Review: The Best of Enemies

Long before ‘The Best of Enemies‘ was published (on sale today), movie producer Ron Howard and Imagine Entertainment optioned the book with an eye toward making a motion picture from the tale.  It’s not hard to see why.  ‘The Best of Enemies’ has all the elements that Hollywood loves.  To start, it has two quirky and colorful lead characters, CIA Officer Jack ‘Cowboy’ Platt and KGB Officer Gennady Vasilenko.  As the book’s title suggests, the men, on opposite sides of the Cold War, develop a deep, abiding and unlikely friendship that survived a brutal cold war and, at times, even more cruel peace at a time when a supposed warming of relations between their countries hid an icy resolve to expose traitors in their midst.

Vasilenko was assigned to the KGB rezidentura in the Soviet Embassy in Washington in the late 1970s at a time when Platt was working ‘Soviet recruitment operations’ in conjunction with FBI agents in the D.C. area.  The two were directed to try to recruit each other and while neither ended up betraying his country – they did establish a close relationship that endured for decades to come.

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