The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

By David E. Hoffman

A Washington Post amazing ebook of the Year
It was once the peak of the chilly warfare, and a deadly time to be stationed within the Soviet Union. One night, whereas the executive of the CIA’s Moscow station used to be filling his gasoline tank, a stranger approached and dropped a notice into the automobile. the executive, suspicious of a KGB capture, neglected the overture. however the guy had made up his brain. His makes an attempt to set up touch with the CIA will be rebuffed 4 instances sooner than he thrust upon them an envelope whose contents may stun U.S. intelligence. within the years that undefined, that guy, Adolf Tolkachev, turned some of the most worthwhile spies ever for the U.S. yet those actions posed an incredible own possibility to Tolkachev and his American handlers. that they had clandestine conferences in parks and on road corners, and used secret agent cameras, props, and personal codes, eluding the ubiquitous KGB in its personal backyard—until a stunning betrayal placed all of them at risk. 

Drawing on formerly labeled CIA files and on interviews with firsthand members, The Billion greenback Spy is an excellent feat of reporting and a riveting precise tale of intrigue within the ultimate years of the chilly War.

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15 yet simply as Tolkachev reached this aspect, the urge for food at headquarters used to be mushrooming. They appeared to wish Tolkachev to provide fifty or 100 rolls of movie at any time when. Rolph was once aggravated on the calls for yet might see what was once occurring. Tolkachev’s fabric was once so important again at Langley that he used to be actually “paying the rent”—justifying the CIA’s operational budget—and aiding the company fulfill the army buyers. So headquarters was once certainly susceptible to push the envelope. They requested, can he simply try out a couple of extra issues? Rolph felt that Tolkachev had single-handedly equipped a Brooklyn Bridge, and now headquarters sought after him to construct a Golden Gate Bridge in addition. nonetheless, Rolph carried a letter that were despatched through headquarters, with an inventory of forty-five wideranging questions about Soviet guns structures. He gave it to Tolkachev and requested for solutions at their subsequent assembly. Tolkachev advised Rolph that the concealment for the L-pill—the pen—was simply superb and no adjustments have been important. Rolph spotted that Tolkachev’s greeting have been hotter than earlier than. after they met within the park, they grasped each one other’s arm, firmly. Tolkachev used to be talkative. All was once good together with his family members and his paintings, he stated. Rolph suggestion, he might be beginning to belief me. Headquarters had prompt Rolph to prevent conversing approximately exfiltration. They desired to retain Tolkachev within the Soviet Union so long as attainable. yet Tolkachev wouldn't permit pass of the assumption. In a speculative second, he got here up with a wild, dreamy plan and attempted it out on Rolph, who couldn't rather think what he used to be listening to. “Now, for those who may have a different plane that might fly in and choose me up, you'll land it in a box somewhere within the woods, and we'd come working out of the woods, and get within the aircraft and take us out,” Tolkachev acknowledged. It was once absolutely unrealistic, Rolph idea. This used to be the Soviet Union, seriously armed. No American undercover agent airplane used to be going to effectively drift onto a box and hold Tolkachev away. yet at the very least Tolkachev was once speaking to him and displaying a human aspect. Rolph reached into the bag and gave Tolkachev his final parcel, which contained seven cassettes with the recorded song he had asked. The CIA had got the cassettes in jap Europe, so that they couldn't be traced. Tolkachev was once extremely joyful. that they had been conversing for less than fifteen mins, yet to Rolph it had a slow-motion suppose, as though they'd been chatting for an hour. They agreed to fulfill back within the autumn, after Tolkachev’s summer season holiday. Tolkachev gave Rolph a seven-page ops word, handwritten. once more, Tolkachev slipped away into the darkness, and Rolph again to the embassy because the shaggy-haired tech within the Volkswagen van passenger seat. — day after today, Rolph despatched an account of the assembly to headquarters. He felt greater than ever that he had to emphasize how Tolkachev’s eyes lit up whilst he observed the track and why that used to be vital for the operation. He wrote that it used to be “truly attention-grabbing and revealing” how Tolkachev replaced from his ordinary unemotional demeanor while this got here up.

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