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The Moscow Rules

The Secret CIA Tactics That Helped America Win the Cold War
Narrated by: Wilson Bethel
Length: 7 hrs and 2 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (78 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the spymaster and inspiration for the movie Argo: how a group of brilliant but under-supported CIA operatives developed breakthrough spy tactics that helped turn the tide of the Cold War

Antonio Mendez and his future wife, Jonna, were CIA operatives working to spy on Moscow in the late 1970s, at one of the most dangerous moments in the Cold War. Soviets kept files on all foreigners, studied their patterns, tapped their phones, and even planted listening devices within the US embassy. In short, intelligence work was effectively impossible. The Soviet threat loomed larger than ever.

The Moscow Rules tells the story of the intelligence breakthroughs that turned the odds in America's favor. As experts in disguise, Antonio and Jonna were instrumental in creating and honing a series of tactics that allowed officers to finally get one step ahead of the KGB. These techniques included everything from elaborate Hollywood-inspired identity swaps, to deception or evasion techniques, to more mundane document forgery. With these new guidelines in place, and with an armory of new gadgets perfected by the Office of Technical Services including miniature cameras, suitcase release body doubles, and wall rappelling mechanisms, the CIA managed to gain a foothold in Moscow and pull off some of the greatest intelligence operations in the history of espionage.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio.

©2019 Antonio J. Mendez, Jonna Mendez (P)2019 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Even inside the CIA, very few know the whole story of how the highest-level CIA tradecraft was developed for use in Moscow. The legendary Tony and Jonna Mendez were a vital part of creating that tradecraft, and their riveting insider account is unlike any spy story that's ever been published." (Joe Weisberg, creator/executive producer, The Americans)

"A gripping read. Thanks to Tony Mendez's extraordinary talent, the CIA was able to elude KGB surveillance to carry out high-risk, high-payoff operations with impunity - until tripped up by traitors within our own ranks. It's all in this book - the good, the bad, and the ugly, unflinchingly revealed. Tony and his wife and coauthor, Jonna, were two of the stars from the Office of Technical Service, CIA's version of James Bond's 'Q,' and key to so many of the agency's successes-and nowhere more so than in Moscow during the Cold War." (Jack Downing, former chief of station, Moscow, and the CIA's former deputy director for operations)

"An insider's look at CIA operations in Moscow, the most challenging operational city in the world, revealing the tradecraft precepts used to keep priceless assets productive against overwhelming KGB surveillance. Written by two of the people who created these breakthrough tactics, The Moscow Rules takes you every step of the way on the snowy streets of Moscow." (Jason Matthews, New York Times best-selling author of the Red Sparrow trilogy)

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Great for enthusiasts

After watching a YouTube video on Jonna Mendez discussing the art of disguise I preordered the book. I’ve listened to a fair amount of espionage novels on the Cold War and this is another must listen. Covers the case agents skills of deception, it’s nice to learn more info on them book to book.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very interesting

I really enjoyed this book, and I wasn't sure I would. I found it interesting how they developed new technology to adapt to their situations. The narration was very good, very articulate.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Awesome read!

This was such a great book that I could not put it down until I got to the end!

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If you care about costumes this book is for you

This reads more like a teen romance novel then a serious investigation of the CIA. This book does not look at the politics, and focuses on costume changes and who told on whom. I kept expecting a point, but there really isn't one. The author talks about differences in management, but barley mentions any of the politics behind it.

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  • CB
  • 06-05-19

great read but abrupt end

the book was a great read but ends kind of abruptly. could easily had another chapter or two after the last one closing out the time in Moscow before 1989 when the wall fell. still, a great read and great insight into the workings of the CIA during a time of history that all Americans and Russians remember.

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Magic of the CIA

Great vignette of the famous spy cases performed on the Moscow stage during the Cold War. This book takes you behind the scenes revealing the magic and tradecraft that made the stunning successes happen.