A Secret Life: The Polish Officer, His Covert Mission, And by Benjamin Weiser

By Benjamin Weiser

In August 1972, Ryszard Kuklinski, a hugely revered colonel within the Polish military, launched into what could develop into the most outstanding human intelligence operations of the chilly warfare. regardless of the extraordinary threat to himself and his family members, 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 state was once at the flawed part of the chilly War.

Over the following 9 years, Kuklinski rose quick within the Polish safeguard 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 found, he made a deadly break out along with his kin 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 with a view to shop the rustic he loves, and the serious debate it spurred over no matter if he was once a traitor or a patriot. via wide interviews and entry to the CIA's mystery archive at the case, Benjamin Weiser deals an unparalleled and richly distinct examine this mystery background of the chilly War.

Editorial Reviews
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 valuable information regarding Soviet weaponry, army plans and the brewing crackdown on Poland's dissident unity stream. during this soaking up biography of an emblematic chilly warfare determine, journalist Weiser paints Kuklinski as a Polish patriot, his pro-American sentiments stimulated by way 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 developing 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 bit of coyly skirted). yet he offers a superb account of the day-by-day regimen of espionage, filled with the idea and perform of counter-surveillance, useless drops, surreptitious hand-offs, suicide capsules, invisible ink and (often balky) miniature transmitters, and moments of panic whilst 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 used to be transferred, the CIA persevered to forge letters to Kuklinski over his signature to prevent frightening their prize asset). either a gripping spycraft procedural and a research of the ethical pressure of at the same time participating with and undermining a method one detests, the ebook sheds gentle on a shadowy yet evocative point 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 version of this title.

From the recent Yorker

Books approximately espionage, fiction or no longer, may 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 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 in the course of the chilly War's endgame but additionally in its portrait of the unusually loving epistolary courting among the undercover 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 resources comprise 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

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Everything that a sophisticated actor would learn, they taught to Eisenhower. As recorded in James Pylant’s expertly researched Bewitching article Robert Montgomery was born Henry Montgomery, Jr. on May 21, 1904 in Duchess County, New York. Beacon is commonly given as his birthplace, though he was actually born in Fishkill Landing. ) Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) promoted Robert Montgomery’s movie persona as a sophisticated, well-bred socialite by embellishing the elite family background of its handsome star.

He explained how he had to support himself after his father, ‘‘an executive with a rubber company,’’ died and left the family without an income. ’’ That’s putting it lightly. According to Pylant, Henry, Sr. was depressed, suffered a nervous breakdown, and subsequently committed suicide: Not only did Robert Montgomery have to cope with the tragedy of his father’s death, he had to face a financial crisis as well as the social stigma of having a suicide in the family. Henry Montgomery’s nervous breakdown was also a public reminder of the scandal that unfolded in newspapers a generation earlier when Archibald Montgomery, Robert’s grandfather, was accused of being an insane alcoholic.

He loved pretty things, like antique stuff, or modern even. He loved Andrew Wyeth, who was also a friend of his . . he loved Daumie, Max Beerbohm. I loved the way he dressed . . There were times when he’d be kind of tweedy . . Maybe that was his pompous wanting to be 33 ................. 18286$ $CH2 06-18-14 12:12:34 PS PAGE 33 Twitch Upon a Star King of England department . . I always remembered too, when I was little, how handsome he looked in a dinner jacket. He always seemed very at home when he was dressed up a lot.

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