Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames

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Overview

When Aldrich Ames was arrested in February 1994, he had been feeding the KGB information for nine years; he had been paid more than two and a half million dollars, with the promise of two million more; and he had been personally responsible for the betrayal that led to the execution of most of the United States' top assets in the Soviet Union. Never before had one man done so much damage to American security. Pete Earley is the only writer to conduct fifty hours of one-on-one interviews with Ames, without a ...
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Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames

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Overview

When Aldrich Ames was arrested in February 1994, he had been feeding the KGB information for nine years; he had been paid more than two and a half million dollars, with the promise of two million more; and he had been personally responsible for the betrayal that led to the execution of most of the United States' top assets in the Soviet Union. Never before had one man done so much damage to American security. Pete Earley is the only writer to conduct fifty hours of one-on-one interviews with Ames, without a government censor present. He is the only writer to have traveled to Moscow to speak to Ames's KGB handlers and with the families of the spies he betrayed. He is the only writer to have had access to the remarkable CIA mole-hunting team that tracked down Ames through its own detective work. The result is a portrait of a much more complex and diabolical man than has previously been depicted; an account of damage far worse than has ever been chronicled, including startling revelations of unreported double agents and scandal in high Washington circles; and a story of three women - a gray-haired lady in tennis shoes, a knockout blonde, and a shy, gum-chewing secretary - who bucked every obstacle the CIA male establishment could throw at them, to expose perhaps the most devastating spy in modern U.S. history.

Pete Earley, the only author to conduct 50 hours of one-on-one interviews with Ames--without a censor present--presents the first and only complete story of the "spy of the century, " revealing a man much more complex and diabolical than previously depicted--and damage far worse than has ever been chronicled about the case. 8 pp. of photos. 384 pp. Media publicity.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Bradley's evocation of the South acquires new depth and charm in his fourth novel, after Love & Obits . Here, childhood friends rediscover the magic of their small-town roots. In the late '80s, aspiring young author Pace Burnette, the sale of his first novel under his belt, returns from up north to his home to the bayou town of Smoke, La., with the vague hope of putting Smoke's ailing economy back on its feet while he collects accolades and churns out bestsellers. Pace's rebellious best friend, Jay Carnihan, heir to the town's ailing general store and lunch counter, has found a scapegoat for Smoke's business woes in Winston Rayford Holly, a charismatic Arkansas billionaire who has opened one of his nationwide Monster Marts on the outskirts of town. Holly's high-volume stores symbolize for Jay the destruction of small-town America. When Jay gets the chance to confront Holly and to enact his fantasies of retribution, he and Pace undergo an adventure that changes them forever. Bradley fills narrator Burnette's eponymous town with colorful, likable characters--his rendering of the crusty Holly is the novel's triumph. Occasional cliches and moments of treacle do not spoil this otherwise delightful homespun narrative. (Apr.)
Library Journal
Award-winning author Earley (Prophet of Death) takes the listener on a long voyage of discovery into the crucible of the Cold War. The spotlight is on Aldrich Ames, the villain who betrays America's most valuable assets: our top spies in the Soviet Union from 1985 to 1994. The CIA's attempts to detect the source of betrayal also comes under close scrutiny; its tolerance for heavy drinking, old boy networks, inept investigations, and lie detector tests would make this work a high comedy if the subject were not national security. The author's impeccable research includes uncensored interviews with Ames and his KGB handlers in Moscow as well as the victims' families. This definitive work is also a crucial guide to our government's approach to security. Superbly dramatized by narrator Edward Holland, it will have broad appeal; highly recommended.--James Dudley, Westhampton Beach, NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Ames was a top CIA officer with a great deal of knowledge about U.S. spies in the Soviet Union when he was arrested for espionage in 1994. Because of his treachery, a number of spies for the agency were arrested and several killed. Earley (Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring, LJ 11/15/88) spent 50 hours interviewing Ames and talked with his KGB handlers and the CIA mole hunters who tracked him down. The result is a thoroughly researched, detailed account of Ames's secret activities and the U.S. counterintelligence team's frustrating but ultimately successful investigative efforts. The narrative is interspersed with quotations from people involved in the case or lengthy statements by Ames, some of which are very self-serving. Why did Ames do it? Greed and personal insecurity seem to be good answers. This is interesting and fast reading, but it needs an index. Recommended.Daniel Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
Joe Collins
Bradley's quirky tale of small-town life would probably have been better if he had taken the basic plot and melted it down into a short story, maybe 5,000 words that would fit nicely in "Esquire". Instead, we get a long, repetitious, but occasionally amusing story of a fourth-generation small-town general-store proprietor named Carnihan and his novelist buddy, who conspire to kidnap the billionaire owner of a chain of Wal-Mart-like superstores, ostensibly to get him to apologize for destroying Main Street, U.S.A., by driving all the other local merchants out of business. In Bradley's very nice world, people are polite to one another, Carnihan and the billionaire (patterned after the late Sam Walton) become friends, and the local whores are all angelic. It's actually pleasant for a change to read something where no one is a jerk, but naturally this grows old rather quickly, especially because Bradley can't resist big gooey dollops of sentimentality.
Daniel Blewett
Pete Earley spent 50 hours interviewing Ames and talked with his KGB handlers and the CIA mole hunters who tracked him down. The result is a thoroughly researched, detailed account of Ames's secret activities and the U.S. counterintelligence team's frustrating but ultimately successful investigative efforts ... Why did Ames do it? Greed and personal insecurity seem to be good answers.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786162222
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/28/2008
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Pages: 12
  • Product dimensions: 6.78 (w) x 6.19 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Pete Earley is a storyteller who has penned 13 books including the New York Times bestseller The Hot House and the 2007 Pulitzer Prize finalist Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness.

After a 14-year career in journalism, including six years at The Washington Post, Pete became a full-time author with a commitment to expose the stories that entertain and surprise.

His honest reporting and compelling writing helped him garner success as one of few authors with "the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency," according to Washingtonian magazine.

When Pete's life was turned upside down by the events recounted in his book Crazy, he joined the National Alliance of Mental Illness to advocate for strong mental health reform on the public stage.

This new advocacy has taken him to 46 different states and multiple countries around the globe where he delivers speeches to rally against the troubled mental health systems and for the mentally ill.

As an author, Pete has been on the receiving end of many accolades, including:

- 2007 Pulitzer Prize Finalist for General Nonfiction
- New York Times Bestseller for The Hot House
- Robert F. Kennedy Award for Social Justice
- Edgar Award Winner for Best Fact Crime Book
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2001

    Excellent Book

    Mr. Earley is a very accomplished writer and it is evident in this book. I believe that this book is the most that we will ever know about: Aldrich 'Rick' Ames, the CIA and the KGB. Mr. Earley gives you all the sides of the story not just his. I would highly recommend his book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 7, 2013

    Ok

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted July 28, 2012

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    Posted January 27, 2014

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