What We’re Reading: Spy Stories and the Changing World Order

Weekly reviews of what's on our bookshelves.

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The Spy Created by Gideon Raff “The Spy,” a six-episode series airing on Netflix, tells the true story of Eli Cohen, an Egyptian-born Israeli spy who went undercover during the height of Syria-Israel hostilities in the 1960s as a Syrian shipping magnate and billionaire. Cohen escaped Egypt, where he had experienced anti-Semitism, in 1955 and fled to Israel, where he worked as a filing clerk and married his wife, Nadia. They faced discrimination from European Israelis because of their Sephardic and Arab roots, reflecting Israel’s struggle to build a national identity in the early years of the Cold War. But Cohen’s Arab background became an asset in 1961 when he was recruited by Israel’s Mossad intelligence agency to infiltrate Syria’s military ranks and Baath Party at a time when Syria and Israel were exchanging tit-for-tat strikes. In his first assignment under his new alias, Kamel Amin Thaabet, Cohen was sent to Argentina, where he mingled with Syrian military and political elite and cozied up to Amin al-Hafez, who became Syria’s president following the 1963 Baathist coup. Mossad then sent Cohen to Syria, where he posed as a prominent businessman, playboy and political player. He thrived in Syria, climbing his way […]

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Caroline D. Rose
Caroline Rose has a Masters of Science (MSc) in the History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). Just before joining GPF she served as a Research Associate for LSE’s International Drug Policy Unit (IDPU), where she researched the nexus between illicit economies and armed insurgencies. She earned her undergraduate degree from American University's School of International Service and has worked previously at both Brookings Institute and the Atlantic Council. Her studies and projects at these institutions covered a range of topics, from Russian and Chinese cyber warfare, evolving American interest within a changing international order, and grand security strategies against state-led revisionism in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and the Pacific. Throughout she's written for a diverse array of publications including Limes in Italy.
Ryan Bridges
Ryan Bridges is an editor with Geopolitical Futures, having spent years both editing and writing geopolitical articles. He joined Geopolitical Futures in 2017 and spent over a year as a geopolitical analyst writing on Europe and focusing on issues relating to the European Union. His expertise as an editor was in high demand so he recently made the change back to editing rather than analyzing. Prior to Geopolitical Futures Mr. Bridges worked for seven years as an editor at Stratfor. He earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, where he studied political science with a minor in philosophy. Mr. Bridges lives and works from Germany and also travels extensively in the region. He speaks some German.