Spy Wars
Chosen by William Safire in the New York Times to be the publishing sleeper-seller of the year for 2007.

In this rapid-paced book, a former CIA chief of Soviet bloc counterintelligence breaks open the mysterious case of KGB officer Yuri Nosenko’s 1964 defection to the United States. Still a highly controversial chapter in the history of Cold War espionage, the Nosenko affair has inspired debate for more than forty years: was Nosenko a bona fide defector with the real information about Lee Harvey Oswald’s stay in Soviet Russia, or was he a KGB loyalist, engaged in a complex game of deception?

As supervisor of CIA operations against the KGB at the time, Tennent H. Bagley directly handled Nosenko’s case. This insider knowledge, combined with information gleaned from dozens of interviews with former KGB adversaries, places Bagley in a uniquely authoritative position. He guides the reader step by step through the complicated operations surrounding the Nosenko affair and shatters the comfortable version of events the CIA has presented to the public. Bagley unveils not only the KGB’s history of merciless and bloody betrayals but also the existence of undiscovered traitors in the American camp. Shining new light on the CIA-KGB spy wars, he invites deeper thinking about the history of espionage and its implications for the intelligence community today.

Spy Wars Details

Book TitleSpy Wars
Book Author
by 199 users

Spy Wars Reviews

  • Sue
    Mar 2, 2016


    Fascinating behind-the-scenes look at spying during the cold war from someone intimately involved in the practice. This would have received five stars had the chronology been a bit more consistent. Otherwise, well written with information previously classified. It almost read as a spy ...

  • Shawn
    Nov 5, 2015


    It is interesting to hear the stories of what both sides were doing to gather intelligence. ...

  • Vincent Paul
    Jul 22, 2015

    Vincent Paul

    The books every spy wannabe needs to read. The delusions that they could be a spy satisfies their quest. ...

  • Desirae
    Feb 27, 2015


    Starts really strong but falls apart in the end. ...

  • Alistair Rae
    Oct 31, 2013

    Alistair Rae

    what was pitched as a review of Cold War human intelligence and counter intelligence turned into a polemic on a single, albeit contentious, case.Bagley seeks to clear his name and puts together a detailed case for his interpretation. in doing so he undermines his position by developing...

  • Ryan Harvey
    Sep 16, 2013

    Ryan Harvey

    Interesting story but too technical for the lay reader to follow. If you work for the CIA you will probably really enjoy this book. ...

  • Baco
    Aug 31, 2013


    A little dry and repetitive, and I wish it covered more than just the Nosenko affair, but there's some really interesting detail here about defections and deceptions, and some stunning detective work. ...

  • sage
    May 20, 2013


    GLBT interest tag - the villain Soviet agent claimed a history of using himself as a honey trap, seducing and then blackmailing American men into spying for the USSR. Which would have made for a far sexier book. ...

  • Rebecka
    Feb 18, 2013


    Would have appreciated even more insight into how we can ensure that our government does not make mistakes like this again. ...

  • Karen Rafferty
    Jan 13, 2013

    Karen Rafferty

    The book is not well written; there is a lot of repetition of information. The. inside peak of the CIA with its infighting and the history of Cold War intelligence was fascinating. ...