The Lost Spy is an excellent new book by Andrew Meier, formerly Time magazine’s Russia correspondent. I wrote about the book here. It tells the story of Cy Oggins, an American who attended Columbia, became a Communist and, with his wife Nerma, spied for Josef Stalin.
Oggins’ story reprises much of the history of pre-World War II Europe, as he served Stalin in Weimar Berlin, Paris, Spain and the Far East. Meier does a fine job of re-creating these colorful milieus. In the end, Stalin turned on Oggins. He was arrested, sent to Lubyanka prison, and sentenced to eight years in the Siberian gulag. In 1942, the U.S. government learned of Oggins’ existence and requested his release. But Oggins knew far too much to be allowed to go free. In 1947, his prison term having been served, Stalin ordered him murdered.
The Lost Spy is a well-written, riveting story that until now has been unknown. Meier spent years researching Oggins, with the cooperation of his son, a retired professor. He traveled around the world to uncover clues to Oggins’ activities and his ultimate fate. I recommend the book highly.
Yesterday, I interviewed Andrew Meier on our radio show. You can download or just listen to the interview here. Or you can subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes by going here. It’s a fun interview and an excellent book.
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