Many of us have grown up with James Bond, Jason Bourne and Jack Ryan as our heroes, but these spies live and work in a fictional world that bears little resemblance to reality. Secret agents have existed for as long as humans have been in conflict, and this book tells the stories of the people and agencies responsible for some of the most daring and disastrous exploits in the history of intelligence gathering, warfare and espionage.
We’ll examine the lives of Nathan Hale, the man executed by the British during the American Revolutionary War; Sidney Reilly, Ace of Spies; and Aldrich Ames, the man who betrayed countless CIA officers and operations to the Soviet Union. We’ll also look at the lesser-known events surrounding the disappearance of Wilhelm Mörz, the only German spy thought to have escaped from Britain during the Second World War, and Mata Hari, the femme fatale who extracted secrets from both sides during World War One.
The agencies behind these men and women will also be examined in detail, and no book on secret agents would be complete without paying tribute to the most famous spy on the silver screen: James Bond.