Book Description

Spies have long existed in the popular imagination as glamorous and shadowy figures. But how much is known about the real-life practitioners of the 'black art' of espionage? In this enthralling look into the world of covert intelligence, renowned historian of espionage Ernest Volkman strips away the myths and Hollywood hype to reveal the actual human dramas behind 'the world's second oldest profession.' Spies is a twentieth century 'Hall of Infamy' packed with gripping true spy stories profiling many of this century's most notable agents, assets, sleepers, spymasters, and moles. These are the women and men whose espionage feats have, for better or worse, irrevocably altered the course of history. You'll read of the amazing exploits of legends such as:. 'Counterfeit Traitor' Eric Erickson, the American businessman who, posing as a Swedish Nazi, helped stanch the flow of oil to Hitler's war machine and end the war in Europe;. Fritz Kauders, the Viennese Jew who went from being a small time confidence trickster to become one of Germany's most valued spies and a Soviet double agent;. Amy Thorpe, the gorgeous American debutante turned superspy;. British agent 17F, Ian Fleming, author of some of the most outrageous (and effective) 'dirty tricks' in the annals of spydom;. Dutch housewife turned burlesque dancer, turned secret agent Margareta Zelle, a.k.a. Mata Hari, who, contrary to popular belief, was neither beautiful nor a very good spy;. Brilliant Soviet superspy Richard Sorge, whose intelligence gathering operation in Japan balked Nazi Germany's attempt to seize Moscow. With wit and crisp, journalistic precision, Volkman recounts a number of surprising espionage curiosities, including Pope Paul VI's work for the C.I.A., Graham Greene's less than glorious stint as a British agent, and the bizarre story of 'Papa's Crook Factory,' Ernest Hemingway's amateur spy ring in Havana. Also included are pioneers of modern espionage such as the hard-hearted 'Fraulein Doktor,' Read more