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Spy
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About the Author

David Wise was America's leading writer on intelligence and espionage. He was the coauthor of The Invisible Government, a #1 bestseller about the CIA. He was also the author of Nightmover, Molehunt, The Spy Who Got Away, The American Police State, The Politics of Lying, Cassidy's Run, Spy, and Tiger Trap, and the coauthor, with Thomas B. Ross, of The Espionage Establishment and The U-2 Affair. A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, he was the former chief of the Washington bureau of the New York Herald-Tribune and contributed articles on government and politics to many national magazines. David Wise died in 2018.

Reviews

Four previous books have attempted to unravel the mystery of how and why FBI staffer Robert Hanssen was able to sell secrets to the KGB for almost 22 years. None, however, have been as penetrating as this account by veteran spy author Wise (The Invisible Government), whom Hanssen himself reportedly called "the best espionage writer around." Using a career's worth of contacts in the FBI and CIA, as well as exclusive access to Hanssen's defense psychiatrist, Wise presents a comprehensive portrait of Hanssen's life as a spy and the government's quest to uncover and prosecute him. Further, Wise reveals that the FBI's problems with internal traitors began as far back as 1962, with a tip from a KGB informant; that mole was never found. Years later, the FBI identified another internal spy, but bungled its surveillance; that spy was quietly "eased out" of the bureau and the entire affair kept out of the newspapers. And in the Hanssen case, a certain CIA agent was wrongly identified as the mole and suspended from duty for almost two years. By contextualizing Hanssen and providing an insider's account of the hunt that finally apprehended him, Wise covers aspects of the case that have been largely neglected to date. Well researched and ably written, this book is, so far, the definitive account of Hanssen's betrayal of the United States. (On sale Oct. 22) Forecast: It would be all too easy for readers to confuse David Wise with David Vise, author of the bestselling The Bureau and the Mole hopefully, reviews and bookstore displays will distinguish the two. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Many books about FBI counterintelligence agent Robert Hanssen have already been published, including David A. Vise's The Bureau and the Mole and Elaine Shannon's The Spy Next Door. While the story of how Hanssen was tracked down is certainly interesting, it is even more intriguing to speculate why this conservative Catholic with a modest lifestyle would betray us to the Soviets. Journalist Wise, who wrote The Spy Who Got Away, a similar book about escaped CIA traitor Edward Lee Howard, interviewed Hanssen's case psychiatrist and thus provides considerable informed discussion about motive. Was it for the money to support his big family, the thrill of playing a dangerous game, or to get back at a never-satisfied father? Hanssen apparently walked right into a Soviet office in 1979, which leads to the question whether the CIA and FBI were watching this office-and if not, why not? Recommended for the espionage collections of public and academic libraries. (Photos and index not seen.)-Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL

Praise for David Wise

Molehunt

"David Wise is a master at penetrating the invisible government. We won't read a better book about this aspect of the Cold War." -Seymour M. Hersh

"A brilliant, fascinating account of the CIA's greatest trauma-whether it had been penetrated by agents of the KGB. It tied the Agency into knots for two decades, but the evidence outlined by David Wise now reveals that it was only a phantom. Paranoia is sometimes said to be the prerequisite for good counterintelligence-but the CIA's history suggests that it can become its Achilles' heel as well." -William E. Colby

The Spy Who Got Away

"The most important book on intelligence since The Invisible Government . . . with the suspense and tension-building that you expect in John le Carre's fiction." -Ronald L. Ostrow, Los Angeles Times Book Review

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