BOOKS: THE DEFINITIVE SPY VS. SPY

ESPIONAGE FINALLY GETS ITS OWN BIG REFERENCE BOOK

Military historians Norman Polmar and Thomas B. Allen probably wish they had waited a month or so before publishing Spy Book: The Encyclopedia of Espionage (Random House; 633 pages; $30). If they had, they could have sneaked in a page or two on the spectacular story of veteran CIA officer Harold Nicholson, who was arrested a few weeks ago for selling secrets to the Russians.

Apart from that stroke of bad timing, this authoritative reference book rides the espionage headlines exceedingly well. The Soviets' CIA mole Aldrich Ames is here, as is hot-off-the-press documentation gleaned from the long-secret U.S. "Venona" decrypts...

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