By Kathryn S. Olmsted
Whilst Elizabeth Bentley slunk into an FBI box workplace in 1945, she was once pondering in simple terms of saving herself from NKGB assassins who have been scorching on her path. She had no concept that she used to be approximately to begin the best crimson Scare in U.S. historical past. Bentley (1908-1963) used to be a Connecticut Yankee and Vassar graduate who spied for the Soviet Union for seven years. She met with dozens of hugely positioned American brokers who labored for the Soviets, amassing their secrets and techniques and stuffing delicate files into her knitting bag. yet her Soviet spymasters suspected her of disloyalty--and even all started plotting to silence her perpetually. to save lots of her personal lifestyles, Bentley made up our minds to betray her pals and comrades to the FBI. Her defection successfully close down Soviet espionage within the usa for years. regardless of her an important position within the cultural and political historical past of the early chilly warfare, Bentley has lengthy been missed or underestimated through historians. Now, new records from Russian and American information give the opportunity to evaluate the veracity of her allegations. This lengthy past due biography rescues Elizabeth Bentley from obscurity and tells her dramatic existence tale.
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Extra resources for Red Spy Queen: A Biography of Elizabeth Bentley
She would enter a theater at a precise time, sit at an agreed spot, and put an attaché case full of documents at her feet.
38 Despite her objections, however, ‘‘John’’ remained her designated contact. Because he ‘‘seemed quite unable to detect when he was under surveillance,’’ they agreed to meet in darkened newsreel theaters. She would enter a theater at a precise time, sit at an agreed spot, and put an attaché case full of documents at her feet.
Chambers, too, repeatedly deﬂected and ignored orders to travel to Moscow. He then took some additional steps to ensure his survival. In desperation, he began to prepare a ‘‘life preserver’’ —something tangible that would convince the Soviets that they could not aﬀord to kill him. As he made his regular collections from his sources, Chambers began holding some documents back. The papers ended up in a large manila envelope hidden in Baltimore. S. government; he did not want to inform on his friends.