Book cover of Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedornby Ann Hagedorn

This “historical page-turner of the highest order” (The Wall Street Journal) tells the chilling story of an American-born Soviet spy in the atom bomb project in World War II, perfect for fans of The Americans.

George Koval was born in Iowa. In 1932, his parents, Russian Jews who had emigrated because of anti-Semitism, decided to return home to live out their socialist ideals. George, who was as committed to socialism as they were, went with them. There, he was recruited by the Soviet Army as a spy and returned to the US in 1940. A gifted science student, he enrolled at Columbia University, where he knew scientists soon to join the Manhattan Project, America’s atom bomb program. After being drafted into the US Army, George used his scientific background and connections to secure an assignment at a site where plutonium and uranium were produced to fuel the atom bomb. There, and later in a second top-secret location, he had full access to all facilities, and he passed highly sensitive information to Moscow.

Interview with the Author

Podcast art for The Cold War VaultThe Cold War Vault
EP 47: Sleeper Agent with Ann Hagedorn
7/22/21       35 min

Podcast art for History UnpluggedHistory Unplugged Podcast
The Iowa Boy Who Loved Baseball, Leaked Atomic Secrets to the USSR, and Jump started the Cold War
10/26/21         53 min

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