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Relinquishing his cover, Ronald Seth -- known during wartime service as a British agent by the code name of Blunderhead --reveals not only incidents in his own career but produces an astonishing amount of information by way of other men and women of the sometimes admirable (depending on the loyalties involved) profession of espionage. Since Scipio outwitted the Numidians, spying has been a part of a nation's armory. Elizabeth's Walsingham, George Washington's Tallmadge, Frederick The Great's Stieber established networks with approaches different according to differing national roots, and the variation of spying methods can be traced in such manner. The role of the spy, the organization of networks, the equipment and techniques for cover and communications, the facing of torture, the implication of cultural elements such as religion (State Shintoism brought dedicated Japanese citizens to become instruments of espionage) and sex (Stieber compromised the men he wanted as agents, then poused) all the accoutrements and dangers of a spy's world are probed here through the experience of agents themselves. Seth notes that the Russians have introduced a new type of spy drawn from the native population, and points out the problem of defection in such an instance as Whittaker Chambers; upholds Gary Power's behavior under pressure while he was being III-served at home; looks to the satellite for the next step in espionage. What can be told is -- in terms of a wide spectrum of personalities.

Publisher: Dutton