The book chronicles Wolf's early life in Germany, his escape to the Soviet Union with his family after the Nazis came to power, and his espionage career in East Germany. Wolf was a master spy. His most brilliant exploit was planting a mole in the government of West German Chancellor Willy Brandt, an incident that brought down the Brandt government. After the fall of the East German communist regime, Wolf was tried and convicted of treason. In 1995, a high court in the united Germany repealed his prison sentence, saying he was only doing his job for his country.