By Benjamin Weiser
In August 1972, Ryszard Kuklinski, a hugely revered colonel within the Polish military, launched into what may develop into probably the most striking human intelligence operations of the chilly conflict. regardless of the intense hazard to himself and his family members, 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 kingdom used to be at the improper part of the chilly War.
Over the following 9 years, Kuklinski rose fast within the Polish safeguard ministry, performing 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 useless drops, messages written in invisible ink, miniature cameras, and mystery transmitters. In 1981, he gave the CIA the key plans to weigh down team spirit. Then, approximately to be came across, he made a deadly get away together with his relatives to the West. He nonetheless lives in hiding in America.
Kuklinski's tale is a harrowing own drama approximately one man's determination 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 large interviews and entry to the CIA's mystery archive at the case, Benjamin Weiser bargains an exceptional and richly designated 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 beneficial information regarding Soviet weaponry, army plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident team spirit flow. during this soaking up biography of an emblematic chilly struggle 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 constructing 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 funds the CIA paid Kuklinski is a little coyly skirted). yet he provides a superb account of the day-by-day regimen of espionage, jam-packed with the speculation and perform of counter-surveillance, lifeless drops, surreptitious hand-offs, suicide drugs, invisible ink and (often balky) miniature transmitters, and moments of panic while Kuklinski narrowly escapes detection. Weiser additionally deals an strangely intimate portrait of the internal lifetime of a undercover agent and the serious emotional bond among brokers and their handlers (after his case officer was once transferred, the CIA endured to forge letters to Kuklinski over his signature to prevent provoking their prize asset). either a gripping spycraft procedural and a examine of the ethical rigidity of at the same time participating with and undermining a method one detests, the publication sheds gentle 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 no longer, 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 ways a high-ranking Polish officer, Ryszard Kuklinski, betrayed the communist management for nearly a decade, beginning in 1972, and fed the americans hundreds of thousands 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 in the course of the chilly War's endgame but in addition in its portrait of the surprisingly loving epistolary courting among the secret agent and his American handlers. There are scenes right here which are as demanding as any in "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy," and the entry that Weiser gained—his assets contain either Kuklinski and the Poles he fooled—is a feat of sufferer and clever reporting.
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Extra info for A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And The Price He Paid To Save His Country
I . • t • : 'JJ. . � ·I' � - ------- - ... J ___ ----- Syna gogue; 2 Cemetery; 3 North Gate; 4 Center Gate; 5 South Gate; 6 Back Ghetto Wall; 7 Himerpfmm; 8 " Green Shield " . I Rothschild's father Amschel Moses died on 6 October 1 7 5 5 ; the boy was not yet twelve-years old. His mother Schoenche died nine months later, on 2 9 June 1 7 56. In the meantime, the Seven Years' War had broken out and the roads had become unsafe . But soon after his mother's death, Rothschild must have left Furth and rerurned to Frankfurt.
And yet, they were also human beings, energetic, agreeable, and even their obstinacy in sticking to their own 35 F O U N D ER c ustoms, one could not deny it respect. Moreover, their girls were pretty .. The east side of the Judengasse , close to Rothschild's last home. This photograph was ta ken around 186o. Orig inally the street was much darker. By 186o the ri ght-hand side of the street had already been torn down. The growing demand for living and working space caused the price of houses in the Judengasse to rise far above that in 36 A S MAL L T O W N I N G E R MAN Y Houses at the back of the Judengasse .
The fact is, we do not really know what he looked like . We do know he was hard working and ambitious to succeed. Selling a few old coins could not possibly make him rich. But it was a means to establish contacts with persons of wealth, power and importance. Such a person was the young Crown-Prince Wilhelm, the future Landgrave of Hesse, who would play a decisive role in Rothschild's future career. Wilhelm was the presumptive heir to his father's vast fortune. His pedigree was one of the finest in Europe.