From the dark days of World War II through the Cold War, Sergey A. Kondrashev was a major player in Russia’s notorious KGB espionage apparatus. Rising through its ranks through hard work and keen understanding of how the spy and political games are played, he “handled” American and British defectors, recruited Western operatives as double agents, served as a ranking officer at the East Berlin and Vienna KGB bureaus, and tackled special assignments from the Kremlin.
During a 1994 television program about former spymasters, Kondrashev met and began a close friendship with a former foe, ex–CIA officer Tennent H. “Pete” Bagley, whom the Russian asked to help write his memoirs.
Because Bagley knew so about much of Kondrashev’s career (they had been on opposite sides in several operations), his penetrating questions and insights reveal slices of never-revealed espionage history that rival anything found in the pages of Ian Fleming, Len Deighton, or John le Carr. This includes chilling tales of surviving Stalin’s purges while superiors and colleagues did not, of plotting to reveal the Berlin Tunnel, of quelling the Hungarian Revolution and “Prague Spring” independence movements, and of assisting in arranging the final disposition of the corpses of Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun. Kondrashev also details equally fascinating KGB propaganda and disinformation efforts that shaped Western attitudes throughout the Cold War.
Because publication of these memoirs was banned by Putin’s regime, Bagley promised Kondrashev to have them published in the West. They are now available to all who are fascinated by vivid tales of international intrigue.
Spymaster is no ordinary account of Cold War espionage - banned by Putin, it offers an insider look at agent Sergey A. Kondrashev's involvement with the KGB. Kondrashev entrusted his close personal friend, ex-CIA officer Tennent H. Bagley, to publish these memoirs for a Western audience, and the stories of purges, revolutions, and defections are truly startling. Listeners will be surprised to discover that the deep, serious, and evocative vocal performance is from none other than Bronson Pinchot, better known as "Balki" from television's Perfect Strangers. Here, he proves his sincerity and versatility as a vocal actor, to great effect.
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An brilliant personal Cold War perspective
The true story of a former Russian spy
The idea of the memoirs of an ex-KGB officer.
One part made me laugh, the story involving the paintings of Politburo members and a switchboard in the Soviet embassy in Britain.