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The Defection of A.J. Lewinter por Robert…
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The Defection of A.J. Lewinter (original 1973; edição 2003)

por Robert Littell

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24813110,098 (3.41)2
Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

A. J. Lewinter is a American Scientist, for years an insignificant cog in America's complex defense machinery. While at an academic conference in Tokyo, Lewinter contacts the KGB station chief and says he wants to defect. He tantalizes the Russians with U. S. military secrets he claims to possess, but is his defection genuine? Neither the Russians nor the Americans are sure and Lewinter is swept up in a terrifying political chess match of deceit and treachery. Each side struggles to anticipate its opponent's next move and the superpowers are locked in a deadly contest that exploits friendships, destroys loyalties, and manipulate human beings as expendable pawns.

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Membro:SteveAnderson
Título:The Defection of A.J. Lewinter
Autores:Robert Littell
Informação:Penguin Books (2003), Edition: First Edition, Paperback, 304 pages
Coleções:A sua biblioteca
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The Defection of A.J. Lewinter por Robert Littell (1973)

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Como el juego de ajedrez, el enfrentamiento entre las organizaciones de los servicios secretos internacionales requiere una facultad de previsión extraordinaria y el instinto de un Maquiavelo. La maraña que se produce cuando ninguno de los contendientes puede valorar la importancia de la presa, constituye el fondo de esta hábil e irónica novela.
  Natt90 | Nov 15, 2022 |
8401351081
  archivomorero | Jun 25, 2022 |
"The Defection of A.J. Lewinter," by Robert Littell is a masterful tour de force of espionage fiction. Although there is some weaknesses of style during the beginning chapters -- bland figurative language, stilted dialog, dry narration and sometime un-useful insertion of epistolary exposition - the style improves gradually reaching excellence when the character, Zaitsev, the chess grand master, appears.
The substance of the novel is laid out as a chess game. In the opening moves A.J. Lewinter, a scientist employed in a project to develop a first strike nuclear weapon, MIRV (Multiple Independently Targetable Reentry Vehicles) defects to the Soviet Union by convincing his handler, Yefgeny Mikhailovich Pogodin, that he has vital knowledge of the project.
Leo Diamond, recently put in charge of the people responsible for security of MIRV sets in play an investigation into the character and relevant activities of A.J. Lewinter. The investigation ascertains the absolute lack of any certainty into Lewinter's character, abilities, and motivations. What they do know for certain is that he had access, though only for a few minutes, to the MIRV trajectory formulas. There is a possibility, questionable though, that he has a photographic memory. The data he possibly could turn over to the Soviets is essential and irreplaceable. Lewinter is now beyond reach, and the data, if known by the Soviets, makes the hugely expensive MIRVs worthless. It is Sarah, Leo latest lover, who comes up with a workable suggestion - "all you've got to do is convince the Russians you're trying to convince them he's a real defector. When they see you're trying to convince them he's real, they'll naturally conclude that he's some sort of fake."
The Russians are also fearful of Lewinter's ambiguities. If they accept him at full value they will need to completely rebuild their defenses - an incredible expense. The Minister of Economics, Avksentiev, Pogodin's former boss, tells him to lay off. "Avksentiev and those members of the ruling circles for whom he spoke felt more comfortable doing nothing." The middle game ends with Lewinter debasing the U.S. to the press and declaring that "The American military establishment is constructing a first-strike missile force to launch a preemptive war against the Soviet Union."
In the section of the novel labeled the gambit, a national security committee meets to determine a course of action. At the gathering Leo Diamond confronts his former boss at the CIA who is determined to take charge of the Lewinter affair. The committee backs Diamond's plan and he begins to set it in motion making use of his lover, Sarah, Lewinter's ex-wife, and the compromised chess grand master, Zaitsev.
The end game comes, as one would expect, with the sacrifice of players, reversals, surprises and advancement of pieces. The denouement is as brutely convincing as history has taught us the cold war game was.
  RonWelton | Dec 10, 2020 |
Mr. Lewinter defects to Russia during the Cold War. But the Americans want the Russians to think he is a plant, and the Russians want the Americans to think they know he is a plant... Nicely done1 ( )
  addunn3 | Mar 17, 2020 |
This was the first spy novel by Robert Littell and it was republished after the big success of The Company (2002), a 900-page beast fictionalizing the major C.I.A. capers of the last half of the 20th century. (Made into a so-so miniseries with Michael Keaton.)

I liked The Company well enough, but if you want to cover the same ground in a novel you’d do better with Norman Mailer’s Harlot’s Ghost, and William F. Buckley Jr.’s Spytime: The Undoing of James Jesus Angleton. Angleton is the most compelling real-life C.I.A. character, and irresistible to spy novelists. He was the long-time counter-intelligence chief who unraveled because he couldn’t stop suspecting treachery, which was his job. He got lost in a forest of mirrors.

The Littell novel I enjoyed most was Young Philby (2012), the punchline of which posits an outlandish theory of Kim Philby. I won’t spoil it here. I don’t believe it, but it was a great story.

The Defection of A.J. Lewinter is somewhat good. Well-plotted, with the ring of realism. But the dialogue is not strong. Russians say things like, “In Russia, we have an old saying …” about every three pages.

The K.G.B. Tokyo station chief Pogodin to whom the American missile scientist Lewinter entrusts his defection is a great character. Pogodin is “one-quarter Marxist, one-quarter humanist, and one-half bureaucrat.” ( )
  k6gst | May 24, 2019 |
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Fiction. Historical Fiction. HTML:

A. J. Lewinter is a American Scientist, for years an insignificant cog in America's complex defense machinery. While at an academic conference in Tokyo, Lewinter contacts the KGB station chief and says he wants to defect. He tantalizes the Russians with U. S. military secrets he claims to possess, but is his defection genuine? Neither the Russians nor the Americans are sure and Lewinter is swept up in a terrifying political chess match of deceit and treachery. Each side struggles to anticipate its opponent's next move and the superpowers are locked in a deadly contest that exploits friendships, destroys loyalties, and manipulate human beings as expendable pawns.

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