The Spy Next Door : The Extraordinary Secret Life of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Damaging FBI Agent in U.S. History
Robert Hanssen was a twenty-five-year veteran FBI agent whose job was to help track enemy agents and make sure that American security was maintained. He was a good man who went to daily mass, sent his kids to Catholic school, and was devoted to his wife, Bonnie. Now, veteran reporters Ann Blackman and Elaine Shannon tell the truth about Robert Hanssen, the most damaging FBI agent in history, a sly traitor who for more than two decades eluded spy hunters while selling out his country.
On the surface, this awkward son of a Chicago cop was a most unlikely spy. But behind the facade of normalcy, Hanssen was a seething, arrogant man who had spent his life harboring resentments and weaving a web of lies. The "loyal" FBI agent spent two decades selling some of our nation's most valuable secrets, brutally betraying other agents. The "loyal" husband had a bizarre relationship with a stripper. The "loyal" Catholic worked on behalf of an atheistic ideology. Single-handedly he devised and operated his spying operation from within the ranks of the most exclusive, sophisticated, and carefully guarded counter-espionage organization in the world. Blackman and Shannon show how and why Hanssen was ignored, even after misgivings about his attitude and personality surfaced. They also describe the destruction wrought by Hanssen over twenty-one years as a double agent, and how, after he confessed to his wife and priest, no one did anything to stop him.
Digging deep into Hanssen's past, Blackman and Shannon have discovered remarkable evidence that helps explain how he decided to betray his country and create a shocking double life. A virtuoso piece of investigative reporting, The Spy Next Door doesn't just read like a spy thriller -- it is a spy thriller, full of stolen documents, battling agents, secret dead drops, lies, and deception. At its heart is one of the most fascinating and mysterious characters in American history, a man who hid the dark side of his personality from everyone -- until now.
Time reporters Elaine Shannon and Ann Blackman delve into the tale of the "American Judas" in The Spy Next Door: The Extraordinary Secret Life of Robert Philip Hanssen, the Most Damaging FBI Agent in U.S. History. The title says it all almost: the authors trace his espionage and the investigations that eventually uncovered it in lucid, well-paced prose, but they also recount his erotic Internet postings and his friendship with a down-and-out stripper, his fascination with spy novels and his conversion to Catholicism. How could such a "good family man" and a devoted churchgoer betray his country with such dedication for so many years? Easy, say the authors, his life was the "perfect cover." Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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Little, Brown and Company
January 01, 2002
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