Title:                      The Defection of A. J. Lewinter

Author:                 Robert Littell

Littell, Robert (1973). The Defection of A. J. Lewinter. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin

LCCN:    72005220

PZ4.L772 De

Date Updated:  January 11, 2016


  1. J. Lewinter, a balding (in spite of the twelve bottles of Head & Shoulders he takes with him) ceramics engineer (nose cones), crosses over to Russia and it seems impossible to believe the USSR would take him in—he hasn’t that much to offer. Nor does his explanation, fear or a preemptive nuclear war on the part of the U.S., seem very urgent. His older and newer compatriots attempt to process the either/or, true/false/positive/negative factors via all kinds of dossier data, transcripts and checks and among them you’ll find a KGB representative, a grandmaster, the CIA’s Leo Diamond who’s as adamantine as his name, and his Sarah, a “glutton for experience” but not the kind she’s going to get. Littell’s first in this category is politically sophisticated, literate and versatile in its range and you’ll want to authorize it instantly as bright entertainment.


Robert Littell (born January 8, 1935) is an American novelist and journalist who resides in France. He specializes in spy novels that often concern the CIA and the Soviet Union.

Littell was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a Jewish family, of Russian Jewish origin. He is a 1956 graduate of Alfred University in western New York. He spent four years in the U.S. Navy and served at times as his ship’s navigator, antisubmarine warfare officer, communications officer, and deck watch officer.

Later Littell became a journalist and worked many years for Newsweek during the Cold War. He was a foreign correspondent for the magazine from 1965 to 1970. His spy novels are:


  • The Defection of A. J. Lewinter (1973)
  • Littell, Robert (1974). Sweet Reason. Boston, Houghton Mifflin
  • Littell, Robert (1975). The October Circle. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Mother Russia (1978)
  • Littell, Robert (1978). Mother Russia. London: Hutchinson
  • Littell, Robert (1979). The Debriefing. New York: Harper & Row
  • Littell, Robert (1981, 2003). The Amateur. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press
  • Littell, Robert (1986). The Sisters. New York: Bantam Books
  • Littell, Robert (1988). The Revolutionist. New York : Bantam Books
  • The Once and Future Spy (1990)
  • An Agent in Place (1991)
  • The Visiting Professor (1994)
  • Walking Back the Cat (1997)
  • Littell, Robert (2002). The Company: A Novel of the CIA. New York: Overlook Press.
  • Legends (2005)
  • Vicious Circle (2006)
  • Littell, Robert (2009). The Stalin Epigram. New York: Simon & Schuster
  • Young Philby (2012)



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