By Benjamin Weiser
In August 1972, Ryszard Kuklinski, a hugely revered colonel within the Polish military, launched into what may develop into the most awesome human intelligence operations of the chilly warfare. regardless of the extraordinary danger to himself and his kinfolk, he contacted the yank Embassy in Bonn, and organized a mystery assembly. From the very commence, he made transparent that he deplored the Soviet domination of Poland, and believed his state used to be at the unsuitable part of the chilly War.
Over the subsequent 9 years, Kuklinski rose speedy within the Polish security ministry, appearing as a liaison to Moscow, and assisting to organize for a "hot war" with the West. yet he additionally lived a lifetime of subterfuge--of useless drops, messages written in invisible ink, miniature cameras, and mystery transmitters. In 1981, he gave the CIA the key plans to overwhelm harmony. Then, approximately to be came across, he made a perilous get away along 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 so that it will store the rustic he loves, and the serious debate it spurred over no matter if he was once a traitor or a patriot. via huge interviews and entry to the CIA's mystery archive at the case, Benjamin Weiser deals an remarkable and richly distinctive examine this mystery background of the chilly War.
From Publishers Weekly
Highly positioned 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 Nineteen Seventies, passing alongside worthwhile information regarding Soviet weaponry, army plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident team spirit move. during this soaking up biography of an emblematic chilly struggle determine, journalist Weiser paints Kuklinski as a Polish patriot, his pro-American sentiments prompted by means of love of freedom, resentment of Soviet domination, and worry superpower disagreement may unharness a nuclear holocaust on Poland. every now and then 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 energy of personality (the query of ways a lot cash the CIA paid Kuklinski is a bit coyly skirted). yet he offers an excellent account of the day-by-day regimen of espionage, packed with the idea and perform of counter-surveillance, useless drops, surreptitious hand-offs, suicide drugs, invisible ink and (often balky) miniature transmitters, and moments of panic while Kuklinski narrowly escapes detection. Weiser additionally bargains an surprisingly intimate portrait of the interior lifetime of a undercover agent and the serious emotional bond among brokers and their handlers (after his case officer used to be transferred, the CIA endured to forge letters to Kuklinski over his signature to prevent scary their prize asset). either a gripping spycraft procedural and a learn of the ethical rigidity of at the same time participating with and undermining a procedure one detests, the e-book sheds mild on a shadowy yet evocative element of lifestyles below Communism.
Copyright © Reed enterprise 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 now not, will 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 the way a high-ranking Polish officer, Ryszard Kuklinski, betrayed the communist management for nearly a decade, beginning in 1972, and fed the americans millions of pages of top-secret files, together with the plans for martial legislations, is in that increased corporation. "A mystery Life" is exciting not just in its chronicle of an honorable betrayal through the chilly War's endgame but in addition in its portrait of the surprisingly loving epistolary dating among the undercover agent and his American handlers. There are scenes the following which are as stressful 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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Additional info for A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country
We write when we cannot speak, when contingent ob stacles, whi-ch can be reduced to so many forms of dis tance, preven� the voice from carrying. Writing is a form of telecommunication (M, 31 1-1 3) : we know all its advantages, which are not without serious problems too, just as well known. There is no question of con testing experience here: everyone knows that the writ ten word hugely extends the scope oflanguage in space and time, and that what we commonly call history, at least thought of as progress or decline, only begins with it � Everyone also knows that for all sorts of rea sons writing exposes thought to risks which some times, if not most often, seem to be more important than the advantages.
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Ning for the first plane to Nice, tie, dark suit, white kippa in my pocket, trying in vain rtot only to cry but, I don't know, to stop myself crying, et Jletum frenabam, * to get myself out of all the programs and quotations, when the unforeseeable did not fail to happen, surprising me absolutely but like what goes without saying, inflexible destiny, i.
A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country by Benjamin Weiser