Recollections of a Cold War Pawn

In 1986, Nicholas Daniloff became the focus of world attention after he was jailed by the KGB.


My thought is: If you want to be a good observer of foreign affairs, you need to study history and languages, especially the history of Russia. Russia is an immense, complicated country. My arrest demonstrated a natural tendency in the Kremlin to solve certain problems by force (the United States does that, too, from time to time). I was expelled from Moscow and left "more in sorrow than in anger." My Russian heritage certainly enriched my life and that of my family, and I am glad of that. Immigrant families, I think, make a mistake by totally abandoning their original culture.

Why write the book?

When I started as a cub reporter, I began "saving string." I collected my published articles, I kept a diary—especially when I was covering the U.S. Senate and House—I collected documents. I didn't want to lose such ephemera, which constituted my life's work. Also, I wanted to pass on some interesting tales (and possibly advice) to my university students. I wrote Of Spies and Spokesmen with one eye on my students at Northeastern University.