By Benjamin Weiser
In August 1972, Ryszard Kuklinski, a hugely revered colonel within the Polish military, launched into what could turn into some of the most awesome human intelligence operations of the chilly conflict. regardless of the extraordinary threat to himself and his relatives, he contacted the yankee 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 flawed facet of the chilly War.
Over the following 9 years, Kuklinski rose fast within the Polish protection ministry, appearing as a liaison to Moscow, and aiding to organize 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 across, he made a perilous break out together with his family members to the West. He nonetheless lives in hiding in America.
Kuklinski's tale is a harrowing own drama approximately one man's choice to betray the Communist management for you to retailer the rustic he loves, and the serious debate it spurred over no matter if he was once a traitor or a patriot. via vast interviews and entry to the CIA's mystery archive at the case, Benjamin Weiser bargains an unheard of and richly designated examine this mystery historical past 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 Nineteen Seventies, passing alongside worthwhile information regarding Soviet weaponry, army plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident cohesion circulate. during this soaking up biography of an emblematic chilly warfare determine, journalist Weiser paints Kuklinski as a Polish patriot, his pro-American sentiments stimulated through love of freedom, resentment of Soviet domination, and worry superpower war of words 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 power of personality (the query of ways a lot cash the CIA paid Kuklinski is a little coyly skirted). yet he offers a superb account of the day-by-day regimen of espionage, packed with the speculation and perform of counter-surveillance, lifeless drops, surreptitious hand-offs, suicide tablets, 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 persevered to forge letters to Kuklinski over his signature to prevent provoking 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 ebook sheds gentle on a shadowy yet evocative element of lifestyles below Communism.
Copyright © Reed company details, a department of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This textual content refers to an out of print or unavailable version of this title.
From the hot Yorker
Books approximately espionage, fiction or no longer, might 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 american citizens hundreds of thousands 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 throughout the chilly War's endgame but in addition in its portrait of the unusually loving epistolary dating among the secret agent and his American handlers. There are scenes the following which are as demanding 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 resources for A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country
I had smashed the tooth in the same alley where Pop and I played catch, falling off my bike one day face first into the concrete. Gorsky had the luxury of constructing my bridge in six or seven leisurely sessions, and I don’t believe he ever used Novocain on me. “Wasn’t necessary,” he told my mother who brought me in. And besides, if he had asked me, I would have said, “No, I don’t want anything for the pain. ” Why would I say that? The pain of his drill haunted my dreams. It was excruciating. Why would I tell him, no, I’ll just sit here with my mouth open, go ahead and rev that thing up?
I was scared and out of breath, and, sitting on a tombstone, John earnestly informed me that I was probably going to go to hell for this. We sat there, and he talked to me about Christ and said that my only chance now to save my soul was to convert to Christianity and beg for Christ’s forgiveness. He was dead serious. I actually gave it some thought, too, because I knew that all the hottest girls went to Luther League on Friday night. Maybe even Marilyn. The next day at school she didn’t even look at me and we never spoke again.
He was dead serious. I actually gave it some thought, too, because I knew that all the hottest girls went to Luther League on Friday night. Maybe even Marilyn. The next day at school she didn’t even look at me and we never spoke again. 55 * * * 1956 Life in Racine was generally slow, but it got more exciting when my schoolmates discovered anti-Semitism. I remember the first time I heard the word “Jewboy” whispered behind me like a cold draft in the locker room. Seemingly overnight, being a Jew became a complex thing, a subtext of so many situations, like the elephant in the living room that nobody notices.
A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country by Benjamin Weiser