Robert Maxwell, Israel’s Superspy:

The Life and Murder of a Media Mogul

Robert Maxwell—ruthless, volatile, defiant; a man of gargantuan appetites, for food, wine, women, power, money—unabashedly bared his ambition to the world, as he strove to build a publishing empire. But, throughout his career, Robert Maxwell also nurtured another, more driving, and—until now—altogether hidden ambition, and that was to spy for Israel’s Mossad. In the end, as Gordon Thomas, an author who has long been trolling the murky waters of international intelligence, shows in this gripping narrative, the conflict between the tycoon’s public interests and spy’s secret pursuits led to his mystifying death, officially by drowning, in November 1991, offshore of the Canary Islands. According to Thomas’s well-placed sources in Israel, Washington, and London, Maxwell first came into Mossad’s orbit in the 1970s, when the crack Israeli spy organization stole from the United States its most sophisticated piece of intelligence-gathering software, Enhanced Promis. Of it Mossad made an electronic Trojan horse, secretly amassing strictly classified information from inside the very organizations worldwide to which they were selling it. Mossad’s representative for these extremely sensitive transactions costing tens of millions of dollars in China, Russia, India, and twenty other countries was Robert Maxwell. Only Maxwell was also helping himself to some of Mossad’s profits—as well as $750 million from his employees’ pension fund—in desperate attempts to maintain his empire and to meet the demands of increasingly intolerant creditors. Aboard his yacht that November night in 1991 Maxwell no doubt still clung to the hope of a bailout by Mossad. But Mossad’s spy masters could not afford to smile on blackmail. This book reveals all the shocking reasons why. Eight pages of black-and-white photographs add to this astonishing tale of international intrigue, espionage, the Mossad, and murder.
About the Author
Gordon Thomas is a political and investigative journalist and the author of 53 books, published in more than 30 countries and in dozens of languages. The total sales of his works exceed 45 million copies.

Thomas’ most recent bestseller is Gideon’s Spies: Mossad’s Secret Warriors. Published in 16 languages and 40 countries Gideon’s Spies is known throughout the world as the leading resource on Israeli intelligence. An updated edition will be published in 2012 by St. Martin’s Press. Gideon’s Spies was made into a major documentary for Channel Four in Britain, which Thomas wrote and narrated, called The Spy Machine. The Observer called The Spy Machine a “clear” picture of Israeli intelligence operations, and The Times called it “impressive,” and ”chilling.”

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Carroll & Graf; 1st Carroll & Graf Ed edition (November 5, 2002)




Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

From Booklist


Amazon Reviews

Spy Thriller

Through British citizen Robert Maxwell, vain, gross, brilliant and criminal, Thomas and Dillon paint a picture of corruption and decadence in the West, Eastern Europe and the Middle East today. Maxwell’s loyalties are to himself and to Israel; Senator John Tower is in his pocket; and so forth. The United States, apart from furnishing the likes of Tower, furnishes the intelligence stolen by Israel and the subsidies that keep that country in business stealing from its patron. Maxwell is a kind of super sayan (singular form of sayanim) and the book to some degree is an expose of the extent to which these volunteers-for-Israel around the world do damage to their host countries.

The Maxwell-Mossad team steals spy software PROMIS from the United States, Mossad puts an undetectable trap door in it so Mossad can track the activities of anyone using it, then Maxwell sells it around the world (including back to the U.S. — with the trap door). When Maxwell finally goes bankrupt, the losses are passed on to “the little people,” while Israel and Maxwell’s protected heirs remain in the black, at least materially. Thomas/Dillon present, in thrilling mystery adventure mode, the theory that Maxwell became a loose canon to his beloved Israel, among other things hitting on Mossad for a bigger pay-off, and its agents assassinated him.

The authors, both top-notch investigative journalists, base their study on official documents and on interviews — what they uncover is bound to shock and put on the alert anyone who loves his country, respects honesty, good will and just about any other virtue within its borders.


Complicity of the media and the Mossad

This was an amazingly revealing book as to the extent and power of the Mossad. Makes one wonder if they did not have a hand — with the CIA — in the assassination of JFK, since Kennedy was beginning to insist on a full inspection of the Dimona facility which Israel was claiming was for peaceful purpose — also he was showing some sympathy for the plight of the Palestinians. Israel has never hesitated to assassinate anyone who threatened its expansionist policies; e.g., Count Bernadotte, Lord Moyne, the USS Liberty, …

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