Women in Espionage

Title:                      Women in Espionage

Author:                  J. Bernard Hutton

Hutton, J. Bernard (1972). Women in Espionage. New York: Macmillan

LCCN:    79183407

UB270 .H87 1972



  • 1971 ed. has title: Women Spies. [London: W. H. Allen].

Date Updated:  September 12, 2016

Reviewed by George C. Constantinides[1]

Hutton, a pseudonym, is described on the jacket as a former Czech official. Blackstock and Schaf[2] state that he was once the editor for Czech and Soviet Communist newspapers. Anyone with a modicum of knowledge of the subject will quickly determine that this book is unreliable. What is not definitely known to be either wrong or right has no documentation to back it up, and what is within acceptable limits of accuracy can probably be found better treated elsewhere, with the exception of the pages on the Rinaldi case. Oddly enough, this latter Soviet espionage operation, spanning a number of countries and uncovered in 1967, has never been fully treated up to now. Rinaldi’s book in Italian is considered an ex parte apologia.

Reviewed by Paul W. Blackstock and Frank L. Schaf[3]

Formerly an editor for Czech and Russian Communist newspapers, and now a journalist in the West, the author disposes of the Mata Hari myth in the prologue of Women in Espionage, and then goes on to prove his case that women make capable agents—as capable as men and more difficult for counterespionage to detect. He describes the recruitment techniques used in the USSR for women agents along with their schooling and training (see also Hutton’s School for Spies[4]), and follows this by accounts of six successful Soviet women agents who operated in Western countries in the post-World War lI period, Hutton compares Chinese Communist, British, and U.S. philosophies regarding women agents to the Soviet techniques, giving as an example of Chinese Communist technique an account of Min Chien-sen (Lily Petal), an agent who for years operated in New York. There follows a variety of the stories of seven women agents of various countries active in the postwar period.

[1] Constantinides, George C. (1983). Intelligence and Espionage: An Analytical Bibliography. Boulder, CO: Westview Press, p. 248.

[2] Blackstock, Paul W.(1978) and Schaf, Frank L. Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co.

[3] Blackstock, Paul W. (1978) and Frank L. Schaf, Jr. Intelligence, Espionage, Counterespionage, And Covert Operations: A Guide to Information Sources. Detroit: Gale Research Co., pp. 145-146

[4] Hutton, J. Bernard (1962). School for Spies: The ABC of How Russia’s Secret Service Operates. New York: Coward-McCann


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One Response to Women in Espionage

  1. Pingback: Espionage and Counterespionage, Chapter 14 | Intelligence Analysis and Reporting

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