By John Earl Haynes

This wonderful e-book, according to KGB information that experience by no means come to mild ahead of, presents the main whole account of Soviet espionage in the United States ever written. In 1993, former KGB officer Alexander Vassiliev was once authorised detailed entry to Stalin-era files of Soviet intelligence operations opposed to the U.S.. Years later, residing in Britain, Vassiliev retrieved his broad notebooks of transcribed files from Moscow. With those notebooks John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr have meticulously built a brand new, occasionally stunning, ancient account.

Along with basic insights into espionage strategies and the reasons of usa citizens who spied for Stalin, Spies resolves particular, long-seething controversies. The publication confirms, between many different issues, that Alger Hiss cooperated with Soviet intelligence over an extended interval of years, that journalist I. F. Stone labored on behalf of the KGB within the Thirties, and that Robert Oppenheimer used to be by no means recruited by means of Soviet intelligence. Spies additionally uncovers a variety of American spies who have been by no means even less than suspicion and satisfyingly identifies the final unaccounted for American nuclear spies. Vassiliev tells the tale of the notebooks and his personal notable lifestyles in a gripping creation to the quantity.

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Some of the passages that are not within quotation marks in the notebooks read as if they were direct quotations, and they may be. Readers should keep in mind that Vassiliev wrote the notebooks to assist his research for a book and not with the anticipation that they would one day constitute a primary source. Consequently, they contain notes to himself, marginal annotations, grammatical shortcuts, and abbreviations. Also his conventions for recording certain types of documents changed as he better understood the material.

I promised to do so. I quit my TV job. As a columnist, I had flexible hours and the right not to come to the office every day, and I used these privileges with gusto. In early 1994 I started working with the files at the SVR press bureau at 13 Kolpachny Street. There were two questions to which I had to find answers on my own because I didn't want to make Kobaladze think again about the desirability of the project or his choice of me. First question: why me? I wasn't a scholar, and I had no ties to the SVR, although I had once worked for the KGB.

Some readers may wonder why it all matters. Is the account of Soviet espionage merely of antiquarian interest, a matter of fascination to the handful of scholars who have made it their specialty and the somewhat larger community of spy buffs who delight in learning the details of this secret world? While filling in the blank spots in the historical record is enough of a justification, especially for historians, the question of who worked for the KGB has importance well beyond the purely historical.

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