American Spies

Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present

Michael J. Sulick

"I find it delightful to encounter a volume written by a professional who has walked the ground about which he writes. A must-read."
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A history of Americans who spied against their country and what their stories reveal about national security

What's your secret?

American Spies presents the stunning histories of more than forty Americans who spied against their country during the past six decades. Michael Sulick, former head of the CIA's clandestine service, illustrates through these stories—some familiar, others much less well known—the common threads in the spy cases and the evolution of American attitudes toward espionage since the onset of the Cold War. After highlighting the accounts of many who have spied for traditional adversaries such as Russian and Chinese intelligence services, Sulick shows how spy hunters today confront a far broader spectrum of threats not only from hostile states but also substate groups, including those conducting cyberespionage.

Sulick reveals six fundamental elements of espionage in these stories: the motivations that drove them to spy; their access and the secrets they betrayed; their tradecraft, or the techniques of concealing their espionage; their exposure; their punishment; and, finally, the damage they inflicted on America's national security.

The book is the sequel to Sulick's popular Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War. Together they serve as a basic introduction to understanding America's vulnerability to espionage, which has oscillated between peacetime complacency and wartime vigilance, and continues to be shaped by the inherent conflict between our nation's security needs and our commitment to the preservation of civil liberties. Now available in paperback, with a new preface that brings the conversation up to the present, American Spies is as insightful and relevant as ever.

Table of Contents



Part I: The Cold War: 1950–70

1. The KGB Rebuilds

2. Spies in the Enlisted Ranks

3. Vietnam and the 1960s

Part II: Decade of Turmoil: The 1970s

4. Espionage and the 1970s

5. Soviet Science and Technology Espionage

6. James Angleton and the Spy Hunt in the CIA

Part III: The Decade of the Spy: Soviet Spies of the 1980s

7. Espionage in the 1980s

8. Evil Spy for the Evil Empire: John Walker

9. The Spy in the National Security Agency: Ronald Pelton

10. A Spy in the CIA: Edward Lee Howard

11.The Spy in the US Marine Corps: Clayton Lonetree

Part IV: The Decade of the Spy: Other Spies of the 1980s

12. The Illegal in the CIA: Karl Koecher

13. The Army’s John Walker: Clyde Conrad

14. Spies for East Germany: James Michael Hall and Jeffrey Carney

15. The Spy for China: Larry Wu-tai Chin

16. The Spy for Israel: Jonathan Pollard

Part V: Espionage and the New World Order: The 1990s

17. The End of the Cold War and US Counterespionage

18. Aldrich Ames and His Impact on the CIA

19. The Spy in the FBI: Robert Hanssen

20. The Last Vestiges of Cold War Espionage

Part VI: Espionage in the New Millennium

21. New Threats, Old Threats

22. Chinese Nuclear Espionage and Wen Ho Lee Case

23. Spies for China

24. Spies for Cuba I: Ana Belen Montes

25. Spies for Cuba II: Kendall and Gwendolyn Myers

26. Espionage and the War on Terrorism

27. Cyberespionage




About the Author



"These annals read like fiction, which plays into Sulick's statement that, due to our unique geographical location and emphasis on individual liberties, Americans possess a disbelief that the threat of espionage exists within our borders yet as Sulick proves with this broad work, foreign attempts at espionage have existed since the country's inception and will surely continue."—Publishers Weekly, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Reading Michael Sulick on the subject [of espionage] is akin to taking a tour of London with the queen of England as your personal guide. The author comes with blue-ribbon credentials: he served in the CIA as an operations officer for 28 years, in positions including chief of counterintelligence and director of the National Clandestine Service."—Joseph C. Goulden, The Washington Times, review of Spying in America

"What is most interesting are the motivations of citizens to betray their own country in contrast to those sent here to spy on us. . . . The author certainly knows the subject inside and out. This is an easy-to-read introduction for interested laypersons or those taking beginning courses on the history of intelligence operations."—Library Journal, reviewing a previous edition or volume

"Mr. Sulick's timely and valuable book, Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War, should have been required reading before those ladies and gentlemen [of the US House of Representatives Judiciary Committee] ever sought national office, because in its succinct, well-written chapters, the author lays out a history few Americans know and some barely even suspect Mr. Sulick's equally painstaking abilities as a historian have allowed him produce a book that is unfailingly succinct but richly illustrated and well documented. He also brings his practical experience as an intelligence operator to a thought provoking concluding chapter."—Kenneth Allard, New York Journal of Books, review of Spying in America

