• Title: The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service
  • Author: Andrew Meier
  • ISBN: 9780393060973
  • Page: 231
  • Format: Hardcover
  • The Lost Spy An American in Stalin s Secret Service For half a century the case of Isaiah Oggins a s New York intellectual brutally murdered in on Stalin s orders remained hidden in the secret files of the KGB and the FBI a footnote buried
    For half a century, the case of Isaiah Oggins, a 1920s New York intellectual brutally murdered in 1947 on Stalin s orders, remained hidden in the secret files of the KGB and the FBI a footnote buried in the rubble of the Cold War Then, in 1992, it surfaced briefly, when Boris Yeltsin handed over a deeply censored dossier to the White House The Lost Spy at last revealsFor half a century, the case of Isaiah Oggins, a 1920s New York intellectual brutally murdered in 1947 on Stalin s orders, remained hidden in the secret files of the KGB and the FBI a footnote buried in the rubble of the Cold War Then, in 1992, it surfaced briefly, when Boris Yeltsin handed over a deeply censored dossier to the White House The Lost Spy at last reveals the truth Oggins was one of the first Americans to spy for the Soviets.Based on six years of international sleuthing, The Lost Spy traces Oggins s rise in beguiling detail a brilliant Columbia University graduate sent to run a safe house in Berlin and spy on the Romanovs in Paris and the Japanese in Manchuria and his fall death by poisoning in a KGB laboratory As harrowing as Darkness at Noon and as tragic as Dr Zhivago, The Lost Spy is one of the great nonfiction detective stories of our time.

    One Reply to “The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service”

    1. The Lost Spy: An American in Stalin's Secret Service is a far more titillating title that what's between the covers. This is the story of Isaiah Oggins, American/Russian Jew with Communist ideals and sympathies for the plight of oppressed workers. Very little is known about him, especially after he went underground overseas to work as a Communist spy. Oggins' wife is just as interesting and much of the book revolves around her story. It also spends a large number of pages on their sickly and cri [...]

    2. I give this one 3 stars for the information and the incredible research that must have gone into unfolding this true story. The delivery is a little cold and I can easily see how it will lose a reader looking for entertainment. The the narrator's voice on the audio version didn't help as it added to the dryness of the presentation.

    3. Meier tells the story of spy Cy Oggins who was murdered by the Soviets during the Stalin regime. Oggins was an intriguing character, and the author gives a lot of detail of the communist movement in the US during the 1920s and 30s.

    4. Thoughtful and troubling account of an idealist sucked beneath Stalin's quicksand. Very well researched.

    5. If the title character had read Dante's Inferno while attending Columbia University, one wonders if he took note that a frozen hell is the fate of traitors."The Lost Spy" is about a man whose life was destined to be erased from history. Only because the Soviet secret police files were briefly, partially, opened in the early nineties when the USSR dissolved, are we able to catch a glimpse of the strange tale of Cy Oggins. Author Meier takes a cold case approach to the highly redacted files he gat [...]

    6. This was a perfect book to pick up on a whim and listen to in the car. Had I read the book it would have taken longer, but the measured narration ensured I kept going through the parts that slowed down. That's not to say I didn't enjoy it, I just wasn't captivated at all times.At its heart, this is story of a boy discovering his father's secret life and coming to terms both with the choice he made and the ramifications thereof. When taken through this lens, it is a heartbreaking tale made all th [...]

    7. Okay so my Russian is a little rusty and I had some trouble keeping all the 'skys and 'kovs straight, but this story was really well told and interesting. The author made it easy to understand how young revolutionaries of the 1920's could have gotten caught up in the communist movement and their ideals until it was too late to back out. They weren't selling state secrets or anything so treasonous. They just believe that capitalism (especially with current working conditions for laborers and chil [...]

    8. The story of Cy Oggins, one of the first Soviet spies recruited in the United States. He operated before WWII, mostly in Europe, as a true (albeit misguided) believer that Communism would sweep the world, that it was truly a better and more equitable system of government, that is was truly of the people (as opposed to being run by a crazy dictator and only being concerned about power). It is at the same time the story of the communist party and Russian influence in the United States in the 1920s [...]

    9. Listened to the audiobook version, narrated by David Chandler, whose voice is an insistent Connecticut tenor and whose reading I found shouty, nasal, and full of weirdly accented words. Baritones are easier on my ear, I guess.As for the book itself, there's a lot of early 20th century political history that the text assumes the reader knows. It's a strong biography that would have benefited from a little more historical context, especially concerning espionage and incipient Cold War operations, [...]

    10. An excellent and highly detailed piece of research. The Soviet Union devoured most of its idealistic champions and directly or indirectly destroyed the lives of millions. The story of Isaiah Oggins is one tragedy in millions. Andrew Meier has done a great job not only piecing together the life of Oggins but also the feeling of the times in which he was living together with a wealth of information about those who were living in the same times and whose lives or actions touched on the unfolding te [...]

    11. This impeccably researched nonfiction who-, how-, and why-dunit starts with a bang: an American is picked up by the secret police in Moscow in 1938, and before you can ask yourself, "Who was he?" you're with the author, Andrew Meier, a resourceful journalist/detective, interviewing survivors and old spies. And then you're back in Moscow, in the recesses of the Lubyanka; and then you're in Connecticut, tracing the threads of the American's life For anyone with an interest in the tortuous politics [...]

