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How Not to Become a Spy: A memoir of love at…

How Not to Become a Spy: A memoir of love at the end of the Cold War

by Justin Lifflander

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0692259945, Paperback)

Justin Lifflander dreams of becoming an intelligence officer and joining the Cold War fight against the Russians. Following internships at the State Department and the FBI, he lands a job at the US Embassy in Moscow.

But Lifflander's story turns out to be less The Spy Who Loved Me and more Ferris Bueller's Day Off. He sets off for provincial Russia to live outside the gate of a nuclear missile factory and work as an inspector-janitor-chef on the US monitoring team. There he discovers Russians are just as friendly—and suspicious—as their American counterparts. What sinister significance could the Americans' pink lawn flamingos have? The local KGB wants to know.

The Americans are managed by young female "escorts" tasked by the KGB to watch for signs of espionage. They begin to manipulate Lifflander's favorite—a pretty girl named Sofia. Against the rules and reason, Justin and Sofia become emotionally involved.

Both a romantic comedy of errors and a narrative glimpse into the golden age of US-USSR relations during perestroika, Lifflander's memoir is revealed through deeply personal experience, humor, and heartache. It reminds us our enemies are never as unknowable as we think or as easy to fathom as we'd like.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:02 -0400)

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