Monday, May 5, 2008

Kristie Macrakis' "Seduced by Secrets"

Kristie Macrakis is a history professor at Michigan State University and a visiting professor in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University.

She applied the “Page 99 Test” to her new book, Seduced by Secrets: Inside the Stasi's Spy-Tech World, and reported the following:
I smiled when I opened my book to p. 99: not only was it a page I liked, but it was also representative of the style and content of the book. The page comes out of a chapter profiling two American servicemen -- code-named "Kid" and "Paul" -- who spied for the East German Ministry for State Security (MfS or Stasi) during the 1980s in Berlin.

The chapter compares and contrasts their very different motives for spying as well as including their damage to American national security. Unlike his more senior counter-part James Hall ("Paul"), the very young Jeff Carney ("Kid") spied because of his unstable psychological state related to his homosexuality.

After a short six months from the time he crossed the Berlin border during a Berlin pub tour, Carney returned to the Air Force Base in Texas as an instructor. Rumors spread that Carney found his lover dead in a bathtub and therefore decided to defect to East Germany.

The last paragraph on p. 99 describes the exfiltration:

A plan was soon hatched as to how to get Carney back to East Germany. The nearby Cubans had proven to be loyal friends of the East Germans and they gladly agreed to help. Carney was smuggled out through a laundry chute and flown to Cuba in a Cubana Airliner where he stayed for a week at a safe house in Varo Dero. The Cubans rolled out the red carpet and their hospitality. Fidel Castro said hello. Carney felt important.
Read an excerpt from the book, and visit the Seduced by Secrets website and Kristie Macrakis' faculty webpage.

--Marshal Zeringue