Her code name was "Clever Girl", but to the New York City tabloids in the late 1940s, she was the "Red Spy Queen". She ferried secret documents from covert communists in the federal government to her Russian lover, a KGB operative. She recruited informants and debriefed agents.
During the "golden age" of Soviet espionage, Elizabeth Turrill Bentley ran two of the most productive spy rings in America. And then, one day in 1945, she "turned" - and started naming names. When she finished, she had exposed scores of communist agents in the government, pinpointed spies in top administrative positions, and started the Rosenbergs on their way to execution. Her disclosures and accusations put a halt to Russian spying for years and helped set the tone of American political life for nearly a decade.
With a rich supporting cast of characters - from FBI director J Edgar Hoover to KGB station chief Anatoly Gorsky - Bentley's life is set against the backdrop of fascinating and turbulent times: the Depression, the Popular Front, World War Two, the McCarthy era.
More than a gripping spy story, 'Clever Girl' is a portrait of a complex and conflicted American woman - both a traitor and a patriot - who was at the centre of a political drama that changed history.
- Publication Date:
- 01 / 09 / 2003
- 153 x 234mm