The spy who knew too much An ex-CIA officer's quest through a legacy of betrayal

Howard Blum

Book - 2022

A true-life tale of vindication and redemption relates how retired spy Tennant Bagley got back into the game to solve a strange death, and reconciled with his daughter, a CIA officer, who married into the very family that derailed his own CIA career.

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2nd Floor New Shelf 327.1273/Blum (NEW SHELF) Checked In
Subjects
Genres
True crime stories
Biographies
Published
New York, NY : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
xvi, 325 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 305-313) and index.
ISBN
9780063054219
0063054213
Main Author
Howard Blum (author)
  • Prologue:
  • The weight of guilt
  • Part I:
  • "Once more unto the breach" : 1977-1983
  • Part II:
  • A family of spies : 1954-1984
  • Part III:
  • "It takes a mole to catch a mole" : 1984-1987
  • Part IV:
  • "In my sights" : 1987-1990
  • Part V:
  • "The other side of the moon" : 1990-2014
  • Epilogue:
  • The weight of secrets.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Tennent "Pete" Bagley was serving in the CIA's Soviet Division, specializing in counterintelligence, when the search for a mole that may have penetrated the upper echelons of the CIA cast a spotlight on him. After a lengthy and intrusive investigation, Bagley was cleared, though the search continued. Bagley retired and moved to Brussels. Years later, in the late 1970s, events brought him back into the fold: a high-level intelligence asset went missing, presumed dead, and a former CIA employee was found dead in an apparent suicide. Bagley suspected that these two events were connected, and that the still-elusive mole figured into both. The hunt was back on, and Bagley was ready to walk through the wilderness of mirrors once more. With the paranoia of Cold War–era spy games, this latest gripping true-crime thriller from Blum (Night of the Assassins, 2020) pulse-poundingly relates the pursuit for the mole that haunted Pete Bagley and the intelligence community at large. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Tennent "Pete" Bagley was serving in the CIA's Soviet Division, specializing in counterintelligence, when the search for a mole that may have penetrated the upper echelons of the CIA cast a spotlight on him. After a lengthy and intrusive investigation, Bagley was cleared, though the search continued. Bagley retired and moved to Brussels. Years later, in the late 1970s, events brought him back into the fold: a high-level intelligence asset went missing, presumed dead, and a former CIA employee was found dead in an apparent suicide. Bagley suspected that these two events were connected, and that the still-elusive mole figured into both. The hunt was back on, and Bagley was ready to walk through the wilderness of mirrors once more. With the paranoia of Cold War–era spy games, this latest gripping true-crime thriller from Blum (Night of the Assassins, 2020) pulse-poundingly relates the pursuit for the mole that haunted Pete Bagley and the intelligence community at large. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

