America's Mata Hari? The Double Life of Esther Reed
Play • 37 min

Cautionary Conversation: When a small-town detective gets a tip about a missing woman, he believes he's uncovered a highly-trained chameleon: a foreign spy. Soon, Esther Reed is on the Secret Service's Most Wanted list, and a nationwide manhunt has commenced. But all is not as it seems.

Jake Halpern joins Tim Harford to talk about the latest season of his Pushkin podcast Deep Cover: Never Seen Again. They discuss the dangers of incrementally increasing lies; how and why certain stories are escalated up the media "food chain"; and what it takes to lead a double life.

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