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Dan Fesperman’s 13th thriller “Winter Work” is set just after the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Stasi, East Germany’s brutal Cold War intelligence service, was busy destroying the evidence. The CIA was just as busy trying to uncover the secrets of the enemy organization.
“The CIA, initially, had people calling ex-Stasi agents,” Fesperman said in this week’s podcast. “They got their hands on a directory with the home phone numbers of some of these Stasi foreign intelligence agents. And they started cold calling them – like salespeople, like those irritating calls we get back home, except for the Stasi, it was the CIA calling. ‘Hey, do you want to share your secrets with us? We can pay you. They were mostly getting blockages, a lot of angry lectures. And when that didn’t work out quickly, then they started going door to door for them, which didn’t work out much better.
Isaac Fitzgerald hits up the podcast to talk about his new memoir, “Dirtbag, Massachusetts,” which recalls his troubled childhood and eventual coming to terms with those in charge.
“I was able to give my parents a little more grace in this book,” Fitzgerald says. “And part of that was recognizing that my story didn’t start with my birth; my story begins with what happened to them.
Also on this week’s episode, Elizabeth Harris has some news from the publishing world; and Dwight Garner and Molly Young talk about books they recently reviewed. John Williams is the host.
Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this episode and the book review podcast in general. You can send them to [email protected].