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Spy Who Got Away Hardcover – May 12, 1988

4.2 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

In spring 1983, Edward Howard was preparing for his first overseas posting as a CIA case officera tour in the agency's most sensitive station, Moscow. In June 1986, he became the first CIA officer to defect to the Soviet Union. Wise, a frequent writer on intelligence issues and co-author (with Thomas B. Ross) of The Invisible Government , interviewed Howard (in Budapest), his family, co-workers, and American counterintelligence officers to prepare this compelling analysis of events and mostly CIA bungles that led to a major U.S. intelligence disaster. The remarkable, clearly told story reveals intriguing snippets of the workings of American intelligence. Most appropriate for public libraries. BOMC featured selection. James R. Kuhlman, Univ. of Georgia Lib., Athens
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 16 pages
  • Publisher: Random House; 1st edition (May 12, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 039456281X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394562810
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book provides much useful insight into the background of the only CIA agent who defected to the Soviet Union. The situation began with a KGB defection to the CIA.

Vitaly Yurchenko, who led all KGB operations in the US and Canada defected. This happened at a time the CIA image had been faltering. The CIA had mined harbors in Nicaragua, which Sen. Barry Goldwater and others noted was an act of war. Congress was glad this secret CIA action had not led to war and the Senate, by an 84-12 vote, had condemned the CIA. The Yurchenko defection bolstered the CIA at a critical time.

CIA counterintelligence agents wanted to learn intelligence from Yurchenko. Ordinarily, the best method was to get information from a KGB mole who reported inside information while still working at the KGB. Yet information from a defector such as Yurchenko could still be useful. One thing the CIA wanted to know from a defector is who within the CIA was providing information to the KGB.

It was critical for the CIA to verify that Yurchenkos's defection was real and not part of a KGB plot to provide misleading information. This could involved the defector providing correct and verifiable information yet later providing false intelligence that would prove more disruptive than any gain the CIA had from the correct intelligence. The CIA looked to see that true and valuable information was provided, even though doing so also increased the suspicions that an even larger, more disruptive KGB plot could be underway.

A CIA agent, James Jesus Angleton, had previously kept a Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko drugged and in solitary confinement for three and a half years. The CIA was divived on both whether the defection was real and whether the techniques were appropriate.
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Format: Paperback
Knowing that a book is non-fiction always adds a greater sense of mystery and wonder, which is certainly true about this account of an American intelligence agent who defected to Russia. It is obvious that the author spend a great deal of time researching every aspect of the subject in addition to the intelligence agency in general. THere are a lot of amazing details about the CIA, FBI, and KGB that are told through this story. Some of the long descriptions may bore some readers, but I found the novel to be very well written and very interesting.
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Format: Hardcover
The book provides much useful insight into the background of the only CIA agent who defected to the Soviet Union. The situation began with a KGB defection to the CIA.

Vitaly Yurchenko, who led all KGB operations in the US and Canada defected. This happened at a time the CIA image had been faltering. The CIA had mined harbors in Nicaragua, which Sen. Barry Goldwater and others noted was an act of war. Congress was glad this secret CIA action had not led to war and the Senate, by an 84-12 vote, had condemned the CIA. The Yurchenko defection bolstered the CIA at a critical time.

CIA counterintelligence agents wanted to learn intelligence from Yurchenko. Ordinarily, the best method was to get information from a KGB mole who reported inside information while still working at the KGB. Yet information from a defector such as Yurchenko could still be useful. One thing the CIA wanted to know from a defector is who within the CIA was providing information to the KGB.

It was critical for the CIA to verify that Yurchenkos's defection was real and not part of a KGB plot to provide misleading information. This could involved the defector providing correct and verifiable information yet later providing false intelligence that would prove more disruptive than any gain the CIA had from the correct intelligence. The CIA looked to see that true and valuable information was provided, even though doing so also increased the suspicions that an even larger, more disruptive KGB plot could be underway.

A CIA agent, James Jesus Angleton, had previously kept a Soviet defector Yuri Nosenko drugged and in solitary confinement for three and a half years. The CIA was divived on both whether the defection was real and whether the techniques were appropriate.
Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
The story is about a spy that literally got away from the FBI - right under their noses. He is now (at least one thinks) living in Russia, which I am sure, does not treat him the same way it used to. Overall I felt the story was interesting, but did not come away thinking this guy did that much damage to the US. He just did not hold a very high position and he left after a short period of time. He was no Walker or Ames. Given this was the case my complaint with the author is that he tried to make the spying this lame did as something more exciting then it was, I am assuming to get more buss about the book. Overall the book is a fine effort, Wise has a lot of knowledge about the working of the intelligence agencies in the US and Russia and he likes to display that knowledge in the book. If you are a nut about true-life spy's then this is not a bad little book.
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Format: Hardcover
Thoroughly researched by author David Wise, this spy book is of special interest to Santa Feans, many of whom have a vague idea but no facts of how in 1985 Edward Lee Howard outfoxed the FBI and CIA by jumping from a moving car, at night, and running through the chamisa, to eventually arrive in Moscow! Crazy and amazing, and true.
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