This prologue details how the author, a journalist, received a phone call from Bob Kaiser, the new managing editor of the Washington Post. Kaiser announced that Time magazine was preparing a story for the 1992 Christmas issue suggesting the author had become a Soviet agent while serving as the Post's bureau chief in Moscow. The author was on vacation in London after two years of reporting and writing about the violent disintegration of Yugoslavia. He then received another phone call, this time from former Post editor Ben Bradlee, who offered encouragement and his hunch that the CIA was behind the story. The author's theory is that it might be retribution for the scoop that had embarrassed the top CIA brass, the story the author had filed from Moscow on February 10, 1984, indicating that Soviet leader Yuri Andropov might have died.
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