The Napoleon of Crime: The Life and Times of Adam Worth, Master Thief

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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF A SPY AMONG FRIENDS

He is the Napoleon of crime, Watson.
He is the organizer of half that is evil and of nearly all that is undetected in this great city.
He is a genius, a philosopher, an abstract thinker. . . .

--Sherlock Holmes on Professor Moriarty in "The Final Problem"

The Victorian era's most infamous thief, Adam Worth was the original Napoleon of crime.  Suave, cunning Worth learned early that the best way to succeed was to steal.  And steal he did.

Following a strict code of honor, Worth won the respect of Victorian society.  He also aroused its fear by becoming a chilling phantom, mingling undetected with the upper classes, whose valuables he brazenly stole.  His most celebrated heist: Gainsborough's grand portrait of the Duchess of Devonshire--ancestor of Diana, Princess of Wales--a painting Worth adored and often slept with for twenty years.

With a brilliant gang that included "Piano" Charley, a jewel thief, train robber, and playboy, and "the Scratch" Becker, master forger, Worth secretly ran operations from New York to London, Paris, and South Africa--until betrayal and a Pinkerton man finally brought him down.

In a decadent age, Worth was an icon.  His biography is a grand, dazzling tour into the gaslit underworld of the last century.  .  .  and into the doomed genius of a criminal mastermind.
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
“The best true spy story I have ever read.”—JOHN LE CARRÉ

The celebrated author of Double Cross and Rogue Heroes returns with his greatest spy story yet, a thrilling Americans-era tale of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian whose secret work helped hasten the end of the Cold War.

If anyone could be considered a Russian counterpart to the infamous British double-agent Kim Philby, it was Oleg Gordievsky. The son of two KGB agents and the product of the best Soviet institutions, the savvy, sophisticated Gordievsky grew to see his nation's communism as both criminal and philistine. He took his first posting for Russian intelligence in 1968 and eventually became the Soviet Union's top man in London, but from 1973 on he was secretly working for MI6. For nearly a decade, as the Cold War reached its twilight, Gordievsky helped the West turn the tables on the KGB, exposing Russian spies and helping to foil countless intelligence plots, as the Soviet leadership grew increasingly paranoid at the United States's nuclear first-strike capabilities and brought the world closer to the brink of war. Desperate to keep the circle of trust close, MI6 never revealed Gordievsky's name to its counterparts in the CIA, which in turn grew obsessed with figuring out the identity of Britain's obviously top-level source. Their obsession ultimately doomed Gordievsky: the CIA officer assigned to identify him was none other than Aldrich Ames, the man who would become infamous for secretly spying for the Soviets. 

Unfolding the delicious three-way gamesmanship between America, Britain, and the Soviet Union, and culminating in the gripping cinematic beat-by-beat of Gordievsky's nail-biting escape from Moscow in 1985, Ben Macintyre's latest may be his best yet. Like the greatest novels of John le Carré, it brings readers deep into a world of treachery and betrayal, where the lines bleed between the personal and the professional, and one man's hatred of communism had the power to change the future of nations.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Broadway Books
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Published on
Apr 5, 2011
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Pages
400
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ISBN
9780307886477
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Criminals & Outlaws
History / United States / 19th Century
True Crime / Con Artists, Hoaxes & Deceptions
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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From the Hardcover edition.
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