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Great Spies of the 20th Century (Hardback)

Military WWII > Espionage & the SOE

By Patrick Pesnot
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 204
ISBN: 9781473862197
Published: 4th October 2016



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Heroes to some, traitors to others, spies and intelligence officers continue to fascinate and enthral us with their abilities to operate secretly in the shadows. With these mini-biographies of twenty agents of various nationalities (including members of the DGSE, KGB, CIA, MI6 and Mossad), Patrick Pesnot and \'Mr X\' bring the reader as close as possible into the world of espionage, though a panorama of intelligence history.

Among the best known of these agents, the reader will find Aldrich Ames, an American accused of spying for the KGB; Eli Cohen, the Israeli spy best known for his espionage work in Syria and Klaus Fuchs, the German-born British agent who helped the USSR to manufacture its atomic bomb in 1949.

Wow! This book is CRAZY good! There’s information that was collected to tell “ALL” about doubles lives of spies, the names , the countries that they conspired with. Patrick Pesnot starts off introducing the main spies of the ‘Cambridge Five’, traitors provided prodigious patronage to the Soviets. They betrayed the Queen of England, the Americans, and Germany, just to name a few countries.

Just like the movies they had cool codenames, for instance: codename: ‘Otto’, The ‘Little Father’, the ‘Undertaker’, ‘Hawk’, just to give you a idea of who you will meet inside, but you have to read the book to discover who they are and how close they were aiding the president of the United States. There’s names that you will recognize, Roosevelt, Margaret Thatcher, Nixon, what important role did he have to play? This is a story of espionage, spies turning each other over, and also being disloyal to both sides. You’ll see how the Soviets took care of traitors of espionage, there were spies that crossed over because of their expensive living styles, or also being blackmailed because of their homosexuality. When an agent wanted out, it's not so easy to quit because you know too much, the lifestyle of a double agent of the Soviets. What do you do, you know you have to give something up for your life, it's sad what they gave up.

If you enjoy a book that takes little effort to read, then this isn't the book for you. There are ‘endnotes’, you must pay close attention to the names and places and dates for there might be a small number by it and for the definition you would have to refer to the ‘endnotes’. With what's going on with the world today in the news, is our own government spying on us? How different spying has become since World War ll, read this book and see how they did it then and how long it took them to get caught.

Oh My Bookness

Well organised and beautifully written, an excellent addition to the library of any reader who enjoys the histories of spies and espionage.

The rest of the review and article can be found here

Pursuit Magazine, 19th December 2016

A terrific study of some of the most iconic and famous spies of the twentieth century. Utterly enthralling and fascinating stuff!

Books Monthly, November 2016 – reviewed by Paul Norman

About Patrick Pesnot

Confidant of 'Mr X' and the host of Rendez-vous avec X, Patrick Pesnot is a journalist and novelist. His non-fiction titles include works on Islamic terrorism and Russian spies. He is also the author of an historical novel, The Regent.

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