complacently think that all is well now that Russia is "democratic." Not! Read more
Published 7 months ago by WIbuyer
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More About the Author

Edward Lucas is a senior editor at the Economist. A former foreign correspondent with 30 years' experience in Russian and east European affairs, he is the author of, among other publications, Deception (2011), which deals with east-west espionage, and The New Cold War (2008), which gave warning of the threat posed by Vladimir Putin's Russia. He is a non-resident fellow at CEPA, a think-tank in Washington, DC. He lives in London and is married to the writer Cristina Odone. He tweets as @edwardlucas. For more details, see


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