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Agent Sniper

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Agent Sniper by Tim Tate
1st off, I think this is an excellent book to add to one’s library if you are interested in non-fiction espionage. The complete story of Michal Goleniewski aka Agent Sniper. Goleniewski was a Polish intelligence officer wwhose primary job was as a double agent to spy on the Polish Intelligence Agency for the KGB. Married to a Russian woman with three children, he would seem to be a stable character and not likely to cause trouble. However, what came first I am not sure, (1) matrimonial problems or (2) philosophical issues with the communist system. Mr. Tate does not answer this issue. But Goleniewski ends up with an East German woman, transferring documents to the US which he thinks is the FBI but instead is the CIA as well as transferring funds from the Polish Agency to support his mistress in East Berlin. 
 Eventually the Soviets or the Polish Intelligence Agency become aware and he is able to escape with his mistress through the US Embassy in Berlin. This happens about 8 months before the Berlin Wall is built. 
Now in the US he is able to detail the number of Western Intelligence people who are in fact working for the Soviets. Perhaps the most significant person he reveals is George Blake. There are many others as well and Mr. Tate does a very good job of describing many of these cases which will be familiar to one who is interested in this field. If there was one case, I wish he would have given more information on was Col. Stig Wennerstrom a quadruple spy!
Trouble finally occurs when James Angleton head of the Counter Intelligence Dept within the CIA begins to question everything about the intelligence provided by Sniper. This results in the CIA reneging on their contract with Sniper essentially giving him no way to earn a living in the US while the Polish and Soviet Intelligence Agencies are trying to track him down to kill him. 
Goleniewski mentally breaks and believes he is the lost son of the last Czar of Russia! It is all downhill from there and for me this part was less interesting but also frustrating that the US did this to him.
If there was one area, I wish Mr. Tate could have provided more explanation it would have been the reasoning into Sniper choosing to spy on the Soviets and the Poles. And why the Russians and Poles did not see the breakdown in his home life and mistress and embezzling money. I know this is hard to impossible to do but it would have made this book a must won and read. As it is, this is a great addition to anyone who enjoys non-fiction espionage.
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An intensively researched book on Michael Goleniewski, aka Agent Sniper, a Polish intelligence agent who defected to the US. The book’s early chapters discusses how the intelligence provided by Goleniewski helped identify Soviet spies working in a variety of countries, such as Sweden, the UK, the US, and Israel. The middle part of the book talks about the CIA, the agency that exfiltrated Goleniewski, got cold feet because of a second defector, Antoliy Golitsyn, who worked under the CIA counter-intelligence head James Angleton. The last part of the book describes the downward spiral of Goleniewski’s life through mental illness brought about by his paranoia and being discarded by the CIA.

The book has several strengths.
•	As noted above, the reader benefits from the author’s tremendous research about the individual and how his revelations revealed spies in several agencies.
•	The reader learns of the politics inside the CIA and MI5, and how that paralyzed the agencies for many years.
•	It highlights Goleniewski’s increasingly bizarre machinations as he was pushed out into the cold.
•	It highlights an agency’s promises are words, not deeds. 
•	Finally, given both the CIA and MI5 have more documents that are still not public some 60 years after Goleniewski’s defection (where the Polish authorities have released all of theirs), one has to wonder what is so damaging in those files.

Perhaps, considering the book, Goleniewski’s contributions will be looked at in a new light.

However, after reading the book, I wanted to know more about James Angleton, head of counterintelligence, who, as the book’s American subtitle states, despised Goleniewski, as well as Anatoliy Golitsyn, an Angleton whisperer. While that information is available online (see links below), covering this in the book would allow the author to wrap up the story in a more satisfying manner for this reader.

Also, while the book stays focused on Goleniewski and his actions, there are times I would have appreciated a slightly broader perspective of what else was happening in the world that may have played into CIA’s concerns. On the other hand, the book’s focus keeps the length shorter.

Finally, more as a matter taste, some readers might think the extensive use of quotes in text is excessive. Others will appreciate the fullness of those quotes.

Disclaimer: I was given access to a pre-publication version (in the US) by the publisher, with the hope for a review (above).

For additional information, see the following links

Tim Tate, author. 

James Jesus Angleton, head of counterintelligence 

Anatoliy Golitsyn, defector

Michael Goleniewski, Agent Sniper
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An truly fascinating book regarding one of the biggest spy stories of the Cold War. It was disheartening to see how shamefully he was treated by the government after his defection to the United States. The story is gripping and keeps you at the edge of your seat. I could not put this book down. A must read for the fans of history and spy stories.

Thank you to #NetGalley for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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espionage, British-intelligence, Russian-intelligence, CIA, cold-war, 20th-century, nonfiction, betrayal*****

Well written and very interesting portrait of a brilliant espionage agent who believed his own press and the western spy organizations he both provided incredible intel and embarrassed them with his abilities.
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley. Thank you.
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Took a while to get into, this book is full of interesting characters from the Spy world. Names like George Blake, Kim Philby and James Jesus Angleton. I found it to be informative but sometimes filled with too much minutiae. Overall, if you enjoy reading about real spies, this book is better than average. I received an e-book from NetGalley in return for an unbiased review.
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This book was very interesting and exciting. Kept my interest from start to finish. Would definitely recommend this to anyone.
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