The Washington Post
The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Serviceby Andrew Meier
Filled with dramatic revelations, The Lost Spy may be the most important American spy story to come along in a generation.For half a century, the case of Isaiah Oggins, a 1920s New York intellectual brutally murdered in 1947 on Stalin's orders, remained hidden in the secret files of the KGB and the FBI—a footnote buried in the rubble of the Cold/p>/em>… See more details below
Filled with dramatic revelations, The Lost Spy may be the most important American spy story to come along in a generation.For half a century, the case of Isaiah Oggins, a 1920s New York intellectual brutally murdered in 1947 on Stalin's orders, remained hidden in the secret files of the KGB and the FBI—a footnote buried in the rubble of the Cold War. Then, in 1992, it surfaced briefly, when Boris Yeltsin handed over a deeply censored dossier to the White House. The Lost Spy at last reveals the truth: Oggins was one of the first Americans to spy for the Soviets.Based on six years of international sleuthing, The Lost Spy traces Oggins's rise in beguiling detail—a brilliant Columbia University graduate sent to run a safe house in Berlin and spy on the Romanovs in Paris and the Japanese in Manchuria—and his fall: death by poisoning in a KGB laboratory. As harrowing as Darkness at Noon and as tragic as Dr. Zhivago, The Lost Spy is one of the great nonfiction detective stories of our time.
The Washington Post
Former TimeMoscow correspondent Meier (Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall) tells a remarkable story about Cy Oggins, a Columbia University undergraduate who joined the fledgling Communist Party in 1920. Recruited by Soviet intelligence in 1926, he went to Europe in the guise of an academic; his residences acted as centers for Soviet espionage. After 1930 he sailed to China and Manchuria for various undercover schemes, then traveled to Moscow in 1939 during Stalin's purges. Despite long, loyal service, he was arrested and sent to an Arctic gulag and despite frantic pleas for Oggins's release from his wife, and more modest U.S. government efforts, the Soviets murdered Oggins in 1947 to keep his story from getting out. In Soviet archives, Meier saw a heavily censored fraction of Oggins's 162-page file, supplemented by the FBI's massive records, compiled thanks to J. Edgar Hoover's lifelong fixation on Communists. These files plus the author's extensive research have produced a rich account of American communism's early years as well as the bizarre, tragic odyssey of an American who devoted his life to serving the U.S.S.R. 16 pages of illus. (Aug. 11)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Journalist/historian Meier (Black Earth) draws a well-written, comprehensive portrait of the life of American-born Soviet operative Isaiah "Cy" Oggins. He uses interviews with Oggins's American son, U.S. diplomatic and intelligence files, and an abridged copy of Oggins's KGB/Soviet archive file to inform his study while proposing intelligent scenarios for the story's undocumented and shadowy periods. Actor/narrator David Chandler (Copper River) gives a clear and articulate reading, especially when the narrative's complexity and shifting time lines require heightened listener concentration. A great addition to nonfiction collections. [With tracks every three minutes for bookmarking; the Norton hc was "highly recommended," LJ4/1/08.-Ed.]
Kristen L. Smith
- Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
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Meet the Author
Andrew Meier, the author of Black Earth: A Journey Through Russia After the Fall, is a recent Fellow at the New York Public Library’s Cullman Center for Scholars&Writers and currently a writer-in-residence at the New School University. He lives in New York City.
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