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Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames.pdf | Language: ENGLISH
    Pete Earley(Author)

    Book details


Based on exclusive interviews with Aldrich Ames, the author of the best-seller, Family of Spies, recounts the double agent's career and capture, and the ineptitude of the CIA that allowed him to elude detection. Reprint.

Ames was a top CIA officer with a great deal of knowledge about U.S. spies in the Soviet Union when he was arrested for espionage in 1994. Because of his treachery, a number of spies for the agency were arrested and several killed. Earley (Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring, LJ 11/15/88) spent 50 hours interviewing Ames and talked with his KGB handlers and the CIA mole hunters who tracked him down. The result is a thoroughly researched, detailed account of Ames's secret activities and the U.S. counterintelligence team's frustrating but ultimately successful investigative efforts. The narrative is interspersed with quotations from people involved in the case or lengthy statements by Ames, some of which are very self-serving. Why did Ames do it? Greed and personal insecurity seem to be good answers. This is interesting and fast reading, but it needs an index. Recommended.?Daniel Blewett, Loyola Univ. Lib., ChicagoCopyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. Pete Earley, a former reporter for The Washington Post, is the author of seven works of nonfiction, including the bestsellers The Hot House and Family of Spies, and the multi-award-winning Circumstantial Evidence. According to the Washingtonian magazine, he is one of ten journalist/authors in America "who have the power to introduce new ideas and give them currency." Earley is also the author of two novels.

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Book details

  • PDF | 368 pages
  • Pete Earley(Author)
  • Berkley Trade (December 1, 1998)
  • English
  • 2
  • Biographies & Memoirs

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Review Text

  • By Bill Emblom on January 23, 2011

    Apparently this book by Pete Earley is the best of those written on Aldrich Ames because he had access to Ames while in prison, spoke to Ames' handlers, and the family members of the Russians who were executed due to Ames exposing their working for the United States. Greed is always there to raise its ugly head as Ames admits he betrayed America for the money. Ten Russian individuals were recalled to Russia and executed with a bullet to the back of the head due to their exposure by Aldrich Ames. After divorcing his first wife Ames married a materialistic foreigner from Colombia named Rosario who indulged herself in clothing, expensive dining, and an otherwise extravagant lifestyle. To me Ames' wife Rosario paints herself as a victim while previously enjoying the high-living lifestyle her husband's treachery made possible.Throughout the book author Earley provides the verbatim words of Ames regarding his treachery along with the views of former colleagues, high school students, and friends of Ames. Ames, himself, counters with the logic by asking how the Russians spying for the United States were any different than him spying for Russia.After spying for Russia for a period of nine years Ames had to realize his deception couldn't go on much longer. He began to entertain thoughts as to how he could terminate his relationship with the Russians and still maintain the monetary promises previously made to him without upsetting the Russians.Laxity in security makes it possible for men like Aldrich Ames, Jonathan Pollard, John Walker, and Robert Hanssen to get away with their illicit activities over long periods of time. Hopefully the lessons learned from these individuals can lead to a reduction in spying against the United States.

  • By Don on June 28, 2015

    WOW. Input from the Author, and the Subject. The details are fascinating. I know that it has been 20 years since Ames had been arrested. The book is DEFININATELY A MORE THAN GOOD READ.Ames may have been truthful in his statements, which made this book so interesting, yet maybe not. Who can tell. I was not there to personally witness his actions. The team that actually CAUGHT him in the act are the ones who reveal the true nature and work of the clandestine services that protect ALL of us.I find Ames an arrogant, ignorant individual who sold out his own country...for money, FROM THE ENEMY.Smart, NO. If he were smart, he never would have been caught, just like Robert Hanssen.There are STILL individuals like them. Perhaps WORSE out there working against our Country.A DEFINATE PAGE TURNER.READ THE BOOK. YOU WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.

  • By rspivey on July 23, 2012

    This is the second "spy" story I've read. The other was a book about FBI agent turned spy, Robert Hanssen, called "Spy" by David Wise. Individually, (well-written by both authors)there are interesting things going on with these characters. For example, their methods of avoiding detection, of stealing material, of communicating with their "handlers", etc. And the way Pete Earley gained access to Ames for his interviews is just astounding. The small stories within the larger tale are fascinating. But it's the larger issue that's hard to understand. I wish I knew the word to describe how utterly ridiculous it seems that we, as a country, invest millions of dollars and people's lives spying on "them" while they spy on "us" and in the final analysis it all seems just so pointless. What is gained? There are individual acts of valor & courage, sacrifice & heroism -- but all that heartache seems to be in furtherance of ... what I wonder? Are these agencies really protecting our Constitution from enemies, "foreign & domestic." In whose opinion are they enemies? Who decides who is an enemy? What defines "enemy"? As time marches on, it seems like the enemies today are not the enemies of tomorrow. Meanwhile, agents of the FBI, CIA, KGB, GRU, etc etc... are literally dying for an ideal that is so elusive. An ideal that may be only be related to the political aspirations of the powers that be! But anyway, a good book makes one think about these questions & this certainly was a good book.

  • By Tom Young on September 5, 2015

    Author Pete Earley managed to conduct about 50 hours of frank, unsupervised, and uncensored interviews with Aldrich Ames after his arrest and before authorities caught on and curtailed his access to the spy. The information and impressions gleaned from those interviews provide insights that help to round out the story of Ames' perfidy. Ames appears not to have been motivated by political idealism or any particular disaffection for capitalism. Rather, he claims to have betrayed his country voluntarily and for the basest of reasons; money. Ames is not, to be sure, a sympathetic character but the story of his treasonous activities and the life-and-death consequences of his treachery makes for compelling reading, in spite of the book's somewhat slow pace. Anyone intrigued by the superpowers' cloak-and-dagger machinations during the Cold War era, may wish to consider including Earley's book in their reading list.

  • By Bookaholic on January 31, 2014

    I ordered this after the tv show "The Assets" started. I wanted more background to enjoy it. This book didn't get great rating from many but was priced well for me.I found it an easy read, I had to skim over some of Ames' ramblings. Too nauseating! I was very interested about the remarks made by friends and family. His childhood friend seems to have completely forgiven him for his betrayal and thinks the country doesn't 'understand' Ames.The 4 star rating is because it did drag in places and the ramblings of Ames were given too much space. I understand the author wanted to have Ames' perspective, etc. But Earley felt his book would be read after other books on the subject and seemed to want to 'fill in' existing knowledge. This wasn't my case and was my first venture into the literature surrounding the case.Why don't we execute traitors anymore?


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