Shevchenko's was one of the most important, and certainly the most publicized, defections of a Soviet official to the West in recent years. This is his own story, as he wants the world to know it, told, to all appearances, in honesty and candor. Parts of it are high drama-the reaching of his fateful decision, his role as informant to the U.S. while still working for the Soviet government (though his job was undersecretary general of the U.N.), and his final escape and public break with Moscow-and adventure in the world of moles and double agents and ever-present danger. The bulk of the book, on "the education of a Soviet diplomat," sketches Shevchenko's own career in the Soviet foreign service and contains numerous interesting comments on personalities and practices within the Soviet elite.
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