The Man with the Poison Gun:
A Cold War Spy Story
This event includes a book signing
December 6, 2016
Harvard Book Store
1256 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138
This event is free; no tickets are required.
Harvard Book Store and Mass Humanities welcome prize-winning author SERHII PLOKHY, the Mykhailo Hrushevsky Professor of Ukrainian History at Harvard and the director of the university's Ukrainian Research Institute, for a discussion of his latest book, The Man with the Poison Gun: A Cold War Spy Story.
About The Man with the Poison Gun
In the fall of 1961, KGB assassin Bogdan Stashinsky defected to West Germany. After spilling his secrets to the CIA, Stashinsky was put on trial in what would be the most publicized assassination case of the entire Cold War. The publicity stirred up by the Stashinsky case forced the KGB to change its modus operandi abroad and helped end the career of Aleksandr Shelepin, one of the most ambitious and dangerous Soviet leaders. Stashinsky’s testimony, implicating the Kremlin rulers in political assassinations carried out abroad, shook the world of international politics. Stashinsky’s story would inspire films, plays, and books—including Ian Fleming’s last James Bond novel, The Man with the Golden Gun.
A thrilling tale of Soviet spy craft, complete with exploding parcels, elaborately staged coverups, double agents, and double crosses, The Man with the Poison Gun offers unparalleled insight into the shadowy world of Cold War espionage.
"A gripping portrait of an assassin and his journey from recruitment to mission to defection, The Man with the Poison Gun exhumes one of the Cold War’s stranger episodes—the KGB’s murder of Ukrainian émigrés with a spray gun that squirted poison. Author Serhii Plokhy tells an evocative and informative tale, based on original archival research, that immerses us in the tradecraft of Soviet spies operating in Western Europe." —Peter Finn, co-author of The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book
"Serhii Plokhy, one of the most brilliant historians of our era, has retraced the steps of a murderer and this gripping book is the result. The Man with the Poison Gun will appeal equally to students of history and lovers of spy thrillers." —Mary Elise Sarotte, author of The Collapse: The Accidental Opening of the Berlin Wall
"The Man with the Poison Gun is the classic old-school Cold War spy tale. It’s all here—the trench coats, the cigarette smoke, the high stakes, the special weapons—deeply documented and smoothly told by Professor Plokhy. In the literature on 20th-century espionage, this book belongs on the top shelf." —Mark Riebling, author of Church of Spies
Walking from the Harvard Square T station: 2 minutes
As you exit the station, reverse your direction and walk east along Mass. Ave. in front of the Cambridge Savings Bank. Cross Dunster St. and proceed along Mass. Ave for three more blocks. You will pass Au Bon Pain, JP Licks, and TD Bank. Harvard Book Store is located at the corner of Mass. Ave. and Plympton St.
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Mass Humanities conducts and supports programs that use history, literature, philosophy, and the other humanities disciplines to enhance and improve civic life in Massachusetts. Learn more at masshumanities.org.
Featured event books will be for sale at the event for 20% off. Thank you for supporting this author series with your purchases.
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