Monthly Archives: Aug 2020

Curious tale of the sons of spies

Review: Archie Henderson

The Spy and the Traitor, by Ben Macintyre (Penguin)

The names Oleg Gordievsky and Aldrich Ames are well known to aficionados of espionage. Gordievsky is the most famous spy of the Cold War and Ames its most famous American traitor.

They are contrasting characters in other ways too.

Gordievsky, whose father was a senior KGB officer and whose brother was a deep-penetration agent in the West, was a child of communism. But he became repelled by his family’s ideology. It began with the Berlin Wall which, as a young Russian agent posted to East Berlin he saw going up in 1961. Seven years later he was further appalled by the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in the Prague Spring of 1968. When a Czech friend from KGB spy school defected to Canada, Gordievsky decided to throw in his lot with the West. Continue reading