A New York Times Notable Book for 2002
Synopses & Reviews
tells, for the first time, the full, authoritative story of how FBI agent Robert Hanssen, code name grayday, spied for Russia for twenty-two years in what has been called the “worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history”-and how he was finally caught in an incredible gambit by U.S. intelligence.
David Wise, the nations leading espionage writer, has called on his unique knowledge and unrivaled intelligence sources to write the definitive, inside story of how Robert Hanssen betrayed his country, and why.
Spy at last reveals the mind and motives of a man who was a walking paradox: FBI counterspy, KGB mole, devout Catholic, obsessed pornographer who secretly televised himself and his wife having sex so that his best friend could watch, defender of family values, fantasy James Bond who took a stripper to Hong Kong and carried a machine gun in his car trunk.
Brimming with startling new details sure to make headlines, Spy discloses:
-the previously untold story of how the FBI got the actual file on Robert Hanssen out of KGB headquarters in Moscow for $7 million in an unprecedented operation that ended in Hanssens arrest.
-how for three years, the FBI pursued a CIA officer, code name gray deceiver, in the mistaken belief that he was the mole they were seeking inside U.S. intelligence. The innocent officer was accused as a spy and suspended by the CIA for nearly two years.
-why Hanssen spied, based on exclusive interviews with Dr. David L. Charney, the psychiatrist who met with Hanssen in his jail cell more than thirty times. Hanssen, in an extraordinary arrangement, authorized Charney to talk to the author.
-the full story of Robert Hanssens bizarre sex life, including the hidden video camera he set up in his bedroom and how he plotted to drug his wife, Bonnie, so that his best friend could father her child.
- how Hanssen and the CIAs Aldrich Ames betrayed three Russians secretly spying for the FBI-including tophat, a Soviet general-who were then executed by Moscow.
-that after Hanssen was already working for the KGB, he directed a study of moles in the FBI when-as he alone knew-he was the mole.
Robert Hanssen betrayed the FBI. He betrayed his country. He betrayed his wife. He betrayed his children. He betrayed his best friend, offering him up to the KGB. He betrayed his God. Most of all, he betrayed himself. Only David Wise could tell the astonishing, full story, and he does so, in masterly style, in Spy.
From the Hardcover edition.
"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." Publishers Weekly
"Wise is no John le Carre....One wishes he had written with more flair and feeling about the troubled culture of the intelligence services, but the mere facts of Hanssen's life make for gripping reading." The New York Times Book Review
"David Wise writes a spy thriller like no other. What makes this book so compelling and frightening is that every word is true." Fort Worth Star-Telegram
"America's premier writer on espionage and the intelligence bureaucracy....As always Wise offers his readers the excitement of spying on the spies." The Washington Post
"The best account of this extraordinary coup....Wise...has been writing about American intelligence for nearly forty years and it appears that he has never forgotten the name or lost the phone number of a source." The New York Review of Books
"Wise...has expertly studied and written about spies for a lifetime....Spy provides substantial evidence of a troubled intelligence community." The Los Angeles Times
"Solidly paced, richly detailed...a first-rate true-crime story that gets inside the shadowy...world of spooks, moles, and ops." Kirkus Reviews
"A fascinating look into the mind of the secret agent and into the strengths and weaknesses of the United States' intelligence community....[Wise] provides a critical analysis of the flaws of the U.S. intelligence community." Rocky Mountain News
Spy tells, for the first time, the full, authoritative story of how FBI agent Robert Hanssen, code name Grayday, spied for Russia for 22 years in what has been called the "worst intelligence disaster in U.S. history" and how he was finally caught in an incredible gambit by U.S. intelligence.
A journalist who specializes in intelligence matters tells the story of FBI agent Robert Hanssen, who for two decades worked as a mole for the Soviet Union. Wise details the methods used by Hanssen to betray his country, the damage done by his leaks, and the quixotic hunt by the intelligence community for the mole they knew had to exist. Wise also explores Hanssen's somewhat kinky private side.
About the Author
David Wise is Americas leading writer on intelligence and espionage. He is coauthor of The Invisible Government
, a number one bestseller about the CIA. A native New Yorker and graduate of Columbia College, he is the former chief of the Washington bureau of the New York Herald Tribune
. He was a commentator on CNN for six years and has contributed articles on government and politics to many national magazines. He is married and lives in Washington, D.C.
From the Hardcover edition.