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  • Spies in the Family

  • An American Spymaster, His Russian Crown Jewel, and the Friendship That Helped End the Cold War
  • By: Eva Dillon
  • Narrated by: Gabra Zackman
  • Length: 8 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Categories: Biographies & Memoirs, True Crime
  • 5.0 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Publisher's Summary

A riveting true-life thriller and revealing memoir from the daughter of an American intelligence officer - the astonishing true story of two spies and their families on opposite sides of the Cold War.

In the summer of 1975, 17-year-old Eva Dillon's family was living in New Delhi when her father was exposed as a CIA spy. Eva had long believed that her father was a US State Department employee. She had no idea that he was handling the CIA's highest ranking double agent - Dmitri Fedorovich Polyakov, a Soviet general whose code name was TOPHAT. Dillon's father and Polyakov had a close friendship that went back years, to their first meeting in Burma in the mid-1960s. At the height of the Cold War, the Russian offered the CIA an unfiltered view into the vault of Soviet intelligence. His collaboration helped ensure that tensions between the two nuclear superpowers did not escalate into a shooting war.

Spanning 50 years and three continents, Spies in the Family is a deeply researched account of two families on opposite sides of the lethal espionage campaigns of the Cold War and two men whose devoted friendship lasted a lifetime, until the devastating final days of their lives. With impeccable insider access to both families as well as knowledgeable CIA and FBI officers, Dillon goes beyond the fog of secrecy to craft an unforgettable story of friendship and betrayal, double agents and clandestine lives, exposing the commonality between peoples of opposing political economic systems.

Both a gripping tale of spy craft and a moving personal story, Spies in the Family is an invaluable and heart-rending work.

©2017 Eva Dillon (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Spies in the Family

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  • SaraofDI
  • 06-11-2017

LOVED it!

The best book club book in over two years! There's nothing better than gaining an amazing education while being thoroughly entertained! I have such a better understanding of the Cold War after reading this book. Highly recommend it!

9 people found this helpful

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  • hypermindy
  • 14-07-2017

Best Summer Read!

What did you love best about Spies in the Family?

I loved this well written, well researched, non-fiction story that seemed to flow easily and kept my interest at every turn, while being told from an intelligent point of view of the person that also happens to be the daughter of one of the main characters/covert spies in the story.

What did you like best about this story?

It opened up my eyes to the life of a spy and the world of espionage while illustrating the dangers of those that have sacrificed so much, including their life, for freedom and the good of our nation by their acts of bravery.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I had pure disappointment for those that betrayed our government/country by the selling of intelligence information and also those that put so many undercover agents in danger or blew their cover.

Any additional comments?

Buy the book, you wont regret it! It is the best book I have read in a very long time.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Kent S. Kast
  • 09-06-2017

Very pertinent book to today's news.

This book should be required reading for all history students and anyone interested in today's politics. This book gives background to the Cold War like never before. The performance only gets 4 stars because the reader needs to learn how to pronounce words correctly. Otherwise well done.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Miriam
  • 31-07-2020

Very Informative

This isn't my usual type of book, however my husband thought we could enjoy it together. We listened to it whenever we were driving. Several times we stayed in the truck listening until we could find a good stopping point...

Too bad this author won't have another enthralling story to tell like this one. This is a one off situation and she wrote an excellent book about it.

Bonus this is history that we both remember. My husband's family is multi-generational military and the Aldrich Ames case was something they talked about in depth. I remember the headlines and always wondered what secrets he passed to the Soviets. Now we both agree he got off far to lightly... many of the people he turned over to the Soviets died. In my opinion he is a murderer. Neither of us knew much about the other people who are more central to this book. We learned a lot more about the cold war and the people who worked hard to prevent it from being a hot war. Very interesting and informative.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Sheila S
  • 01-05-2021

The opposite of riveting

This book is a rather inert account of past espionage activities between a CIA operative and his Soviet counterpart. It is written years later by CIA agent's daughter, who wasn't aware of her father's activities at the time. None of the characters here came alive for me--none are depicted in sufficient detail to become real people. Why the alleged friendship "helped end the cold war" is never clarified. This book is not a page-turner, and I had to crank up the speed to finish it.

2 people found this helpful

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  • patty fredericks
  • 12-12-2019

Excellent Story

Very well written and read. Enjoyed the story of family history and intriguing events in history.

2 people found this helpful

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  • L. E. Pierce
  • 17-09-2019

Excellent

Loved this account, grew to care for all members of the families. If you are interested in the behind the scenes- this is a great book.

2 people found this helpful

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  • 匿名
  • 09-10-2018

Lovely and tragic book

I have always been fond of Polyakov and it was interesting to hear more about the details of his life - and the tragic final days when KGB parked the ambulance outside his house in anticipation of his suicide.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Mr Dangerous
  • 29-10-2020

I was never engaged.

I don't know why, but i didn't connect with this book. I found my mind wandering. I quit after 3 hours.

Zackman gave an okay read.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Coach K.
  • 25-04-2020

Loved!

Wow! What a great book! Ms. Dillon writes a sobering account of a period in U.S. History that I find so interesting. Her "front row seat" telling of Cold War espionage and treason is a riveting one. I thoroughly enjoyed her book.

1 person found this helpful

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