Two worlds of a Soviet spy

The great Harvey Klehr is best known as a groundbreaking historian of the Cold War, having authored or co-authored over a dozen books on the subject of American Communism. He was one of the first researchers to get into the Venona Papers after the fall of the Soviet Union. His dive in the archives produced Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America in 1999. (These were the Soviet documents that proved once and for all that Alger Hiss had indeed been a Soviet agent.) Other titles include In Denial: Historians, Communism and Espionage; Early Cold War Spies: The Espionage Trials That Shaped American Politics; and Spies: The Rise and Fall of the KGB in America. His co-author for all four of these books was John Earl Haynes, an equally worthy historian and truth-teller.

Now Professor Klehr reunites with John Haynes and is joined by David Gurvitz to tell a story that takes the reader on an improbable journey into history, politics and popular culture. One of the KGB’s most important American agents fled the country in 1945 and continued his espionage work in Europe. Disillusioned by Stalin’s anti-Semitic campaign, he moved to Israel, abandoned spying, and became a fervent Zionist. In a twist of fate stranger than fiction, in the late 1960s, he worked on the James Bond films, helping craft the popular image of a spy so at odds with the real-life version he had once lived. The bizarre saga of Joseph Katz, who died a millionaire, is told in “The two worlds of a Soviet spy.” You won’t want to miss this one.

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