New England-born, conservatively raised, and Vassar-educated, Elizabeth Bentley was groomed for a quiet life in the 1920s as a teacher at an East Coast boarding school. But in her mid-twenties she embraced communism and fell in love with an undercover KGB agent who initiated her into the world of espionage. By the time America plunged into World War II, Bentley was directing the operations of the two largest spy rings in America. Her sources were everywhere -- from the Departments of Treasury and Commerce to the Oval Office.
When she defected in 1945 and told her story, Bentley was catapulted to fame as "the Red Spy Queen." She was the government's star witness and the FBI's most important informer. Her disclosures and accusations put a halt to Soviet spying for years and helped to set the tone of American postwar political life, ushering in the McCarthy Era.
But who was Elizabeth Bentley? A smart, independent woman, or a pawn used and manipulated by others? Drawing on copious research -- including recently disclosed documents -- Clever Girl tells the compelling, ultimately tragic story of politics and betrayal....Continua