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Spies: The Secret Agents Who Changed the Course of History

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Volkman ( Secret Intelligence ) here offers a collection of short biographies of nearly 50 of the century's major secret agents and those who "ran" them. The cast includes such well-known operatives as Kim Philby, mole of moles; Klaus Fuchs, who stole the secret of the atom bomb; and George Blake, the true Manchurian Candidate. Among the lesser-known but history-changing figures are Richard Sorge, a German journalist who spied on the Axis powers for the Soviets, and Dusko Popov, whom the author denotes as the original James Bond. Volkman describes the exploits of legendary spymasters as well, among them Markus Wolf, an East German who was the model for John le Carre's fictional "Karla," and Communist China's super-sinister Kang Sheng. Volkman rightly calls this highly entertaining, if chilling, omnibus an espionage hall of infamy. Photos.
-Publishers Weekly
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