Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century (2011) Sergei Kostin

Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century
This is the hardly known till now non-fiction tale of a late Cold War counter-espionage source named “FareWell.” Farewell was a KGB officer who made his way into the French spy agency DST and in turn to the CIA to act as a high placed mole for western intelligence. He was caught, imprisoned, and executed in 1985 but not publicly for treason but for a murder that it seems he did commit. A significant dossier of KGB documents has come into possession of the first author Sergei Kostin who wrote the book in Russian. Fouling up the specifications and inventory reports and other counter intelligence related to technology transfers and trades between USSR and the west was the moles main play. Here is the thing: this stuff is much better handled, for the reader anyway, in the tradition of the master spy novelists.. LeCarre of course chief among them. There is just far too much that is unknown between the known details (drifting here to Rumsfeldian speak).. imaginative leaps of knowledgeable novelist in this space- beyond LeCarre even to Mailer (Harlot’s Ghost) Delillo’s big three (Mao II, Libra, Underworld) leave the reader much more curious, provoked, to pay attention to ‘unknown unknowns’ thanks again Rumsfeld! The Farewell material does seem to be very important and should remind us that the cold war end has not even come close to being understood. Who thought the French, remember the place of Mitterand on the stage of Thatcher and Reagan and Pope John Paul and Lech Walesa and Gorbachev — had this role. More to come from episodes like this as archives are opened.

 

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