Pete Earley


Earley, Pete. Comrade J: The Untold Secrets of Russia's Master Spy in America after the End of the Cold War. New York: Putnam's, 2008.

Tretyakov died 13 June 2010 at his home in Florida. See T. Rees Shapiro, "Sergei Tretyakov Dies; Former Russian Spy Defected to U.S. in 2000," Washington Post, 10 Jul. 2010, B4.

Wise, Washington Post, 27 Jan. 2008, notes that Comrade J is SVR Col. Sergei Tretyakov, who was the deputy rezident (station chief) in New York when he defected in 2000. The reviewer does not care much for some of Tretyakov's accusations against Western politicians, but finds that "[t]he real value of [his] saga lies less in his scattershot claims and innuendoes than in his sharp eye and gossipy insider's view of the KGB/SVR's training, methods, foibles and tricks."

For Goulden, Washington Times, 20 Jan. 2008, this is "an unsettling book." However, "[s]py buffs will love Tretyakov's gossipy accounts of National Enquirer-style sexual and alcohol misbehavior in KGB and SVR offices." Ransom, NIPQ 24.2 (Apr. 2008), comments that the author "covers a great deal of ground, sometimes roaming without any specific destination."

Peake, Studies 52.1 (Mar. 2008) and Intelligencer 16.1 (Spring 2008), wishes there were more details on Tretyakov's work for the FBI in the three years before his defection. This book is in essence an unsourced defector memoir, and that raises "the question of accuracy." Nevertheless, "Earley has provided another well told espionage case study." While lamenting its lack of an index, West, IJI&C 21.4 (Winter 2008-2009), still finds the book to be "important, not so much because it contains sensational disclosures -- which it does not -- but more for what it reveals about the daily grind of life in the New York rezidentura."

[FBI/00s/Gen; Russia/SovDefectors]

Earley, Pete. Confessions of a Spy: The Real Story of Aldrich Ames. New York: Putnam's, 1997.

Earley, Pete. Family of Spies: Inside the John Walker Spy Ring. New York: Bantam Books, 1988.

Earley, Pete. "Interview with the Spy Master." Washington Post Magazine, 23 Apr. 1995, 18-21, 28-29.

Boris Aleksandrovich Solomatin.


Earley, Pete. "'Treason?' He Repeats the Word Out Loud as if He Is Shocked by It." U.S. News and World Report, 17 Feb. 1997, 29-35.

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