I Lie for a Living: Greatest Spies of All Time

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Overview

Top Secret is definitely not the right word for the International Spy Museum—its launch in 2002 made news and it has been high-profile ever since, with attendance growing by leaps and bounds. The International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying has already been declassified to the delight of those in the need-to-know. Now, following up on that success, here's an illustrated biographical who's who of spydom from biblical days to recent times. I Lie for a Living is a regular rogue's gallery of history's most ...
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Overview

Top Secret is definitely not the right word for the International Spy Museum—its launch in 2002 made news and it has been high-profile ever since, with attendance growing by leaps and bounds. The International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying has already been declassified to the delight of those in the need-to-know. Now, following up on that success, here's an illustrated biographical who's who of spydom from biblical days to recent times. I Lie for a Living is a regular rogue's gallery of history's most accomplished intriguers and intelligence operatives, famous and infamous alike.

It's amazing how colorful some of these characters are, like 16th century playwright, brawler and secret agent Christopher Marlow or Virginia Hall and Josephine Baker, femmes fatales both. Organized into ten thematic chapters, this light-hearted but clear-eyed look at lone-wolf moles, double agents, and intricate triple-crosses unmasks a wide-ranging roster from covert patriots whose unheralded heroism sometimes cost them their lives to mercenary traitors for sale to the highest bidder, like Benedict Arnold or Aldrich Ames.

It's a for-your-eyes-only kind of book, so beware—if you don't watch your back it's a sure bet someone will be reading it over your shoulder.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Capitalizing on the always-popular subject of espionage, the International Spy Museum of Washington, DC, has teamed with National Geographic to create this follow-up to their Handbook of Practical Spying. This lightweight book offers 62 "spyographies" arranged chronologically within ten themed chapters (e.g., "Spymasters," "Femmes Fatales," "Spycatchers"). The best-known spies from the 16th century (e.g., Christopher Marlowe) to today (e.g., Aldrich Ames) are covered. Some of those included were not really spies but were just part of the espionage game (e.g., George Washington and Alan Turing). The profiles, written by Shugaar (translator of Maurizio Viroli's Niccol 's Smile: A Biography of Machiavelli), are too brief often only a page long to give anything but a few highpoints in the person's life, though each is accompanied by an illustration. The absence of an index or a bibliography, not to mention the book's style (e.g., Oliver North's profile is subtitled "Covert Shredder, Above the Law"), suggests that this work is not meant as an objective reference source. While appropriate for gift shops and bookstores, it is not recommended for libraries, which should do just fine with whatever encyclopedias and dictionaries they already own, such as Harry Thayer Mahoney and Marjorie Locke Mahoney's Biographic Dictionary of Espionage or Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen's The Encyclopedia of Espionage. Daniel K. Blewett, Coll. of DuPage Lib., Glen Ellyn, IL Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792253167
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 5/2/2006
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 1,482,793
  • Product dimensions: 5.01 (w) x 7.07 (h) x 0.59 (d)

Meet the Author

The International Spy Museum in Washington D.C. is the only public museum of its kind in the United States, and the only one in the world to provide a global perspective on this all-but-invisible realm. It features the largest collection of spy-related artifacts and exhibits ever placed on public display.

Peter Earnest, Executive Director of the ISM, spent thirty-six years in the CIA, twenty of those in the Agency's Clandestine Service.

Antony Shugaar is a writer specializing in popular culture and the media. He is the author or coauthor of several books, Memoirs of an Italian Terrorist, Latitude Zero, City that Never Sleeps, City by the Bay, America Discovered, and has written for many publications, including Spy Magazine, The Boston Globe, The Village Voice, The Times of London, New England Monthly, and many more.

Stephen Guarnaccia is the former art director of The New York Times's Op-Ed Page, and his distinctive, quirky style is familiar to millions.

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 7, 2012

    Poor and incomplete writing

    This is written very poorly. There is often little continuity from the beginning to the end of a page (which is very short). I would definitely not recommend it.

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