"As a bibliophile who devours several lineal feet of books on espionage and intelligence each month, both for review and for pleasure, I find it delightful to encounter a volume written by a professional who has walked the ground about which he writes . . . . Albeit scholarly, it brims with details of spying that make for enjoyable reading."—The Intelligencer: Journal of US Intelligence Studies

"The book is very readable; it is a history of espionage played out on American shores. The stories are long enough to be detailed but short enough to hold attention. While reading I kept hoping someone would find out about them and stop the leakage of secrets but usually they were able to spy for years undetected. I very much recommend this book as a caution to our current times."—San Francisco Book Review

"In addition to being an interesting, well-researched, and well-written book, ‘American Spies’ is a thought-provoking . . . analysis of the security and counterintelligence problems the United States faces today and in the future. It should be read by anyone who has a professional or personal interest in these areas."—Proceedings

"Sulick blends the historical record with his own intelligence expertise to create a nonfiction espionage thriller on par with the best of Ian Fleming and John Le Carre."—Choice

"Makes real-life spy history come alive, and is highly recommended especially for public and college library American History shelves."—Midwest Book Review

"I find it delightful to encounter a volume written by a professional who has walked the ground about which he writes. A must-read."—The Washington Times

"As director of CIA, I found my regular counterintelligence briefings to be depressing affairs: how could seemingly loyal, normal Americans stoop to (at best) ill-advised and (too frequently) disloyal and illegal behavior. If only I had had the chance to read Mike Sulick's American Spies, I might have known and better understood. Sulick's readable style and obvious espionage expertise translate into an expert's view of what has motivated betrayal by Americans in the modern era. His narrative reads like a fictional page-turner but with a practitioner's understanding of a real world where betrayal has become far too common. This is a must-read if one hopes to understand what it will take to keep America's secrets secret."—Michael Hayden, General USAF (Retired), former director of CIA, former director of NSA

"This and Sulick’s first volume describe some of the most damaging spies in our history with gripping accounts of their motives, espionage, and the temper of the times. The detailed, often compelling accounts fascinate. But more importantly, they sound a loud warning buzzer to once again challenge our near chronic disbelief—even today—about the extent of spying directed against America and the perennial readiness of some to betray it."—Peter Earnest, executive director, International Spy Museum

"In this, his second volume of Spying in America, retired intelligence officer and historian Michael Sulick presents vividly to readers how America, as a primary intelligence target of foreign countries and groups, protects against these attacks within the competing democratic challenges of national security and civil liberties. Sulick’s extensive research gives a professional’s up-to-date analysis of Russian, Chinese, and Cuban successes, and introduces us to the newer threats from terrorist organizations and cyber espionage."—Burton Gerber, retired CIA senior operations officer

"Drawing on a long career in the CIA’s clandestine service, Michael Sulick’s survey of espionage in America during and after the Cold War presents balanced analytical comparative case summaries that emphasize the most significant operations that challenged American intelligence agencies. Fascinating stories, well written, and a much needed contribution to the literature. For a basic understanding of America’s contemporary espionage history—read this book!"—Hayden Peake, intelligence bibliographer, Curator of CIA Historical Intelligence Collection

"With the current presidency of Donald J. Trump and his seemingly inexplicable deference to Vladimir Putin and the Russian military establishment's espionage activities and interference with the American political election process, American Spies: Espionage against the United States from the Cold War to the Present is an urgently important and unreservedly recommended addition to personal, professional, community, college, university, and governmental library collections on Espionage, Political Intelligence, National and International Security."—Midwest Book Review


Supplemental Materials


About the Author

Michael J. Sulick is a retired intelligence operations officer who was director of the CIA’s National Clandestine Service (2007–10), chief of CIA counterintelligence (2002–4), and chief of the Central Eurasia Division (1999–2002), among other assignments during his twenty-eight-year career. He holds a PhD in comparative literature from the City University of New York. He is the author of Spying in America: Espionage from the Revolutionary War to the Dawn of the Cold War.

384 pp., 6 x 9

Oct 2013

384 pp., 6 x 9

ISBN: 978-1-64712-037-5
Oct 2013

384 pp.

ISBN: 978-1-64712-045-0
Oct 2013

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