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The Man with the Poison Gun : A Cold War Spy Story
by Serhii Plokhy


Overview - In the fall of 1961, KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky defected to West Germany. After spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinsky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case of the entire Cold War. The publicity stirred up by the Stashinsky case forced the KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and helped end the career of Aleksandr Shelepin, one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders.  Read more...

 
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More About The Man with the Poison Gun by Serhii Plokhy
 
 
 
Overview
In the fall of 1961, KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky defected to West Germany. After spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinsky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case of the entire Cold War. The publicity stirred up by the Stashinsky case forced the KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and helped end the career of Aleksandr Shelepin, one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders. Stashinsky's testimony, implicating the Kremlin rulers in political assassinations carried out abroad, shook the world of international politics. Stashinsky's story would inspire films, plays, and books-including Ian Fleming's last James Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun.

A thrilling tale of Soviet spy craft, complete with exploding parcels, elaborately staged coverups, double agents, and double crosses, The Man with the Poison Gun offers unparalleled insight into the shadowy world of Cold War espionage.

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780465035908
  • ISBN-10: 0465035906
  • Publisher: Basic Books
  • Publish Date: December 2016
  • Page Count: 384
  • Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.1 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.35 pounds


Related Categories

Books > True Crime > Espionage
Books > History > Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Books > History > Modern - 20th Century

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-10-10
  • Reviewer: Staff

Plokhy (The Gates of Europe), professor of Ukrainian history at Harvard University, details the little-known story of KGB asset Bogdan Stashinsky, who in the late 1950s assassinated two prominent exiled Ukrainian nationalists living in West Germany, using a gun that fired a liquid poison that left no traces. At 19, Stashinsky joined the KGB to escape prosecution for a minor offense and informed on his Ukrainian nationalist family. In 1957, he killed political theorist Lev Rebet, but two years later claimed a more prominent victim: leading Ukrainian nationalist Stepan Bandera. Stashinsky and his East German wife defected to West Germany in 1961, whereupon he was held for interrogation. Plokhy recounts his trial for both murders, which led Soviet leaders to end the policy of assassinating anti-Soviet nationalists, having made martyrs of men like Bandera. Stashinsky received an eight-year sentence, the defense successfully arguing that the real murderers were the Soviet leaders who ordered the killings. After serving six years, he left for South Africa, aiding the countrys government on intelligence that would counter the anti-apartheid movement. Plokhy misses an opportunity to more broadly contextualize the Ukrainian anti-Soviet movement, but his gripping, well-researched account of Stashinskys life illuminates a pivotal juncture of the Cold War. Agent: Jill Kneerim, Kneerim & Williams. (Dec.)

 
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