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Cold War Counterfeit Spies (Hardback)

Tales of Espionage - Genuine or Bogus?

Frontline Books Frontline: General History

By Nigel West
Frontline Books
Pages: 252
Illustrations: 16
ISBN: 9781473879553
Published: 1st August 2016



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The Cold War, with its air of mutual fear and distrust and the shadowy world of spies and secret agents, gave publishers the chance to produce countless stories of espionage, treachery and deception. What Nigel West has discovered is that the most egregious deceptions were in fact the stories themselves. In this remarkable investigation into the claims of many who portrayed themselves as key players in clandestine operations, the author has exposed a catalogue of misrepresentations and falsehoods.

Did Greville Wynne really exfiltrate a GRU defector from Odessa? Was the frogman Buster Crabb abducted during a mission in Portsmouth Harbour? Did the KGB run a close-guarded training facility, as described by J. Bernard Hutton in School for Spies, which was modelled on a typical town in the American mid-west, so agents could be acclimatised to a non-Soviet environment?

With the help of witnesses with first-hand experience, and recently declassified documents, Nigel West answers these and other fascinating questions from a time when secrecy and suspicion allowed the truth to be concealed.

Mr West takes a look at some of the 'revelations' previously written about the Cold War and methodically dissects them in the light of more recent or more reliable information.

I enjoyed this book immensely, even if it did shatter a few firmly held beliefs of mine. I also enjoyed following up on many of the references he provided to back up his research.

Navy Net

As featured in

Gulf News

In Nigel West’s 1998 book, Counterfeit Spies, the author digs into more than twenty books about World War II-era secret agents and judges many of them to be hoaxes and fakes. His new book seems a logical follow-up and provides an intriguing addition to his catalog of over two dozen books on intelligence and espionage issues.

In Cold War Counterfeit Spies, released earlier this year, West takes an in-depth look at spy books covering the Cold War era. Again, he argues that, though many achieved much popularity, these books are less-than-accurate pictures of the clandestine war.

Check out the rest of the review and article here

Pursuit Magazine, 19th Oct 2016

Not just a fascinating read but a very useful contribution to the genre of intelligence and specialist operations.

Robert Bartlett

About Nigel West

NIGEL WEST is an intelligence specialist and critically acclaimed author. Such is his depth of knowledge in these fields that The Sunday Times noted that, ‘His information is often so precise that many people believe he is the unofficial historian of the secret services. His books are peppered with deliberate clues to potential front-page stories.’ In 1989 West was voted ‘The Experts’ Expert’ by the Observer.

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