Among other things, this year has been marked by the passing of notable personalities associated with real and imagined worlds of espionage – such as Sean Connery, famous for his onscreen role as the fictional spy hero James Bond; former British secret service agent and author John Le Carré, known for his gritty spy novels, and George Blake, one of the Cold War’s most infamous double agents who spied for the Soviet Union.

With the cloak-and-dagger world of espionage making the headlines lately, we recommend the following books featured in Military History magazine for readers interested in learning more about the history of “the Great Game.” MH

1. “Agent Sonya: Moscow’s Most Daring Wartime Spy” by Ben Macintyre

Her powers as an undercover agent knew no bounds. But was she a good mother?

2. “Betrayal in Berlin: The True Story of the Cold War’s Most Audacious Espionage Operation” by Steve Vogel

The story of the CIA’s 1950s-era plan to construct a clandestine tunnel into East Berlin. Hint: the recently departed KGB mole George Blake played a key role in this true story.

3. “Master of Deception: The Wartime Adventures of Peter Fleming” by Alan Ogden

Did author Ian Fleming draw inspiration from his older brother’s adventures?

4. “A Covert Action” by Seth G. Jones

Code-named QRHELPFUL, this 1981 CIA program helped Polish dissidents wage an info war

5. “Double Crossed: The Missionaries Who Spied for the United States During the Second World War” by Matthew Avery Sutton

These men of the cloth were apparently undercover. Missionaries, priests, and rabbis carried out secret operations, including bombings and assassinations, during World War II


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