The Man without a Face: The Autobiography of Communism's Greatest Spymaster

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Overview

In what will surely stand as a classic book on the history and art of espionage, Markus Wolf finally breaks his silence and tells his story. It begins with his childhood in rural Germany and moves to the Soviet Union, where Wolf - whose father was Jewish - fled from the Nazi menace. Coming of age in Moscow during the 1940s, Wolf was picked out by the Party as one of the young cadre of German expatriates whom the Soviets planned to return to Germany after the war. Full of hope and utopian dreams, he returned to a ...
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Overview

In what will surely stand as a classic book on the history and art of espionage, Markus Wolf finally breaks his silence and tells his story. It begins with his childhood in rural Germany and moves to the Soviet Union, where Wolf - whose father was Jewish - fled from the Nazi menace. Coming of age in Moscow during the 1940s, Wolf was picked out by the Party as one of the young cadre of German expatriates whom the Soviets planned to return to Germany after the war. Full of hope and utopian dreams, he returned to a nation in ruins, and was eventually ordered to join East Germany's nascent foreign intelligence service. Wolf's work was so impressive that before he turned thirty he was asked to lead the service. From that point on, East Germany's foreign intelligence operations became the most efficient and effective in the world. Man Without a Face details all of Wolf's major operations, successes, and failures, and illuminates the reality of espionage operations as have few nonfiction works before it. Wolf paints vivid and revealing portraits of Eastern Bloc leaders and captures the frantic rivalry of the Cold War. Wolf tells for the first time the truth about his Romeo agents. He also reveals the real story of Gunter Guillaume, the East German spy who brought down West German chancellor Willy Brandt; East German involvement with terrorist groups; Wolf's adventures in Africa, Latin America, and the United States; and the great defectors. He takes us inside the bowels of Stasi headquarters, with its miles of secret files and Wolf at the center, the one man who knew all the secrets. Man Without a Face reads like a classic spy novel, full not only of moral ambiguity and dark psychology but also of high-speed chases, murdered agents, hidden cameras, phony brothels, secret codes, midnight radio transmissions, false identities, triple agents, and all the other trappings of the most fantastic thrillers - except this time the action is real. Not just a gripping autobiograp

In this fascinating and revealing autobiography, Markus Wolf, East Germany's chief foreign intelligence officer and foremost spymaster of the Eastern Bloc, tells his own dramatic story, a true thriller and a stunning examination of loyalty, betrayal, and the long shadow of history. 16 pp. of photos. 352 pp. Print ads. 50,000 print.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
East Germany had one of the most successful intelligence services of the Communist bloc, headed by the notorious Wolf, rumored to be the model for John le Carr's evil Karla. Wolf (b. 1923) was trained by the Comintern in the 1930s as a Soviet agent after fleeing Hitler, and from 1952 to 1987 he led the foreign intelligence arm of the East German secret police (Stasi). In this memoir, he recounts the sex-for-information spy game, turf battles and bureaucratic inertia, covert warfare, his Western opponents, family problems, his flight to the Soviet Union in 1989 after the collapse of the German Democratic Republic, and his return to Germany in 1991. Wolf is proud of his professional career and still believes in the Socialist ideal but says (rather self-servingly) that the methods were all wrong. While Leslie Colitt's Spymaster (LJ 11/15/95) offers an insightful portrait of Wolf, this insider's look at the East German espionage community (complete with organizational charts of the East German government and Communist Party and the Ministry of State Security) is also recommended for public and academic libraries.Daniel K. Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., Chicago
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780812963946
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 3/5/1997
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 367
  • Product dimensions: 9.56 (w) x 6.39 (h) x 1.26 (d)

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