Start reading Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device


Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.
Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century

Farewell: The Greatest Spy Story of the Twentieth Century [Kindle Edition]

Sergei Kostin , Eric Raynaud , Richard V. Allen , Catherine Cauvin-Higgins
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £3.99 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £5.00 (56%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.
Borrow this book for free on a Kindle device with Amazon Prime. Learn more about Kindle Owners' Lending Library.
Join Prime to borrow this book at no cost.
The Kindle Owners' Lending Library gives you access to thousands of books, including New York Times bestsellers, to borrow and read for free.
  • Borrow a book as frequently as once per month
  • No due dates — keep books as long as you like and return them when it's time for something new
  • Read on any Amazon Kindle device

Amazon Prime members also enjoy:
  • Unlimited streaming of thousands of popular movies and TV shows with Prime Instant Video
  • FREE Two-Day Shipping on millions of items, with no minimum order size

For more information about the Kindle Owners' Lending Library visit our help page.


Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £3.99  
Paperback £7.64  
MP3 CD, Audiobook £10.08  
Audio Download, Unabridged £7.00 or Free with 30-day free trial
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: At least 60% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.

Product Description

Product Description

1981. Ronald Reagan and François Mitterrand are sworn in as presidents of the Unites States and France, respectively. The tension due to Mitterrand’s French Communist support, however, is immediately defused when he gives Reagan the Farewell Dossier, a file he would later call “one of the greatest spy cases of the twentieth century.”

Vladimir Ippolitovitch Vetrov, a promising technical student, joins the KGB to work as a spy. Following a couple of murky incidents, however, Vetrov is removed from the field and placed at a desk as an analyst. Soon, burdened by a troubled marriage and frustrated at a flailing career, Vetrov turns to alcohol. Desperate and needing redemption, he offers his services to the DST. Thus Agent Farewell is born. He uses his post within the KGB to steal and photocopy files of the USSR’s plans for the West—all under Brezhnev’s nose.

Probing further into Vetrov’s psychological profile than ever before, Kostin and Raynaud provide groundbreaking insight into the man whose life helped hasten the fall of the Soviet Regime.

About the Author

Sergei Kostin is a Russian documentary maker and writer living in Moscow. He is author of four nonfiction books, mainly about secret services, translated into eight languages, including The Man Behind the Rosenbergs and of four spy novels published in Russia, the USA (Paris Weekend), Bulgaria, and Serbia. First published in France in 1997 under the title Bonjour Farewell, Farewell was the fruit of two years of painstaking investigation in Moscow and Paris interviewing the key players and witnesses to this amazing adventure.

Eric Raynaud is a French film writer who joined up with Sergei Kostin to contribute to Farewell after the release of the film L’Affaire Farewell, starring Willem Dafoe.

Catherine Cauvin-Higgins is a French-Russian-English translator. She was Thomson-CSF interpreter during the Vetrov years, working directly with Jacques Prévost, Vetrov's initial French contact, and Xavier Ameil, his first handler. She participated in trade negotiations with Vetrov's peers, in Paris and in Moscow, during those years.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2980 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1611090261
  • Publisher: AmazonCrossing (2 Aug 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #68,742 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?

More About the Authors

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very detailed, slow going, but well researched 4 Nov 2011
By Alison TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
A very interesting book but detailed to such a level that it was slow going. It's also a translated book that occasionally suffers from weak or literal translation that hinders flow. However, the detailed approach demonstrates the level of research that has gone into this book and ultimately results in a comprehensive account of the activities of Vladimir Vetrov. I'd never heard of Vetrov before and yet his actions had a major impact on the end of the Cold War. A very interesting and informative read but does require perseverance.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How it should be done! 6 Aug 2011
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is journalism of the highest quality. A Russian and a Frenchman combine forces to research the background, activities and motivation of Vladimir Ippolitovich Vetrov - an apparently obscure KGB agent who single-mindedly set out to destroy that organisation.

Vetrov chose to collaborate not with the 'big players' on the international stage, but with the French, and, moreover, with their counter-intelligence branch, rather than the SDECE. He revealed, and sabotaged, the industrial espionage that was enabling the Soviet Union to maintain parity with the West; thus it is claimed that single-handedly he brought about the end of the Cold War! This is not glamorous stuff, and before reading this book I had never heard of Vetrov, but when you take into account the impact of this one man's actions around the world, it is a story that deserves to be told!

Although Vetrov was handsome and with both high intellectual capacities and physical prowess, this is no story of a James Bond-style super-spy. Ultimately the tale is as much about his flaws as his virtues. And this is where the quality of the journalism shows.

