Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiance as a KGB Spy in America
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Deep Undercover: My Secret Life and Tangled Allegiance as a KGB Spy in America

Tyndale Momentum / 2017 / Hardcover

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When the Russians first recruited Jack Barsky as a young East German graduate student, he was a true believer in the Communist cause and was ready to serve undercover in the U.S. But ten years after his mission began, the KGB ordered him to return, and he realized his allegiance had changed. Determined to outwit his KGB bosses, Barsky decided to stay in the U.S. with the people he loved. In this fascinating memoir, the former KGB agent tells the story of his turbulent inner world, the secret life he lived for years, and the discovery that radically changed his future. Hardcover.

Product Information

Format: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 288
Vendor: Tyndale Momentum
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 9.00 X 6.00 (inches)
ISBN: 1496416821
ISBN-13: 9781496416827

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Publisher's Description

One decision can end everything . . . or lead to unlikely redemption.
Millions watched the CBS 60 Minutes special on Jack Barsky in 2015. Now, in this fascinating memoir, the Soviet KGB agent tells his story of gut-wrenching choices, appalling betrayals, his turbulent inner world, and the secret life he lived for years without getting caught.

On October 8, 1978, a Canadian national by the name of William Dyson stepped off a plane at O’Hare International Airport and proceeded toward Customs and Immigration.

Two days later, William Dyson ceased to exist.

The identity was a KGB forgery, used to get one of their own—a young, ambitious East German agent—into the United States.

The plan succeeded, and the spy’s new identity was born: Jack Barsky. He would work undercover for the next decade, carrying out secret operations during the Cold War years . . . until a surprising shift in his allegiance challenged everything he thought he believed.

Deep Undercover will reveal the secret life of this man without a country and tell the story no one ever expected him to tell.

Editorial Reviews

The making of “an undercover agent spying on behalf of the Soviet Union.” Born Albrecht Dittrich in 1949 in East Germany, Barsky recounts his meticulously prepared career as a KGB spy, his mission as an embedded agent in the United States, and his subsequent coming out of the cold in the late 1980s. All his life, Barsky enjoyed sterling accomplishments, from winning the prestigious Karl Marx Scholarship in 1970 to graduating to an assured career as a professor in chemistry; later, at age 40, he graduated as the valedictorian from Baruch College in New York. Early on, as a good Young Pioneer and member of the Communist Party, the stoical, determined youth vowed that if he ever got the chance, he would somehow contribute “to the destruction of the evil forces of fascism and capitalism.” That opportunity arrived with his recruitment by a KGB agent, and he agreed to give up his chemistry career in order to be trained in Russian espionage under the code name Dieter. Aside from his training in Berlin in the “rules of conspiracy,” including mastering shortwave radio and Morse code, cryptography, secret writing, photography, dead-drop operations, and surveillance detection, Barsky had to undergo rigorous instruction in English—in Moscow, no less. After two years, he was ready to embed in the West, first to Canada and then to New York, where he worked as a bike messenger while gradually acquiring the necessary documents for permanent residency. As an illegal, he assumed the identity of a certain Jack Barsky, who had died in 1955. Yet Barsky’s American life, including a job at an insurance company and a wife and child (another family had to be left in Germany), was too good to be true; when his identity was compromised, he boldly defied KBG orders to return, slipping under the radar thanks largely to the collapse of the Soviet Union. An intriguing inside look at international espionage.

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  1. MastersQuill
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    All Spies Are Not The Same
    April 8, 2017
    MastersQuill
    Quality: 4
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 4
    Well-written, well-told true story of an enthusiastic young East German Communist willing to risk his life for the propagation of what he thought was the ultimate socialist life for the world.

    Jack Barsky, with the assistance of writer Cindy Coloma, recounts with vivid detail, his double life in America living out the assignment of gathering useable information to exploit the weakness of capitalism and democracy as played out in America. Much to his eventual surprise, American life was far from despicable but enviable. And, as he was forced to see with clarity, Communism fell far short of the model government and guide for the world. It was clearly the opposite, favoring those in the upper levels and ignoring the masses.

    Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book.
  2. Kendra
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fascinating story
    March 5, 2017
    Kendra
    Quality: 4
    Value: 4
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This memoir recounts the story of Jack Barsky and his career as a KGB spy in America. The book is divided into six sections, which tell us about his childhood and school years, his recruitment and training by the KGB, the process by which he ended up in the USA, his eventual defection from the KGB and his subsequent apprehension by the FBI. In the final chapters, Barsky shares how God used the circumstances and experiences of his life to lead him to faith in Jesus Christ and salvation.

    I found his story to be fascinating, particularly the sections about his spy years. It gives an inside perspective into the Cold War, and while that sounds like old history to me, it was sobering to realize that Barsky's spy years in the US were within my lifetime and his apprehension by the FBI happened in 1997--not such old history after all! Barsky's story brings up a lot of moral and ethical questions, many of which the book does not address. As it is a memoir, I think that is okay. Barksy has an incredible story, but ultimately, this book is about redemption--a lost man without God finds forgiveness and hope in Jesus--and that is my story too.

    I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for my review.
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