Red Spy Queen by Kathryn S. Olmsted
A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley

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Synopsis

When Elizabeth Bentley slunk into an FBI field office in 1945, she was thinking only of saving herself from NKGB assassins who were hot on her trail. She had no idea that she was about to start the greatest Red Scare in U.S. history.

Bentley (1908-1963) was a Connecticut Yankee and Vassar graduate who spied for the Soviet Union for seven years. She met with dozens of highly placed American agents who worked for the Soviets, gathering their secrets and stuffing sensitive documents into her knitting bag. But her Soviet spymasters suspected her of disloyalty--and even began plotting to silence her forever. To save her own life, Bentley decided to betray her friends and comrades to the FBI. Her defection effectively shut down Soviet espionage in the United States for years.

Despite her crucial role in the cultural and political history of the early Cold War, Bentley has long been overlooked or underestimated by historians. Now, new documents from Russian and American archives make it possible to assess the veracity of her allegations. This long overdue biography rescues Elizabeth Bentley from obscurity and tells her dramatic life story.
 

About Kathryn S. Olmsted

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Kathryn S. Olmsted is a professor of history at the University of California, Davis. She has written two previous books on secrecy in the U.S. government.
 
Published October 7, 2002 by The University of North Carolina Press. 288 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Political & Social Sciences. Non-fiction

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A string of congressional hearings followed, and Bentley, who “seemed positively enthusiastic about the prospect of informing on her friends,” named more than 50 former spy associates.

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Publishers Weekly

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In August 1945, a 37-year-old woman named Elizabeth Bentley walked into the FBI office in New Haven, Conn., and announced that she was a Communist spy who controlled a vast network of agents operat

Aug 05 2002 | Read Full Review of Red Spy Queen: A Biography of...

Publishers Weekly

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In August 1945, a 37-year-old woman named Elizabeth Bentley walked into the FBI office in New Haven, Conn., and announced that she was a Communist spy who controlled a vast network of agents operating within the U.S. government.

| Read Full Review of Red Spy Queen: A Biography of...

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