    12. As a read, this gets three stars, but as a work of research and reporting, it gets a bonus star. The patience and doggedness that went into this book are remarkable. Meier was able to uncover a hell of lot about a man who went underground only to be disappeared by Stalin. Yet the complete story of Cy Oggins remains elusive, and his character and motivations never fully reveal themselves. Fortunately, Meier is restrained in his attempts to flesh out this nearly invisible man, mostly filling in th [...]

    13. There is only a little common territory between this book and 'The Haunted Wood', since that novel was about U.S. citizens who were spying for the Soviets while in the U.S here primarily the spying is on White Russians in Europe or Chinese in Manchuria (there the improbable cover for the spies is selling Fiat bombers to the Japanese puppet government).There are a lot of brief segments that introduce more well-known historical figures who had contact with Cy Oggins, but the connection is so tenuo [...]

    14. Appearantly the guy was good enough at his job that he didn't leave a lot of records of himself. The author studdied the guy for six years before starting the book and I guess he didn't find much, because he kept writing that there was no record that Oggins participated in this or that historical event, but that he would have seen this or that if he did. However, all the historical description was good, and I enjoyed that. It just would have been better to have a protagonist to tie it together.

    15. This book was a recent selection for my book club because one of our members is related to people in the book. I enjoyed getting into the details of an era that we rarely talk about in the U.S. The protaganist is an idealist that continues to believe in the cause of communism even as his friends start to see Stalin's methods as unbearable. What perhaps was most interesting is how much we still do not know and how much is kept secret decades later. I was hungry for more detail, but I felt it was [...]

    16. This is a good bookld in a non-linear fashion (but, for me, it works) that interweaves several stories of Cy Oggins, an American citizen who acted as a Soviet spy, was caught up in the Stalin purges, served in the gulag, and was executed. The interwoven stories include the research the author did (fascinating), the story of Oggins' life as a spy, and his time in the prison camp system in the Soviet Union.

    17. Interesting view to history of the communist spy operations, most thorough research but much supposition about the actual events, the subject and his wife being professionals at false identities all over the world. Lots on minor characters in these events. Author seems to have a slant but not clear what it is, or I'm too ignorant to figure it out.These people were hard pressed to stay in the frying pan.

    18. An interesting account and unraveling of the story of Cy Oggins, a first generation American, born in a mill town of Connecticut, who died in a gulag in on the barren plains in Siberia after being a spy for the Soviets. In between, his short life was fascinating and complex. The author's quest helped solve the mystery of what happened to his father for Oggin's 90+ year old son, a history professor. Well told.

    19. Of the 300 pages of this book, only about 25 directly relate to the subject, Isaiah Oggins. It is hard to write about a a guy who left an almost non-existent paper trail, but Meier provides a lot of supplementary information related to Oggins' story, like people he was acquainted with and movements he would have been a part of. Overall, the book didn't do anything for me, but it is undeniable that Meier is a good researcher and writer.

    20. In this story of Cy Oggins, a young idealist in thrall to the Bolshevik revolution, Andrew Meier perfectly captures the evolution from the heady infatuation with utopian fantasies to the horrible realization of paranoia, persecution, purges, and pernicious power-mongering that inevitably characterizes Socialist totalitarianism. His book is at once a terrifying, cautionary, and irresistible reminder that history and gullibility repeat themselves. Highly recommended.

    21. i listened to the book on tape. The historical story is interesting but the book is mediocre. The author does not report the story chronologically. He uses flash-forwards to describe Mr. Oggins experiences in Soviet camps. There were several poorly edited transitions made worse by the fact that it was an audio book. Perhaps if I read the print version I could have kept track, looked back to see the time warp.

    22. Meier weaves together an emotional and haunting story from tiny fragments of evidence, and he does a superlative job. Too often historians try to fill the gaps with speculation or conjecture, but Meier wisely leaves the gaps where they appear, a choice that makes the story of Cy Oggins's life and death that much more gut-wrenching.

    23. If you love books that are both thrilling and true, then this is the book for you -- see detailed review ofThe Lost Spyat WhittakerChambers.

    24. Although, it seemed that there was a great deal of research for this book, if you don't have a background on the subject matter or the era, it may be hard to stay with the characters/story. The story and the way it was presented kept me listening, though

    25. The long sad saga of Cy Oggins, murdered in one of Stalin's many purges.Interesting story, but I have a hard time finding much sympathy for the traitor.This is yet another author who indulges in wide-ranging digressions.

    26. Another one of those books on a subject I typically find interesting but the life of this man wasn't the least bit interesting and I really can't decide why exactly there was a book written about him after reading this book.

    27. The story of the main character is not well-recorded, but the overall picture of Soviet intelligence during the Inter-War Period is very interesting.

    28. Very well researched but not enough detail on the 'why' of the oggins arrest and trial. Maybe was implied, in which case I just missed it. May be a better read than listen.

    29. More of a research book reconstructing what happen to an American who in the founding days of communism worked for Stalin's secret service in Europe. It is a resear book.

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