New York Times best-selling authors Abrams and Fisher join forces with Gray, the young Black lawyer who served as Martin Luther King's defense attorney when King was tried for his part in the Montgomery Bus Boycott, to tell the story of the trial in Alabama v. King (150,000-copy first printing). Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Bissinger chronicles The Mosquito Bowl, a football game played in the Pacific theater on Christmas Eve 1944 between the 4th and 29th Marine regiments to prove which had the better players (400,000-copy first printing). In The Spy Who Knew Too Much, New York Times best-selling, Edgar Award-winning Blum recounts efforts by Tennent "Pete" Bagley—a rising CIA star accused of being a mole—to redeem his reputation by solving the disappearance of former CIA officer John Paisley and to reconcile with his daughter, who married his accuser's son (50,000-copy first printing). Associate professor of musicology at the University of Michigan, Clague reveals how The Star-Spangled Banner became the national anthem in O Say Can You Hear? Multiply honored for his many history books, Dolin returns with Rebels at Sea to chronicle the contributions of the freelance sailors—too often called profiteers or pirates—who scurried about on private vessels to help win the Revolutionary War. With The Earth Is All That Lasts, Gardner, the award-winning author of Rough Riders and To Hell on a Fast Horse, offers a dual biography of the significant Indigenous leaders Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull (50,000-copy first printing). With We Refuse To Forget, New America and PEN America fellow Gayle investigates the Creek Nation, which both enslaved Black people and accepted them as full citizens, electing the Black Creek citizen Cow Tom as chief in the mid 1800s but stripping Black Creeks of their citizenship in the 1970s. Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporter Hoffman's Give Me Liberty profiles Cuban dissident Oswaldo Payá, who founded the Christian Liberation Movement in 1987 to challenge Fidel Castro's Communist regime (50,000-copy first printing). Forensic anthropologist Kimmerle's We Carry Their Bones the true story of the Dozier Boys School, first brought to light in Colson Whitehead's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Nickel Boys (75,000-copy first printing). Kissinger's Leadership plumbs modern statecraft, putting forth Charles de Gaulle, Konrad Adenauer, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon, Lee Kuan Yew, and Anwar Sadat as game-changing leaders who helped create a new world order. From a prominent family that included the tutor to China's last emperor, Li profiles her aunts Jun and Hong—separated after the Chinese Civil War, with one becoming a committed Communist and the other a committed capitalist—in Daughters of the Flower Fragrant Garden.New York Times best-selling author Mazzeo (Irena's Children) reveals that three Sisters in Resistance—a German spy, an American socialite, and Mussolini's daughter—risked their lives to hand over the secret diaries of Italy's jailed former foreign minister, Galeazzo Ciano, to the Allies; the diaries later figured importantly in the Nuremberg Trials (45,000-copy first printing). A Junior Research Fellowship in English at University College, Oxford, whose PhD dissertation examined how gay cruising manifests in New York poetry, Parlett explains that New York's Fire Island has figured importantly in art, literature, culture, and queer liberation over the past century (75,000-copy first printing). Author of the New York Times best-selling Writer, Sailor, Soldier, Spy and a former CIA officer, Reynolds argues in Need To Know for the importance of U.S. intelligence during World War II in securing victory. As he reveals in Getting Out of Saigon, White was directed by Chase Manhattan Bank to close its Saigon branch in 1975 and went beyond orders by evacuating not just senior Vietnamese employees but the entire staff and their families (75,000-copy first printing). Copyright 2021 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Did the KGB have a mole with access to some of the CIA's most sensitive information who was never caught? That tantalizing question is at the heart of this nail-biting account from former New York Times investigative reporter Blum (Night of the Assassins: The Untold Story of Hitler's Plot to Kill FDR, Churchill, and Stalin). Starting in 1950, Pete Bagley was the deputy head of the CIA's Soviet Bloc division and came to suspect that Yuri Nosenko, a KGB officer who defected to the U.S. soon after President Kennedy's assassination, was a plant, but was unable to persuade his superiors of that conclusion. Instead, Bagley himself came under suspicion of providing intelligence to the Soviets. Bagley searched for the real mole and continued his hunt even after leaving the CIA in 1972. The suspicious death of John Paisley, a CIA analyst whose body was found in Chesapeake Bay in 1978, ruled a suicide despite contrary evidence, led Bagley to pursue clues that Paisley was the mole—and that Nosenko had "defected" to help conceal Paisley's treachery. Blum's access to Bagley's writings and a myriad of other sources enables him to craft a page-turning narrative. This reads like a John le Carré novel come to life. Agent: Lynn Nesbit, Janklow & Nesbit Assoc. (June) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

A true-life tale of vindication and redemption relates how retired spy Tennant Bagley got back into the game to solve a strange death, and reconciled with his daughter, a CIA officer, who married into the very family that derailed his own CIA career.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

In this unputdownable true-life tale of vindication and redemption, a retired spy gets back into the game to solve a strange death, while reconciling with his daughter, a CIA officer, who married into the very family that derailed his own CIA career. 50,000 first printing. Illustrations.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

“Howard Blum writes history books that read like thrillers.”—New York TimesA retired spy gets back into the game to solve a perplexing case—and reconcile with his daughter, a CIA officer who married into the very family that derailed his own CIA career—in this compulsive true-life tale of vindication and redemption, filled with drama, intrigue, and mystery from the New York Times bestselling author of The Last Goodnight, It’s a real-life thriller whose stunning conclusion will make headline news. On a sunlit morning in September 1978, a sloop drifts aimlessly across the Chesapeake Bay. The cabin reveals signs of a struggle, and “classified” documents, live 9 mm cartridges, and a top-secret “burst” satellite communications transmitter are discovered aboard. But where is the boat’s owner, former CIA officer John Paisley? One man may hold the key to finding out. Tennent “Pete” Bagley was once a rising star in America’s spy aristocracy, and many expected he’d eventually become CIA director. But the star that burned so brightly exploded when Bagley—who suspected a mole had burrowed deep into the agency’s core—was believed himself to be the mole. After a year-long investigation, Bagley was finally exonerated, but the accusations tarnished his reputation and tainted his career. When Bagley’s daughter Christina, a CIA analyst, married another intelligence officer who was the son of the man who had played a key role in the investigation into Bagley, it caused a painful rift between the two. But then came Paisley’s strange death. A murder? Suicide? Or something else? Pete, now a retired spy, launches his own investigation that takes him deep into his own past and his own longtime hunt for a mole. What follows is a relentless pursuit to solve a spy story—and an inspiring tale of a man reclaiming his reputation and his family. It’s a very personal quest that leads to a shocking conclusion.The Spy Who Knew Too Much includes 8 pages of black-and-white photographs.