Sunday, July 1, 2012

Spy vs. Spy

Mountains of books have been written on the spy business.  As long as there are secrets, there will be interest in the profession.  Here's a short list from my collection:

1.  Spycatcher: The Candid Autobiography of a Senior Intelligence Officer, Peter Wright (1987).
 Wright provides a rare first-hand account of Britain's MI5 including efforts to detect high level defectors, Philby, Burgess, Maclean and Blunt.  British authorities went to great efforts to prevent publication.  Black and white photos of the main figures.  Bought used from a library sale (what library, remains a mystery). 


2.  Red Horizons, Lt. General Ion Mihai Pacepa (1987).  The most chilling accounts of the group.  Pacepa was the Romanian head of the intelligence service under Ceausecu.  Romanian society was under near total surveillance with public buildings bugged and nearly all government officials sex lives monitored by hidden camera.  Bought new through a book club membership.

3.  KGB: The Inside Story, Christopher Andrew and Oleg Gordievsky (1990).  Extensive history of the KGB's history from its forerunner of 1917 to the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Based on archives of the Soviet Union following its collapse.   Extensive pictures.  Bought used at the State Department used book store.

4.  The Puzzle Palace: Inside the National Security Agency, America's Most Secret Intelligence Organization (1982).  Considered the most definitive work on the NSA.  Bamford followed up several years later with an updated history, Shadow Factory.  Bought used somewhere (I really should have kept better records.)

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