I spent much of Friday catching up on Wall Street Journals from late April to mid-May. In the May 8-9 Review section of the Journal is a review of Simon Kuper, Spies, Lies, and Exile. It tells of famous Soviet spy George Blake.

The reason the name rang a bell is that back in the mid-1990s my father sent me a long letter after having read Blake’s autobiography titled, tellingly, No Other Choice. My father was persuaded that Blake had no choice other than to work for the Soviets. I didn’t read the book but my father’s long letter did not persuade me.

And Blake’s book didn’t persuade Simon Kuper.

Here’s what I found striking. I’m assuming, of course, that Kuper is quoting Blake accurately. The reviewer, Henry Hemming, writes:

Eventually Blake washed up in Moscow, where he remained for more than half a century. As he later said, “after a week in Moscow I knew that communism was the biggest disappointment of my life.” But he was not one to dwell on this.

Ponder that quote for a minute. Blake spends years working for the Soviets and it takes him only a week to realize that communism sucks. Wow!