Five Best Books About Spies and Counterespionage

From a Wall Street Journal review by Howard Blum titled “Five Best: Books on Counterespionage”:

Spy Handler
By Victor Cherkashin with Gregory Feifer (2005)

1. This is a chatty, self-congratulatory memoir by a KGB counterintelligence officer who spent a 38-year career sulking in the shadows. As Victor Cherkashin determinedly spins events, he’s “the man who recruited Robert Hanssen and Aldrich Ames”—two long-running moles burrowed deep in the American intelligence establishment. Yet the dismaying reality, Mr. Cherkashin has the grace to concede after all the prideful huffing and puffing, is how easy his job was: “Intelligence officers might think they’re chiefly responsible for recruiting agents, but most of the work really consists of finding people who want to be recruited.” And he offers a flinty warning to any spymaster who thinks his service is impenetrable: “The only way to be absolutely safe is to remove people from intelligence gathering.” It’s a cautionary wisdom that, case after case, reverberates through this unnerving yet instructive book.