Top Secret is definitely not the right word for the International Spy Museum—its launch in 2002 made news and it has been high-profile ever since, with attendance growing by leaps and bounds. The International Spy Museum Handbook of Practical Spying has already been declassified to the delight of those in the need-to-know. Now, following up on that success, here’s an illustrated biographical who’s who of spydom from biblical days to recent times. I Lie for a Living is a regular rogue’s gallery of history’s most accomplished intriguers and intelligence operatives, famous and infamous alike.
It’s amazing how colorful some of these characters are, like 16th century playwright, brawler and secret agent Christopher Marlow or Virginia Hall and Josephine Baker, femmes fatales both. Organized into ten thematic chapters, this light-hearted but clear-eyed look at lone-wolf moles, double agents, and intricate triple-crosses unmasks a wide-ranging roster from covert patriots whose unheralded heroism sometimes cost them their lives to mercenary traitors for sale to the highest bidder, like Benedict Arnold or Aldrich Ames.
It’s a for-your-eyes-only kind of book, so beware—if you don’t watch your back it’s a sure bet someone will be reading it over your shoulder.
New York Public Library Books for the Teen AgeWINNER 2007