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Book Nook: Sleeper Agent: The Atomic Spy in America Who Got Away by Ann Hagedorn


Vick Mickunas' 2021 interview with Ann Hagedorn

Ann Hagedorn returned to the program to discuss her fascinating study about a Soviet spy who was able to obtain access to top secret material during WWII. George Koval infiltrated the deepest recesses of the Manhattan Project during the period when atomic bombs were being developed. When the war ended Koval stealthily made his way back to the U.S.S.R. He was never prosecuted. He made such a clean getaway that it was quite some time before anybody even realized what Koval had actually been doing. Amazingly, Koval was the ideal spy. He had grown up in Sioux City, Iowa. Nobody had suspected him of doing anything.

Some of his espionage activities took place in Dayton, Ohio. A top secret facility in Oakwood was processing polonium, an essential material that was used to trigger the bombs. Ann Hagedorn grew up in Oakwood. Little did she know at the time what had once taken place in her quiet little town.

The Book Nook on WYSO is presented by the Greene County Public Library with additional support from Washington-Centerville Public Library, Clark County Public Library, Dayton Metro Library, and Wright Memorial Public Library.

Vick Mickunas introduced the Book Nook author interview program for WYSO in 1994. Over the years he has produced more than 1500 interviews with writers, musicians, poets, politicians, and celebrities. Listen to the Book Nook with Vick Mickunas for intimate conversations about books with the writers who create them. Vick Mickunas reviews books for the Dayton Daily News and the Springfield News Sun.