Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Publish First Comprehensive Account of US-China Spy Wars

NEW YORK – This week, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division will publish Tiger Trap: America’s Secret Spy War With China by David Wise, the leading expert on intelligence and espionage.  Drawing from unparalleled insider sourcing, Wise discloses the extraordinary successes and penetrations of American national security achieved by the Chinese.  New revelations include how the CIA learned China had discovered the details of America’s most advanced nuclear warhead, and how Chinese intelligence managed to penetrate both the FBI and the CIA.

Journalist Tom Brokaw calls Wise “the master - writing with clarity and style about the murky and consequential underworld of nuclear espionage,” and former Director of Central Intelligence R. James Woolsey calls the book “extraordinary [and] a stunningly detailed history.” 

Tiger Trap tells the full story of how the MSS, China’s intelligence service, penetrated the FBI through double agent Katrina Leung; how FBI ace counterintelligence agent Leslie G. Wiser Jr. broke open the case; and how the Justice Department subsequently bungled the prosecution’s case against Leung. 

Wise also provides the first in-depth account of how China obtained the secrets of the neutron bomb from the U.S., and how, in an investigation code-named SEGO PALM, the FBI tried unsuccessfully for four years to discover how China had acquired the secrets of America’s smallest and most sophisticated nuclear warhead: the W-88, which sits atop the missiles on Trident submarines.

Tiger Trap relates several recent Chinese espionage operations against U.S. targets.  They include the case of Chi Mak, an engineer for a California defense contractor, who was convicted in 2007 for passing sensitive U.S. Navy technology to China for more than twenty years.  Among the information Chi Mak provided were details of the Quiet Electric Drive (QED) designed to make U.S. submarines run silently, making them more difficult to detect, as well as information about the DD(X), the Navy’s next-generation high-tech destroyer.  Wise also relates the case of Dongfan “Greg” Chung, a Boeing engineer, who was sentenced in 2010 to nearly sixteen years for passing information to Beijing about the space shuttle and U.S. fighter jets.  The book also includes the backstory and details of China’s famed cyber-espionage attacks.

David Wise is a former CNN commentator and former Washington bureau chief of the New York Herald Tribune.  His previous books include Spy: The Inside Story of How the FBI’s Robert Hanssen Betrayed America; Nightmover: How Aldrich Ames Sold the CIA to the KGB for $4.6 Million; and The Invisible Government, a national bestseller.

About Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade & Reference Division
With nearly two-centuries of award-winning history, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s Trade and Reference Division continues to publish some of the most renowned novels, non-fiction, children’s books and reference works in hardcover, Mariner Books trade paperbacks and ebooks.  Its distinguished author list includes eight Nobel Prize winners, 47 Pulitzer Prize winners, 13 National Book Award winners, and more than 100 Caldecott, Newbery, Printz, and Silbert Medal and Honor recipients. HMH publishes such distinguished authors as Philip Roth, Temple Grandin, Tim O'Brien, and Umberto Eco, as well as The Best American series®, The American Heritage® family of dictionaries, The Gourmet Cookbook and other culinary classics, the Peterson Field Guides and books by J.R.R. Tolkien. Along with a celebrated lineup of children’s authors, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Children's Book Group is the publisher of some of the best-loved children's books and book characters including Curious George, The Little Prince and The Polar Express. For more information, visit www.hmhbooks.com.