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Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West [Hardcover]

Edward Lucas
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
RRP: 20.00
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Book Description

15 Mar 2012

From the capture of Sidney Reilly, the 'Ace of Spies', by Lenin's Bolsheviks in 1925, to the deportation from the USA of Anna Chapman, the 'Redhead under the Bed', in 2010, Kremlin and Western spymasters have battled for supremacy for nearly a century.

In Deception Edward Lucas uncovers the real story of Chapman and her colleagues in Britain and America, unveiling their clandestine missions and the spy-hunt that led to their downfall. It reveals unknown triumphs and disasters of Western intelligence in the Cold War, providing the background to the new world of industrial and political espionage. To tell the story of post-Soviet espionage, Lucas draws on exclusive interviews with Russia's top NATO spy, Herman Simm, and unveils the horrific treatment of a Moscow lawyer who dared to challenge the ruling criminal syndicate there.

Once the threat from Moscow was international communism; now it comes from the siloviki, Russia's ruthless 'men of power'.

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Deception: Spies, Lies and How Russia Dupes the West + The New Cold War: How the Kremlin Menaces Both Russia and the West + Londongrad: From Russia with Cash;The Inside Story of the Oligarchs
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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: 16.5 x 24.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 305,827 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


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

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
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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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A well written FSB Guide 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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thugs! 22 July 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
it's what the bastards do best. they pander to the west's greed.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Scarily informative, as ever 5 Aug 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As with his previous book ("The New Cold War") Edward Lucas makes it very clear how big a threat Russia is, despite the west's best attempts at trying to make us believe all is well. An excellent book.

I am very disturbed at how little the west, including some of the world's largest corporations, seems to be doing to combat this (not so) new threat. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, nothing has changed in the espionage world, other than the clear fact that Russia appears to have stepped up their efforts by several gears.

Anyone reading this should go on to read Masha Gessen's book "The man without a face" if they want to really discover who and what Putin is and, therefore, the man now in charge in Russia.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The author really knows his stuff 17 Oct 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You won't be able to put it down 9 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As a political scientist and hobby-historian, I thought I knew much about the shady Russian actions in Europe already. Mr Lucas however proved me wrong - the book was perfectly researched, with him putting much effort into contacting relevant people, finding out facts and organising interviews. I think this is one of the best pieces of investigative book-writing that I have ever read.

Not only is he a good researcher, he is a perfect story-teller. I couldn't put the book down.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The true but secret Russian policy 18 April 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you're looking to cut through the fog covering Putin's Russia for rare insight into its true nature and intentions, here's a book for you. If you want to get in short form an idea of the techniques it is practicing against the West- deception, espionage, subversion - then again, here's a book for you. "In no other country have gangsterdom and state power overlapped to such a threatening extent." Lucas writes. He shows the Mafia-state system where "dirty money and underhand business practices taint and corrode the financial systems, business cultures and politics of the countries they touch." The book's detailed insights into the recent spy scandals of the eleven Illegals caught in the United States and of the Estonian NATO official Herman Simm, would alone justify its price. It's a worthy follow-up and supplement to the author's recent (and still up-to-date) "The New Cold War", another must-read.
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