[Marxism] Fwd: H-Net Review [H-War]: Price on Macintyre, 'The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War'
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Begin forwarded message:
> From: H-Net Staff via H-REVIEW <h-review at lists.h-net.org>
> Date: November 7, 2019 at 7:58:02 AM EST
> To: h-review at lists.h-net.org
> Cc: H-Net Staff <revhelp at mail.h-net.org>
> Subject: H-Net Review [H-War]: Price on Macintyre, 'The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War'
> Reply-To: h-review at lists.h-net.org
> Ben Macintyre. The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story
> of the Cold War. New York Crown, 2018. Illustrations. viii + 358
> pp. $28.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-1-101-90419-0.
> Reviewed by Cole Price (Air University)
> Published on H-War (November, 2019)
> Commissioned by Margaret Sankey
> The Spy and the Traitor tells the story of two men connected by fate.
> Colonel Oleg Anonyevich Gordievsky (the spy) is the son of a career
> KGB officer. Superficially, he was born to become a spy in the
> service of the USSR at the height of the cold war. His education and
> position within the Communist Party set him up for long-term success.
> However, upon a deeper dive, his family and surroundings helped
> change his outlook on his place within the East versus West framework
> of international relations. Ben Macintyre expertly weaves stories of
> spycraft with the human yearning of freedom and paints Gordievsky as
> not only a double agent but also a defender of democracy. Gordievsky
> and his assistance to the British intelligence service MI6 proved
> invaluable during the later stages of the cold war.
> Meanwhile, Aldrich Ames (the traitor) was the American Central
> Intelligence Agency (CIA) officer whom the United States ordered to
> track down the Soviet double agent (Gordievsky) providing the British
> with intelligence. Unbeknownst to the CIA, Ames was a double agent
> for the Soviets. Showing all the tell-tale signs of an individual
> ripe for treason, Ames broke from the fog of his middling career and
> found his true calling. His wife frivolously spent money they did not
> have, and he felt the United States owed him a debt it did not pay.
> Initially, he intended to spy for the Soviets once, but after he
> realized how easy it was and how much money they would pay him, his
> thirst was unquenchable. Additionally, Ames's secret agenda was to
> unmask the double agent providing critical intelligence to the West
> and expose him to the KGB. The cat and mouse race between Ames and
> Gordievsky plays out in a concise and eloquent manner.
> The dance of spying and statecraft reaches its climax during Able
> Archer 83, a command post exercise carried out in 1983 by the North
> Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Soviet paranoia about a NATO
> first strike against the USSR had risen in the previous two years. As
> head of the KGB, Yuri Andropov initiated Operation Ryan in 1981. Ryan
> was a far-reaching covert mission aimed at gathering intelligence on
> NATO and the United States in the hopes of alerting Moscow of
> imminent nuclear attack. In 1982, when Andropov succeeded Leonid
> Brezhnev as head of the Soviet Union, Ryan's scope and resources
> magnified. Once again Macintyre brilliantly weaves fact with suspense
> in his retelling of how close the West and East came to nuclear war.
> During Able Archer 83, the Soviets mistook NATO's heightened training
> exercise as a pretext for a nuclear first strike. Unbeknownst at the
> time, the Soviets truly believed NATO was preparing for a first
> strike in a nuclear war and increased their own readiness posture to
> respond. Soviet bombers and missiles were fueled, armed, and placed
> on alert to retaliate against a NATO first strike. Once the exercise
> ended, the Soviets lowered their readiness posture. Only through the
> intelligence gathered by Gordievsky, which was passed by MI6 to the
> CIA, did US president Ronald Reagan know how close both sides came to
> unintended nuclear war.
> Lastly, Macintyre meticulously recounts Gordievsky's 1985
> exfiltration from the USSR to the United Kingdom. The plan, codenamed
> PIMLICO, showcased MI6's expertise as it evaded Soviet capture.
> Gordievsky was transported in the trunk of a UK diplomatic vehicle
> while passing through the USSR and Finland. Throughout the journey,
> military officials and KGB officers looked for their lost
> intelligence officer but came up empty. The British agents and
> Gordievsky narrowly evaded capture at multiple points throughout the
> journey and arrived safely in the UK.
> The coup de grâce occured once MI6 informed the Soviets that the
> _rezident_ of London defected. The KGB was shocked and could not
> believe that was the case. MI6 informed the KGB in order to strike a
> bargain for the safe return of Gordievsky's family. He gave up the
> names of every Soviet spy in the UK to MI6. The British informed the
> Soviets of the situation and struck a bargain. The spies slowly left
> the country in exchange for Gordievsky's wife and daughters' safe
> passage to the UK. In 1990 Gordievsky was awarded for his
> decades-long service to Her Majesty.
> _The Spy and the Traitor _is a nonstop thriller where the information
> is almost too good to be true. Macintyre expertly writes in a way
> that makes reading the book effortless. While Ames and Gordievsky
> both betrayed their countries, they did it for different reasons.
> Gordievsky's was ideological while Ames's was purely for money.
> Macintyre points out that the unmasked spies on both sides were
> treated differently. Those given up by Ames were most likely rounded
> up, interrogated, and killed. Meanwhile, those fingered by Gordievsky
> were given due process and tried.
> Overall, the book is a must read for anyone who wishes to know more
> about the Soviet spy who secretly passed intelligence to MI6 and
> eventually defected to the UK as well as the CIA double agent who
> hunted him down for the Soviets.
> Citation: Cole Price. Review of Macintyre, Ben, _The Spy and the
> Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War_. H-War, H-Net
> Reviews. November, 2019.
> URL: https://www.h-net.org/reviews/showrev.php?id=54469
> This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
> Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States
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