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Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West Hardcover – 15 Mar 2012


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (15 Mar. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408802848
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408802847
  • Product Dimensions: 15.3 x 3.4 x 23.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 402,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

Entertaining and informative ... In the fascinating chapters about the voluptuous Anna Chapman, who was expelled from the US two years ago together with nine other exposed Russian spies, we learn much that is new, especially about her life in London. Lucas contrasts our complacency and delusion with Russia's ruthless ingenuity (Mail on Sunday)

Putin [and] his friends ... are gangsters on a scale that makes Al Capone or the Corleones seem small-time ... Lucas is right to castigate our folly in treating all this so lightly (Max Hastings, Sunday Times)

Brilliantly told (New York Review of Books)

This important book is a sequel to the author's last indictment of the Putin regime, The New Cold War, which came out four years ago. Deception is, if anything, even more devastating (Standpoint)

Well-researched, engaging, and eerie (Publishers' Weekly)

Urgent and heartfelt (The Times)

The best investigative reporting of the year (Daily Telegraph)

Book Description

The extraordinary triumphs, miscalculations, fatal errors and betrayals of spymasters - East and West

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mangilli-climpson m on 26 April 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When turning over the last page of The New Cold War I looked forward to be enlightened anew.

This time, reading Lucas' second book was like peeling layer upon layers of an onion, or unscrewing a colourful Matryoshka doll, except when reaching the centre, there was nothing, emptiness. Had I missed something? Perhaps the title was the give away - Deception.

Observers follow impressions, shadows, even mirrors, because everything in the real world is meant to operate normally - when in reality life in global politics is an amalgam of scripted performances of single or multi-act plays. At the heart, in Russia's capital Moscow outside the Lubyanka the only difference from Soviet days is the absence of the statue of Felix Dzerzhinsky, founder of the Soviet security services, toppled in 1991, with the plinth made from large rock from Solovki, the first Soviet gulag, is all that remains. Here lies the FSA, better known formerly as the KGB, the Cheka, with a direct ancestral line chasing back to the Okhrana of Tsarist days, a very professional, efficient, and when required excessively violent organization. Names, faces of heads and agents might change over time, but the work lives on, evolves, as do the objectives remain.

The primary change - which Edward Lucas realises to date few recognise, is the world itself. It is no longer bi-polar, where the professionals accepted rules and limits; in Russia today the rule is to fight by all means to win, conquer, and dominate over all.
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28 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Mark Meynell VINE VOICE on 3 May 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The problem with the world of shadows is that, by definition, one never really knows what's going on in it. But just occasionally, the grubs and moles rise to the surface and we catch a glimpse. The recent coroner's enquiry in London into MI6's Gareth Williams mysterious death is a case in point, as were the horrendous radiation-caused death of Aleksandr Litvinenko in 2009 and the unmasking of Anna Chapman since then.

But Edward Lucas is a respected journalist with 25 years of experience covering Eastern Europe and Russia - and so deserves to be taken seriously when he claims to cast light on the shadows. His is a well researched and careful book, but his writing style is punchy and very readable. If the subject matter wasn't so sinister and threatening, it would be an enjoyable read. But it is profoundly relevant - not least because Vladimir Putin has only just returned to the seat so carefully kept warm for him by Dmitry Medvedev. And what Lucas rather grimly terms the unholy trinity of Gangsterdom, Spookdom and Officialdom that controls modern Russia (p78) presents genuine threats to the rest of the world, and especially Europe (now that the USA is becoming more concerned with its Pacific rather than Atlantic vista). Having lost an empire, he rightly notes that while there is little nostalgia for the ideology of the Soviet era in Moscow, many clearly feel a sense of humiliation at their lost power and prestige. With an economy in tatters through corruption, bureaucracy and the failure to innovate, the power of the old intelligence services is one of the few things to remain intact and functioning well.

As evidence, Lucas carefully examines the details of a number of important recent cases.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By johnverp on 5 Jun. 2013
Format: Paperback
I am a fan of Edward Lucas but he has definitely not produced his best with this effort.

While I think he does enough to support his central premise, the writing lacks structure and the stories seemed, to me, to be all over the place. Not only did I find the chapter order to be disjointed, but I also felt the narrative within chapters was not always sequential. The mixture of first and third person accounts is perhaps understandable, but at times I was unable to distinguish between non-fictional narration and plain story-telling. That said, the author otherwise references well and knows his stuff.

I was also quite annoyed by the number of typos and formatting problems, including repeat sentences, in the Kindle version.

This book was written by a man who shows he is very comfortable in this space and who has good research and analytical skills. However, I really think the book would have been much better had more attention been paid to structuring to make the delivery smoother. 7/10
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By DANTYSZEK on 6 Mar. 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is fair, courageous, insightful. A Well balanced description of the potential and the method of the reckless organisation which controls Russia and is able to manipulate Western media, public opinion and politicians. Clarly able to outwit everyone and disregard any (conventional) moral standard.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Emil_S on 15 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
excellent read on the mechanics of the modern Russian state, even more so in light of recent events in eastern Ukraine
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By p fetherston on 17 Oct. 2013
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This was a fascinating read by an author who clearly knows his stuff. I found it one of those books that I couldn't wait to carry-on reading. Not long after finishing it, I noticed a couple of seemingly unlinked news items that made me realise just how naive we in the West (well, the UK anway)are. One concerned a move by the EU to introduce very restrictive rules hat would hamper shale-gas extraction within the EU. Nothing to do with Russia you might think? Read this and think again. If you're interested in this kind of international politico-journalism, then this will be a rewarding book.
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