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Publisher's Summary

An award-winning journalist exposes the troubling truth behind the world's first act of nuclear terrorism. On November 1, 2006, Alexander Litvinenko sipped tea in London's Millennium Hotel. Hours later, the Russian former intelligence officer, who was sharply critical of Russian president Vladimir Putin, fell ill, and within days was rushed to the hospital. Fatally poisoned by a rare radioactive isotope slipped into his drink, Litvinenko issued a dramatic deathbed statement accusing Putin himself of engineering his murder.
Alan S. Cowell, then London Bureau Chief of the New York Times, who covered the story from its inception, has written the definitive story of this assassination and of the profound international implications of this first act of nuclear terrorism.
Who was Alexander Litvinenko? What had happened in Russia since the end of the cold war to make his life there untenable and in severe jeopardy, even in England, the country that had granted him asylum? And how did he really die?
The life of Alexander Litvinenko provides a riveting narrative in its own right, culminating in an event that rang alarm bells among Western governments at the ease with which radioactive materials were deployed in a major Western capital to commit a unique crime.
But it also evokes a wide range of other issues: Russia's lurch to authoritarianism, the return of the KGB to the Kremlin, the perils of a new cold war driven by Russia's oil riches, and Vladimir Putin's thirst for power.
©2008 Alan S. Cowell (P)2008 Books on Tape
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Critic Reviews

"[A] wholly engrossing and thought-provoking story of espionage and homicide." ( Los Angeles Times)
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Customer Reviews

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By Stuart Woodward on 10-23-11

Slow but gets there in the end.

The initial part of the book is detailed and slow going but the story picks up when it gets to the hunt for the Polonium around London and into Europe. While it covers Russian politics and intrigue in great depth we are never really sure, even at the end, who, if anyone, authorized the poisoning but with such a full exposition of the background and facts the listener is well equipped to come to their own conclusion and realize why we may never know the full details of the story.

The chapters regarding Polonium should be required reading for anyone involved in public safety.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

By Jason Buneo on 03-07-17

Polonium 210

I did enjoy the story, but the narrative seemed to all over the place. The instance of Litvinenko's death is foreshadowed more than a dozen times. This made the book seem really repetitive. Also the narrator's instance of calling Polonium 210 "two, one , oh" really got annoying. I have never heard it called that.

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Customer Reviews

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By Alex on 08-29-17

Interesting topic and well researched

I enjoyed the topic but felt it went on a bit too much for me. This is a well researched audiobook/book with lots of detail. If you are looking for a deep and in depth analysis of the topic then look no further. If you have a passing interest then perhaps look elsewhere.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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