The Billion Dollar Spy: A True Story of Cold War Espionage and Betrayal

Written by:
David E. Hoffman
Narrated by:
Dan Woren

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
July 2015
11 hours 54 minutes
From the author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning history The Dead Hand comes the riveting story of a spy who cracked open the Soviet military research establishment and a penetrating portrait of the CIA’s Moscow station, an outpost of daring espionage in the last years of the Cold War
   While driving out of the American embassy in Moscow on the evening of February 16, 1978, the chief of the CIA’s Moscow station heard a knock on his car window. A man on the curb handed him an envelope whose contents stunned U.S. intelligence: details of top-secret Soviet research and developments in military technology that were totally unknown to the United States. In the years that followed, the man, Adolf Tolkachev, an engineer in a Soviet military design bureau, used his high-level access to hand over tens of thousands of pages of technical secrets. His revelations allowed America to reshape its weapons systems to defeat Soviet radar on the ground and in the air, giving the United States near total superiority in the skies over Europe.
   One of the most valuable spies to work for the United States in the four decades of global confrontation with the Soviet Union, Tolkachev took enormous personal risks—but so did the Americans. The CIA had long struggled to recruit and run agents in Moscow, and Tolkachev was a singular breakthrough. Using spy cameras and secret codes as well as face-to-face meetings in parks and on street corners, Tolkachev and his handlers succeeded for years in eluding the feared KGB in its own backyard, until the day came when a shocking betrayal put them all at risk. 
   Drawing on previously secret documents obtained from the CIA and on interviews with participants, David Hoffman has created an unprecedented and poignant portrait of Tolkachev, a man motivated by the depredations of the Soviet state to master the craft of spying against his own country. Stirring, unpredictable, and at times unbearably tense, The Billion Dollar Spy is a brilliant feat of reporting that unfolds like an espionage thriller.
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Gayle martyn

A fascinating spy story. Tho not a regular for Me, I found it informative and memorable . The narration kept it alive! Worthwhile Story of a true and brave hero.

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Ken Camper

This is an amazing story that i found totally engrossing and absorbing. The narration is clear and doesn't get in the way. If you are interested in this period of history or in the history of CIA-Russian espionage, I highly recommend it.

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Maureen Anderson

This book is really interesting I am learning so much I didn't know.n It holds you and to have it read is great. The things I am learning are great and it is true, well written, beautifully read and just love it Really enjoy this, sometimes my eyesight is not good, I have Fibro and you have days it is hard to read and even hold.n IPAD. THIS IS WONDERFUL. I can put it in timer at night and get read to, this

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Kenneth D.

There was a lot of repetition of stories and a lot of non-relevant detail to me. I t was an interesting story, one that I and most people I assume, have not heard. I thought the narrator did a very good job reading the story.

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Alex F.

Great book! Very pleasent to listen to

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Robert Clarke

This book was as captivating as "The Spy and the Traitor" but it certainly did not have the "happy" the happy ending I was hoping for. Edward Lee Howard is such a rat and of course Ames played a role in the whole affair. So interesting that Tolkachev was motivated by his utter contempt for the Soviet way of life, and the two slimeballs were motivated by greed and revenge. Would like to know more about Howard and his accidental broken neck!!

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