Betrayal:: The Story of Aldrich Ames, an American Spy

Tim Weiner, Author, David Johnston, Author, David Johnson, With Random House (NY) $25 (308p) ISBN 978-0-679-44050-5
This New York Times reporting team's taut, riveting, remarkably vivid account of former CIA agent Aldrich Ames's treason, arrest and 1994 conviction as a mole for Moscow reads like a spy thriller. The Wisconsin-born son of a history professor-turned-CIA-agent, Ames, depicted here as a slovenly, procrastinating, inept, mediocre, alcoholic bureaucrat, rose to become counterintelligence chief of the CIA's Soviet division. In 1985, he revealed to the KGB the identities of 12 Soviet intelligence officers who were secretly working for the CIA. Despite the ensuing wave of KGB arrests and executions, the CIA would not acknowledge that someone within its ranks was a traitor, and the agency's slapdash mole-hunt made progress only after 1991, when the FBI was called in to crack the case. Through hours of jailhouse interviews with Ames, sentenced to life without parole, the authors establish greed as his overriding motive-he stashed away $2 million in payoffs from Moscow in secret bank accounts. This is an amazing tale of institutional hubris and bungling. Photos. (June)
Reviewed on: 05/29/1995
Release date: 06/01/1995
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 324 pages - 978-1-56895-312-0
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