The Spy and the Traitor by Ben Macintyre

Staff Pick

Ben Macintyre does not disappoint with his newest book, The Spy and the Traitor (Crown, $28). Very much a complement to his 2014 A Spy Among Friends, which tells the story of double agent Kim Philby’s betrayal of MI6, The Spy and the Traitor features KGB-agent-turned-British-spy, Oleg Gordievsky. Ben Macintyre immerses and inspires, allowing readers to understand Gordievsky’s ideological transformation and empathize with a double agent’s inability to share his innermost thoughts with his friends and family. Macintyre also includes the perfect (and infamous) foil to Gordievsky’s ideological turn: the tale of the mercenary CIA turncoat, Aldrich Ames. Even if Ames’s story is familiar to you, Macintyre ties Ames to Gordievsky’s tribulations, shedding new light on the human consequences of Ames’s betrayal. The Spy and the Traitor lends new perspective to infamous Cold War moments and tells an impossible-to-put-down story that will impress, thrill, and terrify its readers.