Spy Handler: Memoir of a KGB Officer: The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames

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Basic Books, Aug 5, 2008 - History - 368 pages
3 Reviews
In his four decades as a KGB officer, Victor Cherkashin was a central player in the shadowy world of Cold War espionage. From his rigorous training in Soviet intelligence in the early 1950s to his prime spot as the KGB's head of counterintelligence at the Soviet embassy in Washington, Cherkashin's career was rich in episode and drama. In a riveting memoir, Cherkashin provides a remarkable insider's view of the KGB's prolonged conflict with the CIA. Playing a major role in global espionage for most of the Cold War, Cherkashin was posted to stations in the United States, Australia, India, and Lebanon. He tracked down U.S. and British spies around the world. But it was in 1985 that Cherkashin scored two of the KGB's biggest-ever coups. In April of that year, he recruited disgruntled CIA officer Aldrich Ames and became his principal handler. Six months later, FBI special agent Robert Hanssen contacted Cherkashin directly, eventually becoming an even bigger asset than Ames. In Spy Handler, Cherkashin offers the complete account of how and why both Americans turned against their country, and addresses the rumors of an undiscovered KGB spy-another Hanssen or Ames-still at large in the U.S. intelligence community. Full of vivid detail and dramatic accounts that shed stark new light on the inner workings of the KGB, Spy Handler is a major addition to Cold War history, told by one of its major players.

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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

SPY HANDLER: Memoir of a KGB Officer--The True Story of the Man Who Recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames

User Review  - Kirkus

A spy comes in from the Cold War, with eye-opening tales to tell.The son of a high-ranking Stalin-era NKVD officer, Cherkashin grew up one of the Soviet faithful; as a true believer in Communism, he ... Read full review


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About the author (2008)

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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