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Why This Book Matters:

The Spy and the Traitor discusses the story of Oleg Gordievsky, a Soviet double agent who helped end the Cold War through his historic efforts.

The Big Takeaways:

  1. Oleg almost joined the KGC but never had an interest in communism.
    1. If Oleg’s early life influences allowed him to be exposed to western culture and media.
  2. In 1970, Britain asked Gordievsky to become a double agent and spy on Russia.
    1. The first meeting went well, but it was not until eight months later that Gordievsky began spying.
  3. He planned his own route back to London in case of an emergency even though the M16 already had a plan in place to evacuate him if necessary.
    1. He took his family with him to London after going through the KGB files at their head office.
  4. Gordievsky was critical in the Cold War because he delivered the psychology about Soviet leaders to M16.
    1. He assisted with ending the cold war by showing the United States and the Soviet Union a way they can communicate with each other.
  5. Gordievsky eventually escaped the Soviet Union due to his cover being blown and had to leave his family.
    1. He escaped the Soviet Union through M16’s plan undetected by the KGB.

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