Although the international collaboration means that the authors are well-placed to maximise their access to information, ultimately, in any account of the murky world of espionage, whilst some facts will be verifiable, many have to rely on a single, possibly unreliable source, whilst yet others can only by hypothesised, by analogy with other cases.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
An important and compelling piece of Cold War history detailing Valdimar Vetrov's spying for the French Intelligence Service, the DST. The subject matter is fascinating and dramatic, but whilst the authors have applied diligent and objective research in tracing Vetrov's journey from committed KGB officer to double agent, the impact of the story is undermined by the sheer volume of detail. This is clearly a labour of love by Sergei Kostin and you can see that he has methodically and deliberately worked through the back-story to provide what is going to be unarguably the definitive account.
The work could have benefitted from more judicious editing - both in terms of translation and content. A much shorter and concise read would have ensured that this book was more accessible to a general readership - the story is a rich and deserving one and would have benefitted from it. As it is, it is too dense and the translation is too stilted for a casual reader and will only appeal to those with a specific interest in this area of history and on international espionage which is a shame given Vetrov's complex and dramatic personal story which is very much defined by the Cold War.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How the cold war was won 10 Aug 2011
By T. Burkard VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The title of this book is slightly misleading--anyone expecting a lightweight spy thriller to take to the beach will be disappointed. Rather, this is the real deal: Kostin and Raynaud spent years interviewing the key players in the Farewell saga, but we can never be sure exactly what happened. This is the real world, not a novel.

Vladimir Vetrov, the KGB agent who gave the West the documents that turned the tide of the cold war, was first posted to Paris and Canada, where he led a flamboyant life and was compromised by French and Canadian intelligence. He got away with this, but his career almost came to an end when his wife was caught out in a seemingly minor slip involving an expensive piece of jewelry. This would not have been a problem if Vetrov had connnections--as it was, it was touch and go as to whether he would keep his job.

Burning with resentment against a system he considered inept, he was relegated to desk work in Moscow. There he had access to the KGB's most sensitive files. Oddly, the picture that emerges is that the KGB was pretty much like all Soviet bureaucracies: sloth, incompetence and chaos reigned. Vetrov was able to take top secret documents home with very little risk, because the sheer numbers of KGB employees made it impractical to check everyone's briefcases when they went home.

Amazingly, he was able to copy and transmit them to the DST, the French counter-intelligence agency. The French had no spies working in the Soviet Union, so all of these papers had to be transmitted through amateur volunteers working for Thomson, the French telecoms company that had big contracts in Russia.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know
Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars heavy going
Am reading it in bits as it is heavy going because of poor, stilted and boring translation. The contents are interesting although not always essential for a casual reader.
Published 14 days ago by Alexandra Tavernier
3.0 out of 5 stars Overrated
Not as good as i expected. Maybe the Title of the Book influenced this viewpoint.
Far fetched and difficult to believe at times.
A reasonable read but not sensational.
Published 1 month ago by Jainoo
1.0 out of 5 stars Boring
Boring catalogue of events, can't believe others could rate this on the basis of the content which could have been written by a 6th year school pupil
Published 2 months ago by frank campbell
4.0 out of 5 stars An Excellent Read
A great Russian spy story which was very well researched and written by Sergei Kostin. Prompted me to try the film which I didn't know existed either.
Published 2 months ago by Aleksandar Ninkovic
4.0 out of 5 stars Are we coming full circle?
Amazing to read how the Cold War was really ended - and just how ineffective and lucky Western Intelligence Services really were! Read more
Published 2 months ago by TerryR
4.0 out of 5 stars amazing story
Heavy going at times, An edited version would do well, but having said that this is truly an amazing story. Would make a great movie!
Published 3 months ago by B. Mcdonald
5.0 out of 5 stars Farewell. A really intriguing spy story
A really well researched spy story in the height of the cold war that grips the reader at every stage throughout the book.
Published 8 months ago by Dub Wise Dan
4.0 out of 5 stars Mesmerising for 2/3rds of the book - tails off a bit at the end - but...
A wonderfully told story - with eyewitness accounts and a real feel of how it felt to live in this world with real characters and events. Read more
Published 10 months ago by dave mccaughrean
5.0 out of 5 stars Great read.
Well researched and easy to follow. Good insight in our recent history. Makes wiki leaks look like school playground tittle tattle.
Published 11 months ago by Walter Schoerle
4.0 out of 5 stars An interesting insight into the real world of espionage
A very good read about the real spying game, far removed from the James Bond cartoons. I thoroughly recommend this.
Published 13 months ago by John Andrews
Search Customer Reviews
Only search this product's reviews

Popular Highlights

 (What's this?)
“There is a difference between being ‘simplistic’ and having simple answers to complex questions.” &quote;
Highlighted by 43 Kindle users
The actions of a single person with access to the secrets of a major power have the potential to modify the course of history. &quote;
Highlighted by 26 Kindle users
The feeling of being a victim of social injustice and his aversion toward string-pulling would be the thread of his life story, typical for a Soviet-style self-made man. &quote;
Highlighted by 23 Kindle users

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions

Look for similar items by category