Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer

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Basic Books, 2005 - History - 338 pages
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Victor Cherkashin's incredible career in the KGB spanned thirty-eight years, from Stalin's death in 1953 to the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. In this riveting memoir, Cherkashin provides a remarkable insider's view of the KGB's prolonged conflict with the United States, from his recruitment through his rising career in counterintelligence to his prime spot as the KGB's number- two man at the Soviet Embassy in Washington. Victor Cherkashin's story will shed stark new light on the KGB's inner workings over four decades and reveal new details about its major cases. Cherkashin's story is rich in episode and drama. He took part in some of the highest-profile Cold War cases, including tracking down U.S. and British spies around the world. He was posted to stations in the U.S., Australia, India, and Lebanon and traveled the globe for operations in England, Europe, and the Middle East. But it was in 1985, known as "the Year of the Spy," that Cherkashin scored two of the biggest coups of the Cold War. In April of that year, he recruited disgruntled CIA officer Aldrich Ames, becoming his principal handler. Refuting and clarifying other published versions, Cherkashin will offer the most complete account on how and why Ames turned against his country. Cherkashin will also reveal new details about Robert Hanssen's recruitment and later exposure, as only he can. And he will address whether there is an undiscovered KGB spy-another Hanssen or Ames-still at large. Spy Handler will be a major addition to Cold War history, told by one of its key participants.

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - tmph - LibraryThing

Excellent. Hard to read because everytime he writes "we" I think the United States! Well-written and seemingly well-translated, and appears to be a good guy. Reasonably balanced and objective about both the USSR and the "Main Adversary." Read full review

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User Review  - hollyhox - LibraryThing

This book is by the KGB operative who handled Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames. Incredible insight into how the spy game works. Can't put it down. If you enjoy the FX show The Americans, this book is a wonderful companion piece. Read full review

Contents

Prologue Betrayal
1
Washington Station
11
The Training of a KGB Handler a
35
Copyright

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About the author (2005)

Victor Cherkashin, a retired KGB colonel, was awarded the prestigious Order of Lenin. During his four decades working for the KGB, he was stationed at various times in West Germany, India, Australia, Lebanon, and Washington, D.C. Following his retirement, he began a private security company in Russia, which he still runs. He lives in Moscow. Gregory Feifer holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Russian Studies from Harvard. A former Radio Free Europe Moscow correspondent, Feifer lived in Russia from 1998 to 2003. He covered Russian politics for a number of publications, including the Moscow Times , World Policy Journal , and Agence France-Presse . He lives in New York City. Victor Cherkashin, a retired KGB colonel, was awarded the prestigious Order of Lenin. During his four decades working for the KGB, he was stationed at various times in West Germany, India, Australia, Lebanon, and Washington, D.C. Following his retirement, he began a private security company in Russia, which he still runs. He lives in Moscow. Gregory Feifer holds a B.A. and an M.A. in Russian Studies from Harvard. A former Radio Free Europe Moscow correspondent, Feifer lived in Russia from 1998 to 2003. He covered Russian politics for a number of publications, including the Moscow Times , World Policy Journal , and Agence France-Presse . He lives in New York City.

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