Man Without A Face

Man Without A Face

The Autobiography of Communism's Greatest Spymaster

Book - 1997
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Publisher: New York : Times Books, 1997
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780812963946
Branch Call Number: BIO Wolf, M
Characteristics: xii, 367 p., illus
Additional Contributors: McElvoy, Anne 1965-


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment

Sep 17, 2017

This is an interesting and surprising read. For fans of John LeCarré's espionage fiction, Markus Wolf was rumored to be the model for the fictional figure, Karla, i.e., the head of foreign intelligence at Moscow Centre and George Smiley's nemesis. Wolf was the head of foreign intelligence at the State Security apparatus in East Germany (DDR) before its collapse.

You won't find a great deal of gripping espionage scenes in the book, because Wolf was too professional to indulge in melodrama. What you might find interesting is his last chapter looking back at intelligence services in the East and West, and his realistic appraisal of their strengths and weaknesses.

I always wondered how intelligent men, such as Wolf, could devote their lives to the service of authoritarian, harshly oppressive states. This book answered my question. Wolf was a believer in a utopian version of Communism, as had his parents. He believed that Marx and Engels had developed a theory of a truly better world in which liberty, equality and fraternity of men actually could exist, and he was appalled by the abuses of power by Stalin and others. And, yet, he continued to serve those governments in hopes that his dream would come to fruition one day. Of course, it didn't.

Wolf was a highly intelligent man, an optimist and a utopian. He died in 2006 in Berlin. His thoughts are definitely worth reading and thinking about.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at CHPL

To Top