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Torpedoed: An American Businessman's True Story of Secrets, Betrayal, Imprisonment in Russia, and the Battle to
     

Torpedoed: An American Businessman's True Story of Secrets, Betrayal, Imprisonment in Russia, and the Battle to

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by Edmond D. Pope, Tom Shactman
 

He was a man of mystery: Edmond D. Pope — former Naval Intelligence officer, then private businessman, in Russia looking for some answers.

It was a top secret operation: The CIA and the Canadian secret service — out to steal one of Russia's crown jewels: the plans to a submarine torpedo that travels an astonishing 300 miles per hour.

He

Overview

He was a man of mystery: Edmond D. Pope — former Naval Intelligence officer, then private businessman, in Russia looking for some answers.

It was a top secret operation: The CIA and the Canadian secret service — out to steal one of Russia's crown jewels: the plans to a submarine torpedo that travels an astonishing 300 miles per hour.

He was the new man in charge: Vladimir Putin — former head of the KGB, now boss of all Russia and a man who wanted to set an example at almost any cost.

Now, for the first time ever, Ed Pope tells the real story of what led to his becoming the first American since Gary Powers to be convicted of espionage in Russia. Combining a gripping account of his arrest, trial and 253-day imprisonment with a deeply disturbing look at today's Russia, Pope's harrowing story reads like a Le Carre novel come to life. And with a large dollop of espionage-insider information and secret submarine warfare technology, Ed Pope's harrowing memoir will remind readers of the best of Tom Clancy.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
Edward Pope was the first American since Gary Powers to be convicted of espionage by Russia. For the first time ever, the former naval intelligence officer -- and current private businessman -- tells the story of what happened when the plot to steal a top-secret new submarine torpedo led to a showdown with new Russian president Vladimir Putin, former head of the KGB.
Publishers Weekly
Traveling in the former Soviet Union as a private contractor buying declassified technology that made its way from the military into Russia's newly freed consumer markets Pope trips into the nightmarish world of post-Cold War Russia. Written with Tom Shactman (The FBI-KGB War; Absolute Zero and the Conquest of Cold), this volume moves as quickly as its name suggests, at least initially: Pope, a former U.S. naval attach? and intelligence officer, gets thrown in prison within the first few pages. Accused of spying for the United States, he suffers indignities (strip searches, "mind games") and intimidation (he's told he belongs with terrorists and "serious criminals") from the new state security guards. The indictment stems from his interest in the country's "sensitive" Shkval torpedo, but what worries Pope the most once he's officially charged with espionage is his memory of "126 special clearances on matters of high importance to the security of the United States." After all, he writes, the interrogations are intense and "you don't just scrub [what you know] from your memory." Pope's fight for freedom is hampered by the questionable justice of the Russian legal system and a frustrating lack of support from the U.S. Embassy, and the book appropriately though unfortunately begins to drag once his days in jail stretch into months. Readers may find Pope's portraits of the new Russians too tiredly reminiscent of the old guard, and the degrading nicknames he uses to designate his interrogators (Little Feliks, Blubber-Butt, etc.) undermine the seriousness of his situation. But overall, this is a page-turner, a great spy story that nearly encourages nostalgia for Cold War spy politics. (Nov.)Forecast: Pope's refusal to grant any interviews since his December 2000 release will likely create intrigue, and his striking story will probably appeal to conspiracy theorists, Cold War history buffs, and James Bond fans alike. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A former naval intelligence officer turned businessman, Pope spent 253 days in a Moscow prison cell accused of trying to steal secrets from the Russians about their submarine technology. He was released only after being convicted and sentenced to 20 years, whereupon the new Russian president, Vladimir Putin, commuted his sentence and sent him home in December 2000. Here is Pope's detailed account of his months of interrogation and harassment while his health steadily declined. He proclaims his innocence, yet readers may wonder why the State Department was so slow to come to his aid. Only through pressure from his wife and from his local Pennsylvania congressman was the U.S. government inclined to try to save Pope from decades in prison. This is a harrowing tale set within the context of great-power politics at the onset of the new century. Pope is understandably bitter about what happened to him, but one suspects that there is more to his story than he is telling. Nevertheless, this book will send chills down one's spine. Recommended for large public and academic libraries. Ed Goedeken, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A retired American naval intelligence officer chronicles his detention, trial, and conviction for espionage in Russia. Like many businessmen who went prospecting for opportunities in the wilds of post-Communist Russia, Pope was pursuing a wide variety of semi-promising technologies while steering clear of still-classified projects. He succinctly depicts the nature of business in the new Russia: "Honesty, truthfulness, fair dealings . . . to Russians these are unfamiliar and ineffectual business practices." Thus, it was hardly surprising when the FSB (the KGB's still-feared successor) detained Pope for interrogation regarding his interest in the propulsion system of the Shkval torpedo. Although Pope protested that these pursuits were legitimate, the FSB focused on his earlier career with naval intelligence as proof he was a spy in their midst. Worse, the State Department and Pope's employer, Penn State, virtually disowned him following his arrest, which seemingly emboldened his captors. Eventually, due to intense pressure from his devoted wife Cheri and a few stalwart connections in science and the military, a nonbinding House of Representatives resolution censured Russia for the prosecution, and then-President Clinton lobbied on Pope's behalf with incoming Russian Federation President Putin, who insisted that Russia's judicial process must proceed. As his trial slowly continued, Pope deduced that his prosecution was emblematic of a spy mania sweeping the shaky Russian society; many believed it was part of ex-KGB spymaster Putin's campaign to roll back Yeltsin-era civil liberties. Putin ultimately pardoned Pope, who had spent 253 days in jail. He exhibits empathy for his cellmates(including some likely FSB plants), for others ensnared in the Russian criminal justice system, and for ordinary Russians. But he is not optimistic about the nation's prospects, noting in conclusion that "Putin and his minions are combining the worst aspects of Communism with the worst aspects of Fascism." An unsettling narrative of "business as usual" gone awry, and a timely warning for post-Cold War optimists.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316348737
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
11/01/2001
Edition description:
1 ED
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.75(d)
Age Range:
13 Years

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Torpedoed: An American Businessman's True Story of Secrets, Betrayal, Imprisonment in Russia, and the Battle to 1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The book has very limited interest.It should have more facts and information.