By Benjamin Weiser
In August 1972, Ryszard Kuklinski, a hugely revered colonel within the Polish military, launched into what might develop into some of the most impressive human intelligence operations of the chilly warfare. regardless of the intense hazard to himself and his kin, he contacted the yankee Embassy in Bonn, and organized a mystery assembly. From the very begin, he made transparent that he deplored the Soviet domination of Poland, and believed his kingdom used to be at the mistaken facet of the chilly War.
Over the subsequent 9 years, Kuklinski rose speedy within the Polish protection ministry, appearing as a liaison to Moscow, and supporting to arrange for a "hot war" with the West. yet he additionally lived a lifetime of subterfuge--of lifeless drops, messages written in invisible ink, miniature cameras, and mystery transmitters. In 1981, he gave the CIA the key plans to weigh down unity. Then, approximately to be came upon, he made a perilous break out together with his kinfolk to the West. He nonetheless lives in hiding in America.
Kuklinski's tale is a harrowing own drama approximately one man's selection to betray the Communist management with the intention to keep the rustic he loves, and the serious debate it spurred over no matter if he was once a traitor or a patriot. via large interviews and entry to the CIA's mystery archive at the case, Benjamin Weiser bargains an extraordinary and richly distinct examine this mystery heritage of the chilly War.
From Publishers Weekly
Highly put within the army councils of the Warsaw Pact, Polish colonel Ryszard Kuklinski made himself the CIA's most crucial East Bloc intelligence asset within the Seventies, passing alongside beneficial information regarding Soviet weaponry, army plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident harmony stream. during this soaking up biography of an emblematic chilly conflict determine, journalist Weiser paints Kuklinski as a Polish patriot, his pro-American sentiments encouraged via love of freedom, resentment of Soviet domination, and worry superpower war of words could unharness a nuclear holocaust on Poland. from time to time Weiser is going overboard in setting up the purpose, reprinting at inordinate size Kuklinski's high-minded letters to his CIA handlers and their both gushing tributes to his idealism and power of personality (the query of the way a lot cash the CIA paid Kuklinski is a little bit coyly skirted). yet he provides a superb account of the day-by-day regimen of espionage, filled with the speculation and perform of counter-surveillance, lifeless drops, surreptitious hand-offs, suicide capsules, invisible ink and (often balky) miniature transmitters, and moments of panic whilst Kuklinski narrowly escapes detection. Weiser additionally bargains an strangely intimate portrait of the interior lifetime of a secret agent and the serious emotional bond among brokers and their handlers (after his case officer used to be transferred, the CIA persisted to forge letters to Kuklinski over his signature to prevent frightening their prize asset). either a gripping spycraft procedural and a examine of the ethical rigidity of concurrently participating with and undermining a approach one detests, the publication sheds gentle on a shadowy yet evocative point of existence below Communism.
Copyright © Reed company info, a department of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This textual content refers to an out of print or unavailable variation of this title.
From the recent Yorker
Books approximately espionage, fiction or no longer, could be cliché flypaper—encrusted with drained plot twists and morbid surroundings. Exceptions, like John le Carré's novels and Thomas Powers's histories, are infrequent. yet Weiser's story of ways a high-ranking Polish officer, Ryszard Kuklinski, betrayed the communist management for nearly a decade, beginning in 1972, and fed the american citizens millions of pages of top-secret records, together with the plans for martial legislation, is in that increased corporation. "A mystery Life" is exciting not just in its chronicle of an honorable betrayal in the course of the chilly War's endgame but additionally in its portrait of the surprisingly loving epistolary courting among the undercover agent and his American handlers. There are scenes the following which are as annoying as any in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," and the entry that Weiser gained—his resources contain either Kuklinski and the Poles he fooled—is a feat of sufferer and clever reporting.
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Extra resources for A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country
92, Respiration 28. ' Churchill was also eager to see Mrs Everest, who was waiting for the first opportunity to be with him. The doctor advised against this, however. 'Forgive my troubling you with these lines,' he wrote to Lady Randolph later on March 17, 'to impress upon you the absolute necessity of quiet and sleep for Winston and that Mrs Everest should not be allowed in the sick room today - even the excitement of pleasure at seeing her might do harm! ' Slowly the boy recovered. His father went to Brighton twice to see him, once in March with grapes, and again in April when he brought him a toy steam engine.
This expla nation, accurate in itself, did not entirely assuage his mother. ' That month Churchill won the Public Schools fencing championship. ' Preparation for the Army exam was now continuous. ' But the work was in vain; when he took the Sandhurst entrance examination that july he failed. The minimum marks needed to enter the Cavalry were 6,457; Churchill obtained 5,100. Of the 693 candidates he came 390th. The results were not entirely discouraging; in English History he was eigh teenth out of more than four hundred candidates who took the paper.
But he goes back to school on Monday. ' He was also much concerned about Mrs Everest, 'Woomany' as he called her. 'It might have been so much worse ifWoomany had died,' he wrote to his mother, who was still in Russia. In a letter written to await his mother in London, Churchill asked for 'a good Latin-English & a good English-Latin dictionary'. A week later he asked for a Greek Lexicon. He had begun Virgil, 'which I like', and also Herodotus in the original Greek. He was confident he would do well in the Harrow entrance examination.