Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War by Eva Dillon

Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War

A riveting true-life thriller and revealing memoir from the daughter of an American intelligence officer—the astonishing true story of two spies and their families on opposite sides of the Cold War.In the summer of 1975, seventeen-year-old Eva Dillon was living in New Delhi with her family when her father was exposed as a CIA spy. Eva had long believed that her father was...

Title:Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War
Author:
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Edition Language:English
Number of Pages:336 pages

Spies in the Family: An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War Reviews

  • Nancy

    Wow! Could there be a more appropriate time, aside from the Cold War itself, to read this? Russian spies, American handlers, American spies, whistleblowers... I enjoyed this book, not only for the well-researched espionage aspect, but also the stories of the author's family and the Polyakov family. The inclusion of the Polyakovs' story from interviews with General Polyakov's family brought a depth to the book that would have been otherwise missed. Fast-paced and very readable nonfiction for spy

    Wow! Could there be a more appropriate time, aside from the Cold War itself, to read this? Russian spies, American handlers, American spies, whistleblowers... I enjoyed this book, not only for the well-researched espionage aspect, but also the stories of the author's family and the Polyakov family. The inclusion of the Polyakovs' story from interviews with General Polyakov's family brought a depth to the book that would have been otherwise missed. Fast-paced and very readable nonfiction for spy enthusiasts and anyone who enjoys secrets and intrigue. I will be purchasing a copy of Spies in the Family for my dad for Father's Day. Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the ARC in exchange for this review.

  • Mary

    An intriguing book; a quick read and one that I highly recommend. Books set in the Cold War era always yield plenty of secrets and betrayal and this one is no exception. I have a couple of friends in foreign service and I wonder.... You never know!

  • Dave Post

    A fantastic real life story of espionage intersecting with the family life of a "state department" employee. Fits in nicely with some of Ben McIntyre's books, and if you are a fan of John LeCarre, this should be right up your alley.

  • Gwen - Chew & Digest Books -

    The perspective of this, coming from the daughter of a CIA agent rather than the retired agent or journalist feverishly trying to uncover all the goods, was refreshing. Besides the amazing historical value of what her father and others did, I was also struck, once again, by the realities of how we never really know our parents, to us they are just mom and dad. It's the acceptable selfishness of being a kid; our parents are really just our parents, they aren't individuals until later in our lives

    The perspective of this, coming from the daughter of a CIA agent rather than the retired agent or journalist feverishly trying to uncover all the goods, was refreshing. Besides the amazing historical value of what her father and others did, I was also struck, once again, by the realities of how we never really know our parents, to us they are just mom and dad. It's the acceptable selfishness of being a kid; our parents are really just our parents, they aren't individuals until later in our lives. Yet, her going back and filling out the real pictures of her dad and mom and that what they did that had such a huge affect on all of us was a journey that I admire her for doing and taking us along.

  • Jenny Ryan Bowman

    This reads like fiction in the best way because the characters are so great. Sandy Grimes--feminist icon. Polyakov and his granddaughter: heartbreaking. A timely and smart read that covers a fascinating time.

  • Jiny S

    Wow, just WOW!

    Spy and cold war stories are usually not my cup of tea, but this book is a barrage of action from start to finish. Fast-paced and entertaining, you will be absorbed by the electrifying stories of two prominent spies from opposite sides of the cold war.

  • Lauren

    is a riveting family memoir. After the death of both parents, Eva Dillon and her siblings uncover a box of documents in the home attic. They knew their father had worked for the CIA, under the guise of State Department employee, but it wasn't until this discovery that she learned the full extent of her father's work as a spy. With these documents, she pieced together years of history, and reconnected with a network of contacts to write this book.

    Her father, Paul Dillon, speci

    is a riveting family memoir. After the death of both parents, Eva Dillon and her siblings uncover a box of documents in the home attic. They knew their father had worked for the CIA, under the guise of State Department employee, but it wasn't until this discovery that she learned the full extent of her father's work as a spy. With these documents, she pieced together years of history, and reconnected with a network of contacts to write this book.

    Her father, Paul Dillon, specialized in recruiting and handling Russian defectors, among them the "crown jewel", a high-ranking military intelligence officer, Dmitri Polyakov. [

    ]. Eva Dillon tracks down Dmitri's son, Alexander, and tells a two-part tale of these men, agents for their respective countries, and the invaluable information that Polyakov shared with Dillon the CIA that "changed the tide" of the Cold War.

    A great tale of family and international secrets - 4/5

  • Louise

    This book is a salute to Dmitry Polyakov, a Russian general who spied for the US for over 20 years. He never took any cash or other benefit. He was a true patriot: he did it for Russia and the Russian people whom he felt were badly treated by their government. He could have been kept safe in the US for the asking, but chose to live in Russia despite the risk.

    Author Eva Dillon gives an inside look at the CIA during the Cold War. Her father was a CIA handler for General Polyakov. The family pers

    This book is a salute to Dmitry Polyakov, a Russian general who spied for the US for over 20 years. He never took any cash or other benefit. He was a true patriot: he did it for Russia and the Russian people whom he felt were badly treated by their government. He could have been kept safe in the US for the asking, but chose to live in Russia despite the risk.

    Author Eva Dillon gives an inside look at the CIA during the Cold War. Her father was a CIA handler for General Polyakov. The family perspective (always moving, surprise dad spoke Russian, learning dad’s work, life at Camp Peary) is balanced by her research and reporting on the CIA in the Cold War era.

    There are descriptions of Mexico City as a hub for international spying. You learn more about the technology of Cold War tradecraft (cipher tables, listening gear, disappearing ink, classified ads, cameras, the ultra-modern UNIQUE transmitter/receiver) and the means by which both sides recruited and tailed targets. You see how the organizational dynamic spawned by the paranoia of James Angleton led to dysfunction and missed opportunities. From the facts, it is hard to see how the mole Aldrich Ames, whose need for money eventually exposed General, went undetected for so long.

    There are portraits of individual defectors (i.e. Kaarlo Toumi, Viktor Belenko) and the chill in both Russia and the US that resulted from unmaskings. There is something on the rivalry of the KGB and the GRU. You see the lives of Polyakov’s children and how they were tied to the success and the vilification of their father. The b & w photos of the Polyakov family in Russia enhance the text.

    This is a very meaty book. While short, the author covers a lot of ground.

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