The Anatomy of a Spy: A History of Espionage and Betrayal

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Espionage is a messy business, not meant for the faint of heart, or those lacking requisite skills. What motivates the man or woman undertaking missions often at their mortal peril? Anatomy of a Spy pursues the answer to this, with multiple examples of spies and their varied motives. Money, ideology, and ego are among the main reasons, yet many times there is more beneath the surface. The utilization of sex as a lure in gaining valuable information from a spy’s target dates back to the Bible. Sex is also used in recruiting agents, especially in the “Honey Trap.” Intelligence agencies from the CIA to Mossad dabble in employing femme fatales to entrap vulnerable targets. The intelligence world tends to get murky and messy when the trap fails, leading to murders. Profiled spies range from efficient to bumbling, scrupulous to sociopathic, their gains touted, their losses swept under the rug. One intelligence service’s victory is another’s tragic setback. The great game of deception soldiers on.

Anatomy of a Spy captures the gritty and dirty world of spycraft in all phases. Michael Smith seizes the narrative and never lets up, providing assorted snapshots of numerous spies and their reasons for working for or against their countries. The stories are engrossing and fascinating, the only negative being the now erroneous Russia-2016 election narrative. However, this is mostly a footnote in an overall fun read.


Reviewed By:

Author Michael Smith
Star Count 4.5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Arcade
Publish Date 2020-01-21
ISBN 9781950691166
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue May 2020
Category History
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